Teaching has been Jacquelyn Culpepper’s passion since she was still a student. The international operatic soprano, who is the artist associate of voice at Davidson College, began tutoring voice students in college. In her career, she has performed 85 roles in opera and oratorio. Today, she helps her pupils build a strong foundation in singing.
Healthy voice: Culpepper encourages her high school and college-age students to sing vocal music compositions – called art songs – and wait to take on the full, physically-demanding mantle of opera. “If someone says they want to be a ballerina, you don’t just hand them a pair of toe shoes,” Culpepper said.
Vocational training: Even though some of Culpepper’s students will not go on to musical careers, their training will prepare them for other professions. “The process and the learning is what’s important,” said Culpepper.
Learning from students: Culpepper has sung since childhood – and performed in the United States, South America, and Asia, among others – but her more seasoned students still surprise her. “They’re very interested in keeping their voices in good shape,” said Culpepper. “The inspiration they give me is tremendous.” Joanne Spataro, Correspondent