Joan Ellison holds a Master of Music in teaching and a Bachelor of Music in voice performance from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Daune Mahy. Further studies in belted and popular vocal styles and pedagogy were with Leon Thurman, and piano study with Robert McDonald and Sharyl Smith.
Since 2002, she has served on the voice faculty at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory teaching music theatre majors, and is also a visiting guest artist with the CWRU/Cleveland Play House M.F.A. Acting Program. Ms. Ellison’s graduates have performed principal and ensemble roles on Broadway (Evita, Lysistrata Jones, Ghost, Memphis, Rent, Spider-Man, West Side Story, Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang, Young Frankenstein), Off-Broadway, in national touring companies (The Book of Mormon, Wicked, We Will Rock You, Grease, Legally Blond, Hair), in film and television, and with regional theatres around the country and in the U.K., as well as at the Cleveland Play House, Great Lakes Theatre, Playhouse Square and Opera Cleveland. Her students can be heard on solo albums in pop, rock, and country genres, as well as Broadway original cast albums.
In 2005, Ms. Ellison made her Severance Hall debut as a featured soloist with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra opposite Broadway baritone William Michals, and enjoys regular return engagements with the ensemble. February 2011 saw her debut with the Erie Philharmonic in “The Music of Richard Rodgers” under the baton of Carl Topilow and a return for the Phil’s Holiday Pops concerts with conductor Daniel Meyer. Her debut album, A Date With Judy! Joan Ellison Sings the Songs of Young Judy Garland is available on itunes and an all-Gershwin album is slated for a 2013 release. A new concert with orchestra, Get Happy: The Songs of Young Judy Garland, with arrangements by Paul Ferguson, will debut in 2014.
Recent theatrical roles include Julie in Carousel, Lizzie in 110 in the Shade, Nellie in South Pacific, Eliza in My Fair Lady (in-concert) and Claudia in Nine. A specialist in vintage vocal styles, she has performed and arranged the radio-style concerts Gershwin On the Air (with duo-piano accompaniment and a vocal trio), A Date with Judy! The Songs of Young Judy Garland, and others (www.circa1939.com). She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Revised August 2013
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