Praised for her “delightful” (The Boston Globe) and “delicately compassionate” (Times Herald Record) singing, Elizabeth Ann Benson is recognized as a dynamic and versatile performer. In her Carnegie Hall début, she created the title role of Lucy by Tom Cipullo, and her performance was acclaimed as “excellent” (The Big City). She has sung leading roles with Loveland Opera Theater, Luminous Thread Productions, and Cabaret Otaku. Favorite roles include Áljana (A Little Princess), Hope (Anything Goes), and Jessie (Mahagonny Songspiel). As a 2015 winner of The American Prize Chicago Musical Theatre Award, she made her solo début at Chicago’s Symphony Center. In 2019, she was a national semi-finalist in the American Prize Art Song competition. She made her Telfair B. Peet Theatre onstage debut in her 2018 solo cabaret show: Weaving Stories: A Cabaret of Connections, which featured songs drawn from classical art song, musical theatre, and contemporary pop/rock.
As a master class clinician, Elizabeth has presented for The New York Singing Teachers’ Association (NYSTA), for Colorado-Wyoming NATS, and at several universities and theatres around the country, including The University of Colorado in Boulder and Queensbury Theatre in Houston. She specializes in crossover vocal technique, spanning from opera to musical theatre to rock. She is trained in Somatic Voicework™, the LoVetri Method, Lisa Popeil’s Voiceworks® method, and Estill Voice Training®. In 2016, she earned a position in the prestigious Intern Program of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), studying under master teacher Jeannette LoVetri. She was also honored with the NATS Emerging Leader Award in 2012. Dr. Benson maintains a small independent voice studio focused on fostering musical theatre and contemporary commercial vocal technique.
At Auburn University, Elizabeth is the music theatre singing specialist for the Department of Theatre. Since 2014, she has served as music director or vocal director in over ten theatre productions, including The Integration of Tuskegee High School, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Big Fish, most recently. She directed and music-directed Elegies: A Song Cycle and Puttin’ on the Hits (an original cabaret show co-conceived and co-directed with Auburn colleague Jeri Dickey).
Dr. Benson holds a master of music degree from New England Conservatory, and a doctorate from The City University of New York Graduate Center. She is the leading scholar on the art songs of Tom Cipullo. Her article “Reclaiming ‘Romantic’: The Art Songs of Tom Cipullo” is published in The Journal of Singing, and she has presented on Cipullo at conferences for the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She has published research on contemporary voice pedagogy in American Music Teacher and has presented on this topic at conferences for The Voice Foundation, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Association for Popular Music Education, and the College Music Society. Her book, Training Contemporary Commercial Singers provides detailed perspectives on the field of CCM voice pedagogy, and analyzes pedagogical trends according to topic (in press, Compton Publishing).
Benson, Elizabeth Ann, Training Contemporary Commercial Singers, Oxford: Compton Publishing, 2019 (in press).
Benson, Elizabeth Ann, “Reclaiming ‘Romantic’: The Art Songs of Tom Cipullo,” The Journal of Singing 75, no. 3 (January/February 2019): 253-268.
Benson, Elizabeth Ann, “Modern Voice Pedagogy: Functional Training for All Styles,” American Music Teacher 67, no. 6 (June/July 2018): 10-13.
Benson, Elizabeth Ann, “The Estill Voice Model: Theory & Translation,” review of The Estill Voice Model: Theory & Translation, by Kimberly Steinhauer et al., Voice and Speech Review 11, no. 1 (2017): 112-114, https://doi.org/10.1080/23268263.2017.1370810.
Benson, Elizabeth Ann, “Resonance and Voice Quality in Musical Theatre Voice Training,” The Voice Foundation Newsletter 22, no. 4 (2017): 7-8.