Conservatory Outreach


Conservatory Outreach Voice Adjunct Faculty

Robert W. Becker (voice private lesson teacher) accepts beginners to advanced professionals; a sample lesson is recommended.  His teaching styles include classical, musical theater, pop, rock, and gospel.  Robert works with the principle of releasing all interfering and unnecessary tension, manipulation, or interference of the voice. Attention is paid to releasing head, neck and shoulder tension. Natural breathing and air flow (support) are developed along with the understanding of using language and pure vowels.  Robert studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Irving Bushman and Eleanor Steber, Wittfield Lloyd Shanzer and Conrad Osborne, (N.Y.C.) acting, H.B. Studio (N.Y.C.), Berlin,Germany with East German Wagnerian soprano, Hanne Lore-Kuse.  He has performed with Goldovsky Opera Theatre, Cleveland Opera, at Radio City Music Hall, cantor, St. Pauls Roman Catholic Church, N.Y.C., member (year round position) of vocal quartet at the Hebrew Tabernacle of Washington Heights, N.Y.C., Iceland National Opera, and National Symphony Orchestra in Reykjavik, Iceland.  He established the very successful "Opera Gala", at La Dolce Vita, in Cleveland's Little Italy, that ran weekly for 13 years.  Robert is soloist at First Church Christ Scientist Cleveland.

Norma Codispoti (voice private lesson teacher) is a mezzo-soprano with a Bachelor of Music Education Degree and Bachelor of Music Degree in Voice Performance from Baldwin Wallace University.  She also has her Master of Music in Voice Performance from The Ohio State University.  Miss Codispoti has 17 opera roles to her credit, including two world premieres and has performed with Opera Columbus, Youngstown Opera, Cleveland Opera, and has concertized with Akron Symphony and Ohio Chamber Orchestra.  She has taught teen and adult voice classes, vocal pedagogy and private voice for teens and adults at the Beck Center and since 1980 for the BW Conservatory Outreach Department.  Her students have gone on to perform nationally in opera, music theatre, major choral groups, and have been major winners of competitions.  Miss Codispoti's teachers include Sophie Ginn at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory and Eleanor Steber in New York City.  She has been an administrative officer in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Foundation, President and Secretary of the Ohio Buckeye Chapter, and currently is the Great Lakes Liaison member.  Miss Codispoti also serves on the Governing Council of the Art Song Festival at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory.

Benjamin Czarnota (voice private lesson teacher and BW voice faculty) received his Master's of Music in Voice from Indiana University and his Bachelor of Music in Voice and Music Theory, magna cum laude, from Baldwin Wallace University.  Baritone Benjamin Czarnota originated the role of Mr. Webb in the world premier of Ned Rorem's operatic setting of Our Town. Other notable roles include Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Schaunard in La bohème, and Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro as well as roles in The Merry Widow, Susanna, Savitri, and Un Ballo in Maschera with companies such as Wichita Grand Opera, Cleveland Opera, the Janiec Opera Company and the Indiana University Opera Theater. He was hand-picked by world-famous baritone Håkan Hagegård to perform the role of Anton Chekov in Dominick Argento's A Few Words about Chekov in music written for the singer. He has also appeared as baritone soloist in the Fauré Requiem, Puccini's Messa di Gloria, the Mozart Requiem, and Handel's Messiah. Music theater roles include the Marcus Lycus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Father in Children of Eden, Jesus Christ in Godspell, and Teen Angel in Grease. His voice studies have included work with the internationally acclaimed lyric coloratura Costanza Cuccaro as well as master class performances with soprano Carol Vaness and bass-baritone Eric Halvarson. As a teacher, Mr. Czarnota is particularly interested in working with aspiring artists to cultivate a technique that will serve them well regardless of musical style with particular attention paid to the demands placed on the singing actor.

Samantha Fitzenrider (private voice instructor) received her M.M. in Voice Performance and Vocal Pedagogy from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and her B.M. in Voice Performance at Cleveland State University. Recently, Samantha obtained her M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology.

Studio objectives are catered to the individual offering a positive and practical learning environment, while providing tools needed in order to maintain healthy singing for life. Each student is taught at a level specific to their needs with special focus on personal voice goals. Studio candidates are interested in professional voice development: classical voice, musical theatre, acting, and public speaking. Those with previous vocal trauma or concerns are welcome and should expect a thoughtful, methodical approach to voice rehabilitation.

Samantha is a mezzo-soprano who performs in the greater Cleveland area as a wedding and church musician, as well as in local community theatres. She has sung with The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, and in various operas in Ohio and Illinois.

Tracy Grady (voice private lesson teacher and BW voice faculty) Click link for full bio.

Lynne Hoffman-Engel (voice private lesson teacher) is an experienced voice teacher, a professional performer, music business executive and advocate for arts entrepreneurship.  She serves as mezzo soprano soloist with The Church of the Covenant Choir in Cleveland's University Circle and has performed opera, oratorio, lieder and Broadway repertoire in Boston, New York and Atlanta.   Lynne holds a BA in Music Education from SAINT OLAF COLLEGE and an MM in Performance from THE NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC. She teaches classical and Broadway styles, focusing on developing a healthy singing technique. Lynne has taught voice in Boston, Atlanta and Cleveland.  As VP of London Records in New York, Lynne worked with artists such as Luciano Pavarotti, mezzo soprano Cecilia Bartoli, and Joshua Bell while maintaining her solo performing career.  In 2003, Lynne relocated to Cleveland to join TELARC RECORDS, winners of over 50 Grammies.   She has also been a guest speaker at professional artist development classes at schools in the Cleveland area. Lynne enjoys reading, biking, traveling and movies.

Sandra Simon (voice private lesson teacher) has been featured in the United States and abroad with many leading ensembles and artists including Tafelmusik of Toronto, Handel & Haydn Society of Boston, The Memphis Symphony, Red an Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, The Cleveland Pops, The King’s Noyse, The Baltimore Consort, The Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival, and was a recitalist at Steinway Hall in New York City.  On the opera stage, she has sung leading roles with Opera Atelier Toronto, Cleveland Opera, The Singapore Arts Festival, The Ojai Arts Festival, American Bach Project and Chautauqua Opera. 

Ms. Simon has specialized in works of the Renaissance and Baroque, but has a particular love for American Musical Theater.  A long-standing member of Actor’s Equity, she has appeared in dozens of regional theater productions.  Among her favorite roles are Johanna in Sweeney Todd, Marion Paroo in The Music Man, Cinderella in Into the Woods, Lizzy in Goblin Market, Cathy in The Last Five Years, Violet Hilton in Side Show, and Fosca in Passion. As an interpreter of new works, she is a frequent guest of the Cleveland Composers Guild, and along with members of The Cleveland Orchestra, is a core member of the chamber group Panoramicos.  She has recorded for Avie International, Koch International Classics, New World Records, Eclectra, and NPR labels.  Her most recent release with Apollo’s Fire entitled Come to the River was a Top 10 Best Seller, Classical Billboard Chart, USA, 2011.  Ms. Simon received a B.A. from Baldwin Wallace University, (formerly College) and a M.M. in vocal performance from Cleveland Institute of Music, and as a teacher of voice, loves to work with the singer/actor in developing sound vocal technique for performance in a variety of musical styles.


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