Society Column: Renowned vocal coach helps prepare Carmel students for showcase

Are you a fan of “The Voice” or “American Idol”? If you love vocal talent shows, you will love the upcoming showcase of performers from the Midwest School of Voice. At 1 and 5 p.m. May 4 the young performers (ages 7-18) will sing in a talent show at The Warehouse, located at 254 1st Ave. SW in Carmel.

I was privileged to get a preview of the singers on March 23 during a master class with celebrity vocal coach Ron Browning at the Midwest School of Voice in Carmel, where 16 students moved up to an entirely new level of sophistication. Among those participating were Carmel residents: Elise Conour, Abby Dill, Nicole DiDonna and Alissa Firestone.

Browning worked individually with each attending singer to identify areas for improvement in performance. Some of his instructions fly in the face of traditional teaching.

“Throw the verses away.” “Lazy air is better.” “Use the Sarah Vaughn technique. Sing like it’s a big yawn and you’re bored out of your mind.”

Browning teaches students not to get caught up in the emotional aspect of the song. With the technique he teaches, the audience should feel the emotion of the song, which is what every performer wants.

The students were grateful to have the opportunity to work with the internationally known voice coach. Browning’s clients have included artists such as Patti LaBelle, Wynona Judd and Keb Mo, to name a few. His coaching includes singers from all genres, from country to lead singers at the Metropolitan and New York City Operas. He has travelled the globe with high profile singers, grooming them for events, such as The Nobel Peace Prize Concert Ceremony and for Royal Command Performances.

For the Carmel singers, Browning’s master class builds on the work of the Midwest School of Voice instructors. Founders Heather Ramsey Clark and Blair Clark are well-known celebrities in their own right and have added to the Carmel cultural milieu with the founding of the school in 2011 and with the new musical venue, The Warehouse, which opens May 4 for the MVP showcase. 

For information about the upcoming performance at The Warehouse, or for information about the Midwest School of voice, contact Alisha James at 997-5163 or

Tonya Burton is the Current’s social scene columnist. You may contact her at tonya@currentincarmel. com 

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