Leigh Usilton, D.M.A.
Owner, Voice Teacher, Voice Coach
Leigh is a proud "recovering academic" originally from Salisbury, Maryland and now making her home in Pittsburgh. After 15 years teaching in higher education, she realized that the formal structure of college did not allow for the personalization needed in voice study. Northside Voice was born!
She has performed leading roles in many musicals, favorites include The Pirates of Penzance (Mabel), Urinetown (Hope), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Olive), Ragtime (Evelyn Nesbit), Cabaret (Sally Bowles), Jekyll and Hyde (Emma), 1776 (Martha Jefferson) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (Miss Dorothy). She has also directed and music directed productions for students of all ages, from elementary to college.
Outside of the theatre, Leigh has performed professionally with The Auburn Knights Swing Orchestra in Auburn, Alabama, and was signed to MCA Nashville as a member of the pop-country group McAlyster. She holds the D.M.A. in vocal pedagogy and performance from West Virginia University, the M.A. in vocal performance (music theater concentration) from New York University, and the B.A in vocal performance from Salisbury University.
She lives in Historic Deutchtown with her husband Corey and their two cats, Pringles and Daphne.
My teaching philosophy:
Every student’s path is different, each journey specific to their individual instrument. While fostering a supportive and collaborative environment, I teach to my students’ personal strengths, while building up any weaknesses. Using my knowledge of vocal anatomy and physiology and the acoustic properties of the vocal tract, I identify causes of students’ vocal issues and devise the healthiest course for their continued growth as singers, musicians, and performers.
Technique, style, musicality, and presentation are discussed and addressed in each lesson. My professional goal is that my students may confidently and healthily sing across genre, finding freedom in their thorough understanding of the vocal mechanism and the musical style they wish to present. Through my guidance, students will learn to cultivate their passions and abilities for the remainder of their lives.
Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance: West Virginia University
“The Relationship between Kinesthetic Perceptions of Elite Music Theater Singers and Acoustic Measures of Voice Production Methods: A Pedagogic Analysis”
Master of Arts in Vocal Performance: New York University
Musical Theatre Concentration
Bachelor of Arts in Music: Salisbury University
CCM (Contemporary & Commercial Music) Vocal Pedagogy Institute: Shenandoah University
Voice Anatomy Lab
Respiration and Phonation for CCM Singers, Resonance and Articulation for CCM Singers,
CCM Styles and Performance Practice
Berklee Online - Popular Singing Styles: Developing Your Sound
Rock the Audition Masterclass Performer - Sheri Sanders
Music Theatre Belt Techniques Masterclass Performer - Jeanette LoVetri
Workshops and Guest Lectures:
Music Theatre and Classical Singing: What's the Difference?
Female Music Theatre Pedagogy
Voice Instruction for Instrumentalists
Music Theatre Performance Masterclasses
15 Years Experience teaching in Higher Education
Private and Group Voice, Vocal Pedagogy
Acting the Song, Music Theatre History and Research, Music Theatre Workshop
Cultural Perspectives of the Music Industry, Vocal Repertoire, Diction for Singers, Music Appreciation
over 15 Years Private Teaching Experience:
Music Theatre, Popular Styles (Rock, Pop, Country, Folk, etc.), Classical
*all Pennsylvania clearances up to date