Adele Berg-Layton – Voice
Adele Berg-Layton grew up in a musical family on Bainbridge Island, and caught the stage bug at Bainbridge Light Opera Association (BLOA), renamed Bainbridge Performing Arts (BPA) in the 1980’s, and started performing at the age of 4. Upon completion of her graduate studies, she returned to her home town, and played leading roles at theaters in Seattle, Bremerton and at BPA. She ran a successful voice studio for 25 years on Bainbridge, and was the founding Artistic Director of Young Voices and Renaissance Jazz, community choral groups on Bainbridge for 15 years. Most recently she has been teaching as an Elementary Music Teacher, retiring from Ordway in the Bainbridge Island School District.
It is with great pleasure, that Adele returns to her first passion of connecting to students who wish to explore their vocal potential through individual instruction, and to be a teacher at the Island Music Guild. She understands the child’s voice, and vocal changes during adolescent years. She has prepared high school students for solo and ensemble contests, and for vocal study at the college level. She has assisted adult students with choral singing, vocal solos, auditions and performances for musical theater. She coaches in the major European languages, and also Latin, Hebrew, and a variety of other world languages. She has an extensive knowledge of Classical, Theater and Traditional Folk Music literature.
Education: Bachelor of Arts, The Evergreen State College
Fifth Year Studies in Music and Drama, University of Washington
Master of Music in Vocal Performance, Boston Conservatory
Experience: 25 years teaching Voice in Private Studio
12 years as Music Specialist in Public Schools
Choral Conductor for school, community and church choirs
Performance in Musical Theater, Opera, Concert and Recital
Languages: German, French, Italian & Spanish
Jenny Davis – Voice
A Seattle native, Jenny Davis earned her Bachelor of Music from the prestigious Cornish College of the Arts, where she was awarded the coveted Maggie Hawthorn scholarship, the music department’s highest achievement. An experienced steward of straight-ahead jazz, she actively performs throughout the U.S. and Canada in clubs, festivals and jazz venues, including Seattle’s Jazz Alley and the Victoria BC International jazz festival. She has recorded 3 successful albums and is currently a music booking agent for other international jazz artists. Educated in classical vocal technique, as well as jazz musicianship, for 20+ years Jenny has been coaching beginning to professional level vocalists of all genres, focusing on the individual student’s goals and needs.
A popular instructor among teens and adults, students of all ages work with Jenny to expand their vocal range, study proper methods of breath and vocal technique, and hone their skills in phrasing and microphone use as well. Some students come to the studio with no vocal training. Much like leaning to play the saxophone or trumpet, Jenny teaches students how to “play” their own voice through proper vocal placement and technique. Lessons are focused on vocal technique, and most important, singing songs that inspire joy, passion and fun!
Jenny works with semi-pro and professional level students with current projects, as they work in their own bands, recording projects or career development. Working closely with other musicians is Jenny’s special gift. Her style is upbeat and positive and you discover how exciting and dynamic singing can be when you learn to integrate your voice with other instruments. Her respect for all players is exceptional. She knows how to be part of the band, showing students how to communicate with musicians on the bandstand, how to improvise by listening carefully to their playing, how to get the most out of rehearsals.
Jenny has performed and studied with some of the greatest artists in music today: Grammy winning artist Kurt Elling, Maestro David Kyle, Chuck Easton, Dave Carson, Julian Priester, John Clayton, Diego Figueiredo, Bud Shank, Jackie Ryan, Anita Wardell and many more. A passionate steward, and lifetime student of jazz, her mission is to pass on the tradition to future generations.
“Jenny teaches like she sings, straight from the heart, and she backs it up with solid technical chops.”
To learn more, visit Jenny’s website or contact Jenny directly:
Marcia Smith-Hill – Voice
*Not currently accepting new students*
Marcia Smith Hill studied piano from early elementary years to college, beginning college as a piano major, but changing her major to voice early in her freshman year. Mrs. Hill holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education with a concentration in Voice and was one of only seven education majors awarded a Performance Certificate upon graduation from the State University of New York at Potsdam where she attended the Crane School of Music. She began teaching elementary and high school music, later establishing a private studio in both voice and piano. Graduate work was continued for several years at the Saratoga-Potsdam Choral Institute summer sessions and SUNY New Paltz.
Moving to Southern California in 1979, she sang for many years with the Pacific Chorale as a paid member of their select small group and toured Europe and China. She taught music through Yamaha music schools, eventually setting up her private studio in voice and piano. She also held church positions as a soloist and music director, often singing and playing at weddings and special events, private parties and restaurants. She appeared as soloist with the Orange County Choral Conductor’s Guild presentation of Handel’s “Messiah”, and in Vivaldi’s “Gloria” with the Mt. San Antonio’s concert choir. She moved to Bainbridge Island in 1994, where she has sung in several community choirs. Currently the Music Director for West Sound Unity in Bremerton, she earlier served in that capacity for several churches. This year, Mrs. Hill has accepted the position of leader for Ovation! Music Theater’s adult choir Crescendo and is the long-term substitute choir teacher at Kingston High School where she has been the accompanist for many years.
Now a resident of Kingston, Mrs. Hill teaches private voice at home as well as teaching at Rolling Bay Music Co-op on Bainbridge Island. A member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, several of her students have placed in the annual adjudication competition with two winning their categories and invited to sing on the Honors Recital. Several of her students have had lead roles in local student and community musical theater organizations and gone on to major in voice in college.
Marcia Smith Hill
Peter Spencer – Guitar, Voice, Songwriting
Peter Spencer is a fingerpicking guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Co-founder in the 1980s of the Fast Folk Musicians Cooperative in NYC, his solo recordings for them are now part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. After graduating from The Writing Program at Columbia University in 1989, Peter retired from performing and became a full-time music writer for magazines like Rolling Stone and Sing Out. His book World Beat: A Listener’s Guide to Contemporary World Music on CD” was published by the Chicago Review Press in 1992. His latest book, “Folksongwriting,” is due to be published in 2014. Peter began releasing recordings again with his 2000 release, “New Hope and Wise Virgins.” In 2004 he moved to Bainbridge Island, releasing “Handsignal,” another album of original songs, in 2006. Later that year came “Gathering Light,” an album of Christmas music for solo guitar, and in 2007 he released “The Blues Concert,” a stripped-down album of original acoustic blues. “From the Island” followed in February, 2009 (these three were all recorded at the Island Music Hall) and “1896” (recorded at Seabold Hall) in 2011. In 2013 he received his Masters of Fine Arts degree in music composition from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Peter lives on Bainbridge Island and divides his time between performing, teaching at the IMG, and teaching at Dusty Strings in Seattle. Visit Peter on the web at: peterspencer.com