Gail Schoonmaker is an exceptional vocalist and instructor at Furman. A native of Charlotte, Schoonmaker studied under Frances Shafter before embarking on a singing career in Chicago. She sang professionally with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and the Richard Boldrey Singers.

Schoonmaker attended the Tito Gobbi Opera Workshop at Villa Schifanoia in Florence, Italy. Her solo performances include appearances with the Greenville Chorale, Music in the Mountains, Masterworks Choir, Brevard (N.C.) Music Center, South Carolina Baptist Convention, Charleston Southern University and the AMA Convention in Chicago.

An active member of National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) since 1978, Schoonmaker judged student auditions for the NATS South Carolina district and mid-Atlantic region. She also served as adjudicator for the Solo and Ensemble Festival of the South Carolina Music Teachers Association. Schoonmaker presented a paper, "Music and Ethics," for SAI Province Day. In addition, she was the chorus mistress for the Greenville Opera's production of Verdi's "La Traviata." She serves as music coordinator for Furman Chapel services.

Schoonmaker has helped a number of her students succeed in their careers. Her former students include Josh Copeland (first-prize winner of 2008 American Bach Young Artist Competition), Amelia Davis (soprano artist-in-residence for 2010-11 season of the Shreveport (La.) Opera), Erika Powell (district winner of Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, overall talent winner for the 2006 Miss America Pageant), Garrison Carpenter (participant in Bel Canto Institute in Florence, Italy), and Jazmin Black (2009 Young Artist for the Lyrique-en-Mer Festival in Belle Isle, France.)

Name Title Description

I believe in a positive approach to teaching and in showing respect to each student. I respect students by constantly encouraging them and reinforcing the need for discipline, daily work, and perseverance. While I value and teach the importance of acquiring healthy vocal technique, ultimately I want each student to arrive at the point where he is connecting his voice to his heart. When we share our hearts through our voices, we enrich our own lives as well as the lives of others. In that way, we serve the art of music.

  • Who's Who among colleges and universities
  • Outstanding Young Women of America
  • Who's Who among America's Teachers
  • Who's Who in America
Education
M.M.
Northwestern University
B.M.
Furman University
Training Under
Elizabeth Fischer and Norman Gulbrandsen
Northwestern University
Jerry Langenkamp and Bingham Vick
Furman University

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