Here's my story...
An Alabama native, Emily was seven years old when she made her singing debut. The venue was the family station wagon; her accompaniment was the radio; her parents, sisters and brother were her captive, but delighted, audience. After hearing her angelic voice, Emily’s family encouraged her to audition for a part in a local children’s theatre production of The Wizard of Oz. She was cast as a “Munchkin,” and from that moment on, set her sights towards bigger and better roles.
At the age of eleven, Emily began formal voice lessons with Betty Rogers at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. Each summer, she returned to the "Pixie Playhouse” stage, where she made her start to perform such roles as Pepper (Annie), Tiger Lily (Peter Pan) and Liesl (The Sound of Music). She also signed her very first contract at the age of 16 with Mobile Opera, playing the young Elizabeth in The Ballad of Baby Doe.
After graduating from St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile, Emily attended The University of Southern Mississippi, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music-Vocal Performance. In 1997, Emily earned a Master’s Degree in Music-Vocal Performance at the University of Tennessee and soon after, moved to New York.
At the turn of the Millennium, Emily was fortunate enough to escape to Athens, Greece, to play the leading lady in a Broadway Review, The Magic of Musicals. She has also appeared in numerous review shows as a featured singer/dancer: Timbers Dinner Theatre, Fireside Dinner Theatre and Commodore Cruise Lines, where she had her own Cabaret show.
In March of 1999, Emily competed in the prestigious Savannah Onstage International Vocal Competition, in Savannah, Georgia, and took home the Bronze medal. It was in Savannah, where Emily forged a relationship with the legendary Marni Nixon, who is best known for providing the singing voice for Natalie Wood in West Side Story, Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady and Deborah Kerr in The King and I, among others. Meeting Marni has influenced Emily’s career in many important ways. Not only has Marni taught voice lessons to Emily, she has also been a mentor and friend. Since studying with Marni, Emily has landed a lead role in three Broadway National Tours: The Sound of Music (Mother Abbess), Ragtime (Mother) and Kiss Me, Kate (Lilli/Kate).
In 2000, Emily co-starred with Barry Williams, best known as “Greg” in the classic TV sitcom The Brady Bunch, in Troika Tours’ production of The Sound of Music. Emily, who played the role of Mother Abbess, received a “Best Actress” nomination from The National Broadway Theatre Awards for her work. On her second National Tour, Emily played the role of “Mother” in NETworks’ production of Ragtime. In 2003, she was fortunate enough to return to the road as the title role in Cole Porter’s hit musical, Kiss Me, Kate. In the summer of 2005, Emily earned her Actor’s Equity card at Paper Mill Playhouse in the production of Ragtime, where she understudied Broadway veteran, Rachel York. She covered both “Mother” and “Emma”, and went on for both the same weekend.
In 2006, with an agent and Equity card in hand, Emily decided to do a ‘180’ and venture back south to explore the world of teaching voice. While in NY, she was an Adjunct Voice Instructor at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) and in her private studio. She moved to Birmingham, AL, and began developing her own private voice studio. (She also presented many audition workshops with Alabama, Ohio, and International Thespian Festivals.) Her studio became a big success, which led to an Adjunct position at Birmingham-Southern College. After four years working with the BFA Musical Theatre Majors, she applied for a tenure-track, Assistant Professor of Voice
position at the University of Alabama – in the Department of Theatre and Dance – and to her delight, was offered the job.
Since relocating to Tuscaloosa in 2012, Emily has had amazing opportunities with her teaching and singing careers.
She has become a member of the National Association of Teacher’s of Singing (NATS) and Musical Theatre Educator’s Alliance, and on the Advisory Board for Central Alabama Theatre. She is the Faculty Advisor for the female a capella group on campus, called “AcaBellas.”
She has presented workshops at SETC and served as a judge for the National Student Auditions with NATS. Also, at this NATS Conference, she was chosen to sing for Broadway composer, Andrew Lippa, in his Master Class. In the summer of 2014, she attended the Contemporary Commercial Music – Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah University. She completed Levels I and II of the LoVetri Method, Somatic Voicework(TM).
Emily has certainly traveled the US and abroad, performing in numerous opera and musical theater productions. Her credits include: Winifred Banks (Mary Poppins), Patsy Cline (Always…Patsy Cline), Female cover (Honky Tonk Angels), Vera (Smoke on the Mountain), Mrs. Anderssen (A Little Night Music), Joanne (Godspell), Featured Singer (Songs for A New World), Singer (The Look of Love), Cinderella (Into the Woods), Anne (A Little Night Music), Lily (Secret Garden), Woman (Side by Side by Sondheim), Rosemary (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying), Valencia cover (Merry Widow), Adele cover (Die Fledermaus), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Angelina (Trial By Jury) and Yum, Yum (Mikado), Musetta cover (La Bohéme).
Today, Emily teaches voice lessons to students at multiple institutions including the University of Alabama, Montevallo University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Emily also performs regularly with Central Alabama Theater and other stages across the South East.