Christine Holley is the owner of Vocal Ventures, a private music studio in which she has taught voice, public speaking and acting skills for over 20 years while also teaching music majors and minors in several universities and performing professionally on stage and screen.
In addition to her expertise in teaching adults and adolescents, Dr. Christine Holley’s eighteen years of teaching elementary music in public school has given her extensive experience in finding ways to build young voices. She knows how to get a healthy, age-appropriate vocal tone while keeping a young student from forming bad vocal habits at an early age. While teaching public school music, she initiated and coordinated a county-wide elementary Honor Choir, which she coordinated for the next six years before retiring from public school teaching to pursue new avenues of education.
Because of her emphasis on healthy vocal technique and stylistic musicality, Dr. Holley has taught students whose singing goals range from classical to broadway, pop, jazz, country, or rock. Her own extensive background as a professional singer, actress, model, choreographer, teacher and director in opera, musical theater, film and television has given her the ability to guide students in giving their best performance regardless of musical style. She has a keen eye and ear for analyzing and solving vocal problems while building a student’s musicality, stylistic expression, and ability to convey the meaning of a song to their audience.
Christine Holley earned a Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music in Vocal Performance degrees from West Texas State University and then went on to earn a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She has taught voice and music courses at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Southern Mississippi, Southwestern University, William Carey University, and Pearl River Community College.
Dr. Holley received accolades for her performances of a one-woman comic monodrama, The Italian Lesson, by Lee Hoiby, a well-known American composer of opera and song, Lee Hoiby. She did extensive analysis of the score and research for the role, including interviews with both the composer and the actress, Jean Stapleton (known best for her role in the hit TV show, All in the Family, she also had a background in musical theater as well) who premiered the work. Regarding Holley in the role as Mrs. Clancy in The Italian Lesson, Daniel Beckwith, conductor for the Metropolitan Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago, said, “Every characterization [was] well-thought out,” her ideas were “fresh and imaginative,” she had “spontaneous delivery” and she was “a true feast for the audience.” Tenor and acclaimed opera director Carroll Freeman said that she was “thoroughly convincing in her interactions to a parade of imaginary visitors and distractions.”
Christine Holley has been recognized as a “marvelously talented” singer, actress, and dancer by critics, audiences, and colleagues alike. About her performance as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, The Austin-American Statesman wrote that she had a “silky, smooth voice…. One can hardly imagine a more lovely or desirable target.” Gemze di Lappe, choreographer for the Broadway revival of Oklahoma!, incorporated more dance into the Holley’s performance of Laurie in Oklahoma! She praised Holley as “One of the best Laurie’s I’ve ever worked with.”
Dr. Holley used her theatrical talents as Assistant Director and Vocal Coach for Opera in the Ozarks. As a dancer, Dr. Holley took part in many workshops with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Twila Tharp, and Ballet West. Throughout her career, she attended or took part in workshops on opera and vocal literature by Martin Esepp, Elizabeth Schwartzkopf, Marilyn Horne, Gerard Husch, Flora Wend, Justino Diaz, Alan Titus, and Harold Heiberg.