Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini
Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini has taught Voice and Opera at the university level for over 20 years. Places she has taught include Radford University, Oklahoma City University, University of Oklahoma, Indiana Purdue University, Manchester University, University of Toledo, and Grace College. She has been a performer Internationally and throughout the US with extensive Oratorio and stage experience. Denise is the founder and podcast host of High Notes with Dr. B, a bi-monthly show about women who lead courageous lives and create change. As a performer, she has enjoyed performing with Orchestra and Symphonic Organizations throughout the United States as well as Opera Festivals and Companies. Denise has sung in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and been a recitalist in London, England, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, and at the Certosa di Garegnano in Milan, Italy. She has also performed her one-woman classical cabaret in Leibnitz, Austria, where she performed for the International University of Global Theater to an audience representing 32 different countries.
- Denise, an avid social justice advocate, is currently involved in a project focused on bringing awareness to human trafficking. A THOUSAND HANDS A MILLION STARS is an all-female artist collaboration and includes poetry, music, dance, and art. This unique one-of-a-kind performance has been presented at the annual Conference for Human Trafficking in Toledo, Ohio, and at the city’s premier arts showcase The project was recently performed at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, Chapman University in Orange, California, Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California, and Reinhardt University in Waleska, Georgia.
- Bernardini is also a sought-after clinician, teacher, presenter, and author and has presented at The Voice Symposium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the International Congress of Voice Teachers in Stockholm, Sweden, the Great Lakes Regional Conference of College Music Society, and Indiana Music Educators Convention, as well as several National Association of Teachers of Singing regional and state-level clinics.
- Denise’s book entitled: A Stylistic Guide of Classical Cabaret: A Stylistic and Historical Glimpse with selected songs by Satie, Poulenc, Schönberg, Weill, Britten, and Moore, can be purchased through Amazon. Bernardini is the creator of The Integrated Performer® which specializes in coaching performing artists in mindfulness and breath modalities. Her coaching practice can be found at deniseritterbernardini.com.
Ms. Toni Crowder
Toni Crowder has been a featured soloist and presenter for several international and nationally-recognized organizations. Toni has been featured in Classical Singer magazine and was invited to perform in Times Square for the International Classical Singer convention of New York, where she also gave a lecture presentation about how to create an original one-woman show. Her one-woman show was presented through partnerships with Young Audiences of Virginia, The National Federation of Music Clubs, Opera Roanoke, and the Fairfax Arts Council. Her performance entertained thousands of children and adults at schools, libraries, museums, and festivals across the state of Virginia including the Todi Music Festival Portsmouth, (sister program to Todi Italy) with additional tours in New Jersey, New Mexico, and Arkansas.
- Toni has been a guest clinician with The Virginia Music Educators Association and the National Federation of Music Clubs featuring her work as an Artist-in-Residence with the Virginia Commission of the Arts, where she helped students from extremely diverse backgrounds create and produce original operas. Her work was recognized through the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond Channel Five News, and The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, VA. Crowder’s performance of Mendelssohn duets with International Soprano Lucy Shelton was featured on National Public Radio’s Performance Today. Backstage Pass, a telecast on Fairfax Cable Television featured Toni and her performance with The Four Divas.
- Although Toni enjoys singing a variety of genres, her first love is opera and she has sung with Ra’anana Orchestra Tel Aviv, The Albany Symphony, The Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony, The Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra, The Rappahannock Pops Orchestra, Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra, and The Georgetown University Chamber, as well as OperaFest of New Hampshire! where she performed the world premiere in the title role of Faith by Michael Ching. Currently, Ms. Crowder has been singing primarily in Italy with a variety of performances at the Villa Contarini, Monselice, singing the role of Santuzza from Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni. As well as concerts at the Basilica di S. Maria Assunta in Bagno Di Romagna and the Chiesa di San Martino in Este.
- Crowder, a sought-after voice teacher and clinician, has taught on the voice faculty at Randolph Macon College, as well as maintaining a vibrant and award-winning private voice studio. Ms. Crowder combines her training and background as a Music Educator, Music Therapist, CYVT (certified YogaVoice® practitioner), and RYT-200 (Yoga Alliance Registered 200-hour yoga teacher) to create an active and safe studio for her students.