"The Holden Voice Program has allowed me to do something I've always wanted to do, but never could - taking voice lessons one-on-one with a teacher to improve aspects of my instrument that I normally wouldn't be able to do otherwise. Having been seriously investing in my singing endeavors since the 7th grade, I quickly realized I had a gift, but given my financial background, was not able to procure funds from my family to be able to pursue these aspirations. Meeting weekly with a voice teacher has given me the skills needed to be a leader amongst my choir and also the confidence to go out into the world and vie for positions in the singing world. Through the Holden Voice Program, I have discovered facets of my voice that I will forever take with me. Although I am going into the field of medicine, through this program I feel I have gained the foundations of singing needed, if ever I have an opportunity to sing in the future."
- Desmond Green, Glee Club '17
Taking voice lessons has been central to my development as a musician. I sang in choir only my last year in high school, so the repertoire choices and technical skill required in Collegium made for a steep learning curve, and I realized that unlike many people there, I had never formally been taught to sing. I started taking lessons my sophomore fall, first with Sarah Whitten and then with Harris Ipock when my class schedule changed and no longer worked with Sarah's. The past few years of lessons have taught me that my voice can go about a minor seventh higher than I had previously thought, since I didn't know how to access my head voice until I got individual coaching. I also learned proper breath support, posture, and other aspects of vocal technique that I was picking up here and there from choir rehearsals. Not only am I a better singer after these years, but I appreciate different styles of solo music, sing more healthily, and enjoy it even more than I did in the beginning.
- Emma Borgian-Wang, Collegium '17
The Holden Voice Program has been an integral part of my singing experience at Harvard and participation in the Harvard Choruses. Because of the Program, I’ve been able to receive voice lessons from high-quality teachers at an affordable cost, something I probably wouldn’t have been able to do if not for the financial support. From my perspective as a singer, it has significantly improved my singing abilities and also led to my desire to sing professionally after Harvard. From the perspective of choir management, the program allows many of our singers to receive extra training, allowing them to be musical leaders within their sections and the group as a whole and enhancing the sound and quality of the ensemble. And from the perspective of recruitment, the Holden Voice Program is another draw for potential singers to our groups (I personally know a number of singers who said one of the most important deciding factors for them between the Harvard Choruses and other groups on campus was the subsidized voice lessons). For me, the most important aspects of the Program are the high-quality training singers receive and the financial accessibility to that training for those who may not otherwise be able to afford lessons. The Holden Voice Program has allowed me to receive a conservatory-level education and training at an affordable cost within the context of my studies at Harvard.
- William Gardner, Glee Club '17
My experience taking voice lessons with Nathan Reiff through the Holden Voice Program has been incredibly enjoyable and beneficial with regard to my own personal vocal improvement and also my ability to contribute to the various vocal ensembles of which I am a member. When I decided to participate in the program this past fall I was hoping to improve my breath control and overall volume, and I have already felt a substantial improvement in both of those areas after only one semester of lessons. Nathan has also helped me to improve in several other areas in which I was previously lacking while also introducing me to some amazing repertoire. I feel that I now have more confidence and skill to contribute to the Radcliffe Choral Society, ‘Cliffe Notes, and Harvard FUSIAN, which are the vocal ensembles in which I sing. I always look forward to going to my lesson every week, and I’m extremely grateful to have access to the lessons.
- Amy Morrisett, RCS ' 19