Elaine’s Bio

Photo by Alix Gould Photography

Elaine Overholt has established herself as one of North America’s most respected and treasured singers, voice/performance coaches and vocal producers, having performed with and instructed celebrities of music, film and theatre, including names such as Shawn Mendes, Travolta, Latifah, Pfeiffer, Gere, Zeta-Jones, Zellweger, Sharon Lois & Bram and DeGeneres.

Her musical talents and diverse musical background began as a young girl performing gospel music in her church choir. By the age of eleven she became the organist in her church and by fourteen she was the choir director. Her formal musical training continued at Western University, first as a piano performance major, then switching to voice. Here she was tutored under internationally-recognized opera stars, graduating with an honours degree in Voice Performance. Despite the encouragement of her professors to pursue a classical career, Elaine did what has been the hallmark of her career – she explored a new frontier.Stepping away from the classical world, Elaine re-embraced her passion for the pop, rock and theatre genres. Her performing career has allowed her the envied opportunity to sing back-ups with titans Ray Charles, Tina Turner, Paul Shaffer, Anne Murray, Dionne Warwick, and Triumph amongst them. Ms. Overholt has performed as a soloist on world stages, major network television, albums, films, thousands of jingles and recorded two albums and a No. 3 single on Billboard. All of this experience entrenched her in the highs of live performance but also the difficulties of live shows and recording sessions. These performance skills and contributed greatly in her endeavour to teach every kind of singer and resulted in a premier vocal coach.

Elaine’s gift for teaching is well known in Hollywood and Broadway. She has coached stars such as John Travolta, Zac Efron and Michelle Pfeiffer for ‘Hairspray’ the movie, along with Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger, and Queen Latifah for the Oscar-winning ‘Chicago‘. Recently Elaine also coached Ellen DeGeneres in two live segments on her hit talk show. Other singers include Jim Cuddy, Alannah Myles, Jully Black, Max Kerman (Arkells), Sophie Milman, Jackie Richardson, Megan Fox, and Colin Mochrie.

As a Broadway coach, Elaine trained the singers in lead roles for hits like ‘Hairspray‘, ‘The Producers‘, ‘Mamma Mia‘, ‘The Sound Of Music‘, ‘Once’, ‘Kinky Boots’ and so many shows of Mirvish Productions. Andrew Lloyd Webber chose her to be the vocal coach and judge on the CBC series ‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?’ Although she has worked with some of the most musically talented of a generation, she also brings out the best from those who are not known for their musical talents. Comedians, actors, dancers and speakers come to Elaine to find their hidden performance prowess. On her TV series “Big Voice” (OWN Network), Elaine took gifted but ‘untried’ singers, put them in a 6-week boot camp, culminating in their “dream” performance. She relished in working with the world-class dancers of The National Ballet & The San Francisco Ballet on their productions of ‘West Side Story Suite’.

Record labels such as Universal, Warner/Chappell, and Sony and many management companies send their artists to Ms. Overholt where they learn to protect their voices and develop stamina and powerful performance style. And yes, she loved working with Shawn Mendes and helping him keep his voice healthy while on international tours.

Elaine has the ability to coax “magical” performances from every type of singer and her success is due to her vast talent and passionate ambition to understand the deep power of the human voice to change lives. She passes that knowledge on to each and every singer and speaker that she works with. Whether it is in the concert hall, the studio, the boardroom, the bar, or on the road, Elaine drives her students to connect with the unique and powerful voice that is in every one of us – our ‘Big Voice’.


Elaine is the founder of BIG VOICE STUDIOS in downtown Toronto, where Lessons, Workshops and Performance Master Classes carry on 7 days a week, with the most gifted teachers. For information, write info@bigvoicestudios.com or call 416-466-1816. www.elaineoverholt.com

Elaine with Zac Efron.

Elaine with Queen Latifah on the set of "Chicago".

Elaine with Michelle Pfeiffer on the set of "Hairspray".

Designed by Anna Mastin