Mary Saunders Barton
Mary Saunders Barton is a Penn State Professor Emeritus, currently residing in New York city where she maintains a private studio for professional musical theatre performers. She is also an adjunct professor in the musical theatre program at Montclair State University. Her own performing career spanned twenty years and included Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional, television, and film credits.
While at Penn State, Mary served as head of voice instruction for the BFA in musical theatre. She also created an MFA in Voice Pedagogy for Musical Theatre with colleague Norman Spivey to meet the growing demand for voice teachers who specialize in vernacular techniques. In this and recent seasons students have been seen on Broadway in Wicked, The Music Man, Shucked, Merrily We Roll Along, The Book of Mormon, Funny Girl, Beetlejuice, Beautiful, Bandstand, Moulin Rouge, and Ain't Too Proud, among others, in addition to many national tours and regional productions. Graduates of the Pedagogy MFA have gone on to teaching positions at universities in New York, Massachusetts, Nevada, Virginia, the Netherlands, and Greece, and contribute to the profession in performance, writing, and research.
Mary is frequently invited to present master classes and workshops at universities and voice conferences in the US and abroad. She gave the keynote musical theatre presentation at the 2013 International Congress of Voice Teachers (ICVT) in Brisbane, Australia. She has served twice as a master teacher for the NATS Intern Program.
Mary has produced two video tutorials, Bel Canto Can Belto: Teaching Women to Sing Musical Theatre, and What About the Boys? The book "Cross Training in the Voice Studio: A Balancing Act" (2018 Plural Publishing) was the result of her collaboration with Penn State colleague Norman Spivey. She contributed Chapter 6 to the NATS publication "So You Want to Sing CCM," (ed Matthew Hoch) and is a contributing author in "The Vocal Athlete" by Wendy LeBorgne and Marci Rosenberg, the 2 nd edition of "A Spectrum of Voices" by Elizabeth Blades, and "Training Contemporary Commercial Singers," by Elizabeth Benson, to name a few.
Mary is the 2018 recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah University.
She is chair of the American Academy of Teachers of Singing.