Faculty and Staff
Leah Schenck-Crowne: voice technician
Leah has been helping singers find and develop their own unique voices for over fifteen years. Her greatest goal and achievement is when a singer ends the lesson with that "Ah-ha breakthrough" smile, where a world of possibility has opened for them. With training in a variety of vocal techniques, she is comfortable training singers in a wide range of genres, including classical, musical theater, and commercial contemporary (Pop, R&B, Rock, Country etc).
With both a master of music and bachelor of music from the University of Maryland System, Leah has taught students from all over the world. Her three teaching residencies in Italy provided the opportunity to develop her communication skills, both linguistically and in body language, listening and technique. She was a professor of vocal studies at Gettysburg College and Mount St. Mary's University for eleven years, where she worked with many types of singers.
Leah uses her own experience as an international opera singer as context for the work she does with her students. She has sung professionally in Norway, France, Germany, Austria, Italy and across the United States. Her specialty is that of strong, queenly characters and villains. Please refer to the "Biography" Tab at the top of the page for a more extensive outline of her performance work.
Scott Crowne: coach, conductor, pianist
Scott Crowne enjoys a diverse and active career as a pianist, conductor, coach, and teacher. In the realm of opera, he is in high demand as a coach and music director. He is currently the artistic director and principle conductor of Opera Susquehanna in Pennsylvania. In the past he served as principal conductor and music director for the Hub Opera Ensemble and the American Singer's Opera Project. As a coach, he has worked for such institutions as Bel Canto in Tuscany (Florence). the Mediterranean Opera Studio (Sicily), the Middlebury German for Singers Program, the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater, the University of Miami Festival in Salzburg, the voice department of Towson University, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Brevard Music Center.
He finds great fulfillment as a teacher for young musicians as well. As professor of collaborative piano at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he performs with faculty, guests, and students on a regular basis. In addition he serves as the music director for the opera workshop program and frequently the college musical theater productions as well. Off campus he served as music director for the undergraduate opera workshop and taught graduate vocal literature classes at the University of Maryland, College Park. Additionally, he works each summer with high school students for the Washington National Opera's Family Opera and Opera Institute.
As a pianist, he is praised for his sensitive and supportive collaboration with singers and instrumentalists. He performs in Europe and across the United States many times a year in addition to frequent concerts in the Mid-Atlantic region. Venues include Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, the Leopoldskron in Salzburg, and the Teatro Eschillo in Sicily.
Complimenting his love of performance, he is also an inquisitive researcher. He enjoys searching out unusual and interesting music to enrich the standard recital repertoire. His particular interest is in the music of Herbert Howells (1892-1983), on whom he did his dissertation and just published an edition of art songs for Novello and Co.
He received his BMus summa cum laude at the Catholic University of America where studied piano and composition. He received a teaching assistance-ship to the University of Maryland (DMA, MMus) where he performed in numerous concerts and recitals as a vocal accompanist, chamber musician, continuo artist, and orchestral pianist. He spent three years as a répétiteur with the Maryland Opera Studio, assisting with the preparation and performance of operas and opera scenes. He participated or served as pianist for masterclasses for Jennifer Laramore, Evelyn Lear, Elizabeth Bishop, Marcello Giordani, Jerry Hadley, Steven Blier and Martin Katz. He has worked with conductors such as Matthias Kuntzsch, Christoph Hagel, Asher Fisch, Ken Slowick and Kenneth Merrill.
Heather McConnell: apprentice teacher, media intern
Heather McConnell is a dynamic young artist currently based in Philadelphia, lauded by Opera Canada for her “outstanding… mature, dramatic voice [which] soared passionately and exquisitely.” She recently completed her Master of Music in Voice Performance at Temple University, and she also holds a Bachelor of Music from Gettysburg College. During her undergraduate degree, Heather distinguished herself not only as a performer but also as a teacher, and she served as a Peer Learning Associate, tutoring students, running review sessions, and occasionally giving guest lectures. Temple University recognized Heather’s teaching ability, and she served as a Teaching Assistant during her graduate studies. At Temple, she taught classes as well as private lessons for theatre majors and non-voice majors. Heather currently maintains a growing voice studio. She specializes in helping students create a strong technical foundation that they can bring to any genre and providing an outlet for career planning. Heather prides herself on working with each student to create a program of training that addresses their individual goals and needs.
Heather draws on her extensive performance experience to inform her teaching. In the 2020-2021 season, Heather will appear as Lisa in La sonnambula and Giulietta in Les contes d’Hoffmann. Operatic highlights include La voix humaine (Elle), Le pauvre matelot (Sa femme), Don Giovanni (Donna Anna), Così fan tutte (Fiordiligi), and Dido and Aeneas (Dido). Ms. McConnell’s repertoire also includes Eugene Onegin (Tatyana) and Dialogues des Carmélites (Blanche de la Force), as well as scenes from Carmen (Micäela), Susannah (Susannah), Die Zauberflöte (Pamina), and L’incoronazione di Poppea (Poppea). A versatile performer, she also appeared in a wide variety of theater, including How to Succeed… (Miss Jones), Into the Woods (Cinderella), In the Next Room… (Catherine Givings), and The Scarlet Pimpernel (Marguerite). Her artistry has been recognized by the Boyer College of Music and Dance, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Presser Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Sunderman Conservatory, and Chester County Choral Society.