Emily Arbour is a versatile soprano who earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Vocal Performance in the mountains of western North Carolina at Appalachian State University. During her graduate studies she concentrated on vocal pedagogy, teaching both group and private sessions, and it was this experience that led her to develop just as strong a passion for teaching the next generation of singers as she has for performing.
Emily has performed several lead and supporting roles with the Appalachian Opera Theatre, including Adele in Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus, Lucy in Menotti’s The Telephone, Laetitia in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief, and First Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. For four seasons she also performed professionally with the Lake Junaluska Singers, an ensemble under the direction of NYC based choral director Mary Huff, presenting a wide range of repertoire from choral works to operatic selections and musical theatre numbers. Emily has been a featured soloist, performing Schubert’s Der Hirt auf dem Felsen with the Appalachian Woodwind Chamber Ensemble, Haydn’s The Creation with the Appalachian Chorale, and several selections by Handel and Purcell with the Appalachian early music group, Collegium Musicum. In addition to her classical studies, Emily has enjoyed staging, choreographing, and performing scenes from musicals, such as West Side Story, The Bridges of Madison County, Hamilton, Dogfight, A Little Night Music, and Kiss Me, Kate.
As a teacher, Emily firmly believes in the importance of embracing the passions and interests of each student , whether that be classical, musical theatre, pop, jazz, etc., and she molds her teaching to fit each individual’s goals. She has developed a growing passion for vocal pedagogy and its application to various styles of singing so that she is able to put the vocal health of each student at the forefront of her teaching. She believes that if the vocal health of the singer is not a top priority, then the rest of the work one does is superfluous as vocal health is what secures longevity for singers and will keep them making music throughout their entire life.
She strives to bring creativity to the learning process, incorporating tools such as text and plot analysis, the exploration of imaginary landscapes and imagery, acting and movement exercises, sense memory experiences, and much more. Her intentions are always the same, to identify the individual goals of each student, adapt to their needs to maximize their learning and experience, and to create a safe and supportive environment where they feel empowered to challenge and express themselves. She consistently celebrates the little victories of each student and encourages them to take pride in their progress and growth!