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Private Instruction

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Who AreWe?

Who Are We?

  • We are all professional theatre artists with a passion for education
  • We work in different facets of musical theatre, and are specially equipped to provide our students with a knowledgeable, well-rounded, and holistic approach to interpreting song.
  • We believe in teaching solid vocal technique through repertoire. When you study privately at DLC, you will add songs to your book while learning the mechanisms behind healthy vocal production
  • We are performers, music directors, and/or casting professionals in addition to teachers of singing and acting. As such, we can help you prepare for your next audition regardless of where you are in your development.

Tiffany Underwood Holmes – Resident Music Director

Tiffany Holmes
  • Who do you teach in the studio? Advanced students, TYA Professional Training Program participants, and TYA Scholars
  • What do you do outside of the private studio? I music direct TYA Senior Company’s shows, handle a lot of the administration and marketing for DLC, and play keyboard for some local shows. I also run medium-to-long distances, and enjoy traveling with my family.
  • What’s your favorite Broadway show and why? Once. The cast is also the orchestra. The story is compelling, the music is amazing, and it takes place in Dublin—one of my favorite cities in the world.
  • What’s your favorite thing about teaching private voice? I love teaching singers how to think—how to analyze what they’re hearing and doing so that they can solve problems and make decisions outside of the lesson studio. My favorite thing about teaching is seeing a student solve a problem on their own for the first time. You really see a big “A-HA”-style shift in what they are able to accomplish inside the studio and outside after that happens.
  • How long have you been teaching? I’ve been music directing theatre and teaching private voice for 12 years. Many of my students have gone on to matriculate at competitive college musical theatre programs around the country.

Dustin Merrell – Voice Instructor

Dustin Merrell
  • Who do you teach in the studio? I teach students of various ages who are seeking to better their technique. Sometimes we focus on a broad approach, and sometimes there are specific goals in mind. Most of my students concentrate primarily on musical theatre; whether the focus is on establishing healthy technique, building repertoire, developing audition skills, working lyrical interpretation, or preparing for college auditions, there are established end goals for every student who steps into the studio.
  • What do you do outside of the private studio? I also work as a musical director, accompanist, and composer (in both educational and professional theatre). I have directed at several Howard County middle schools through DLC’s offsite production program. I have worked as musical director at Howard Community College, Imagination Stage, Atholton High School, and the Carver Center for Arts and Technology. Professionally, I have music directed for Red Branch Theatre Company numerous times, and recently served as musical director at Adventure Theatre.
  • What’s your favorite Broadway show and why? Once on This Island by Flaherty and Ahrens. I belive Once on This Island is the perfect example of how effective a piece of theatre can be. The music is beautiful, and is perfectly woven into the story and characters. The show is entertaining, haunting, sad, joyful, and thought-provoking. Choosing a favorite musical is a difficult task; however I believe that few shows are as polished and well-constructed.
  • What’s your favorite thing about teaching private voice? Watching students learn to problem-solve independently. One of my goals as a private instructor is to enable students to think critically, and to empower them to reflect on their training when attempting to solve a problem, or clear a hurdle. When I observe this happening in real time, I know that the training is producing results. Furthermore, I cherish every moment in which something “clicks” with a student. Improving upon this craft requires discipline, practice, and plenty of reptition. When I see a student finally understand a concept– or finally “feel” something on which we’ve been focusing – I am filled with immense joy and pride.
  • How long have you been teaching? I began music directing and coaching for summer musical theatre camps about twelve years ago. I have been teaching privately for seven years.

Andy Clemence – On-Camera Coaching

Andy Clemence
  • Who do you teach in the studio? I teach private acting for film, TV and theatre to mostly kids from ages 10 to 17 as well as adults. This includes: audition technique, scene study, monologue preparation, audition taping, and tips and insights about the acting industry.
  • What do you do outside of the private studio? Outside of teaching, I’ve been a professional union actor for film, TV, theatre, and voice-over in DC, Los Angeles, and New York for over 35 years. I’m also a musician and am writing a musical about an infamous safe-cracker based on an O’Henry short story. I also do training for Federal Law Enforcement officers and I get handcuffed and shot all the time. FUN!!
  • What’s your favorite Broadway show and why? Hands down, my favorite Broadway show is CHESS. Although I should say the original London production of it, because the Broadway version was completely different and closed very quickly. I love it becasue the score has the most amazing symphonic/rock music with lyrics by Tim Rice, who I worked with personally when I directed the “London version” of the show in Virginia.
  • What’s your favorite thing about teaching private voice? Favorite thing about teaching private lessons is that it’s all about that student! They get the whole hour to themselves and don’t have to share the time with anyone else. I love to watch a student go from stagey, artificial performance to an absolutely real and natural one that is true to the actor’s own essence.
  • How long have you been teaching? I’ve been teaching for about 3 years. I also teach classes in “Acting” and “Audition Self-Taping” in DC.

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