Corinne Ness

  • Dean, Division of Arts and Humanities; Director, Master of Music in Music Theatre Vocal Pedagogy; Professor of Music
    Email Address:
    Office location:
    Siebert Chapel Office

    Professor Corinne Ness is the dean of the arts and humanities at Carthage, and the director of the music theatre program. Equally at home in classical and contemporary repertoire, Prof. Ness has performed in venues across the country. Her students have gone on to professional careers in opera and music theatre, with careers in performance, directing, teaching, and arts administration. Her students can be seen on stages in New York and Chicago, on national tours, on cruise ships, and in regional houses.

    Prof. Ness is a recognized expert in contemporary voice. She is a member of the Music Theatre Educators Alliance International, serving on the Advisory Board for Voice Instruction. In 2019, she presented at the MTEA conference on integrating learning theory into voice pedagogy. Prof. Ness has been invited to share her expertise on contemporary vocal pedagogy across the United States and Canada as a featured speaker for a variety of conventions, including the National Association of Teachers in Singing, the International Phenomenon of Singing, the Estill World Voice Symposium, the National Opera Association, and state music and theatre education conferences in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Prof. Ness has been featured in Classical Singer as a music theatre pedagogue (“Genre Wars” Classical Singer, Sept. 2008; “Deciphering Vocal Training” Classical Singer, July/Aug. 2010.) Her article on teaching music theatre was published in the Opera Journal in March 2014. Prof. Ness is a contributing author to The Voice Teacher’s Cookbook (2018), where she focuses on developing assessment practices in voice teaching. 

    Prof. Ness is a regular guest artist in China, and was named a Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Music Theatre with the Beijing Dance Academy (BDA), one of the top music theatre programs in China. Over the past two decades, she has regularly visited China as a guest artist and music director for educational productions at a host of conservatories including the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Beijing Dance Academy, Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts (SIVA), Zhejiang Conservatory, Nanjing University for the Arts, Xi’An Conservatory, and the Central Academy of Theatre in Beijing. Her frequent collaborations with music theatre professionals in China led to her invitation to serve as a keynote speaker at the 2014 Music Theatre Conference at Shanghai Conservatory. Prof. Ness established a Visiting Scholars Program at Carthage which provides opportunities for Chinese teachers of American Music Theatre to learn and study pedagogical methods.

    Prof. Ness is also a respected choral conductor, having spent the early part of her career as a choral music educator. She maintains an interest in arts education and arts advocacy. Prof. Ness has presented workshops at the Arts Education Summit in Chicago, as well as for Urban Needs in Teacher Education (UNITE). She is a past member of the Arts Advocacy panel for Ingenuity Incorporated, the lead arts advocacy and research organization for Chicago arts education,and served as a trustee for the Music Institute of Chicago. She was the Vice President of Wisconsin Women in Higher Education Leadership from 2018 - 2019.

    Prof. Ness earned a B.M. in choral music education from Northern Illinois University and a M.M. with honors in vocal performance from Roosevelt University. She earned her Ph.D. with honors in cultural and educational policy study from Loyola University Chicago. Her dissertation research focused on the pedagogy of singing as it relates to culture and representation.

    Prof. Ness joined the Carthage faculty in 2000.

    • Ph.D. — Loyola University Chicago
    • M.M. — Roosevelt University, Chicago College of Performing Arts
    • B.M. — Northern Illinois University
    • Certified Master Teacher of Estill Vocal Pedagogy, earned in 2010
    • Certified Public Teacher, K-12 Music, earned in 1992
    • MUS 0250 Private Voice
    • MUS 675 Contemporary Vocal Pedagogy
    • MUS/THTR 2620 Music Theatre Workshop
    • MUS/THTR 3400 Music Theatre History
    • MUS 400T Topics in Music: Music Theatre History and Criticism
    • MUS 5100: Voice Pedagogy: Anatomy and Function
    • MUS 5300: The Voice Profession: Readings and Issues
    • MUS 5500: Advanced Applied Voice
    • MUS 6310: Capstone Project
    • Racine Community Foundation $49,000 awarded December 2018
    • Racine Community Foundation $44,500 awarded December 2017
    • Mary Frost Ashley Trust $25,000, awarded 2016
    • Kloss Foundation $7,000 awarded 2016
    • William Blair Foundation, $150,000 (two-year grant) collaborator, awarded 2013-2014
    • Ness, C. (2018). Developing A Palate For Assessment.
    • In Brian Winnie (Ed.), The Voice Teacher’s Cookbook (pp. 86 – 88).
    • Florida: Meredith Music Publications. Ness, C. (2014).
    • Teaching Music Theatre. Opera Journal. Sobe, N. W. & Ness, C. (2010).
    • William Brickman and the study of educational flows, transfers, and circulations. European Education, 42(2), 57 – 66.
    • Ness, C. & Mossman, J.R. (2019). Balancing Art and Craft in Music Theatre Teaching. Music Theatre Educators Alliance international conference. New York; January 2019.
    • Ness, C. (2018). The Power of the Woman’s Voice. Wisconsin Women in Higher Education Leadership (WWHEL) Conference. October, 2018.
    • Ness, C., Morales, M. & Udry, S. (2018). Effectively Infusing Global Learning Into Student Experience – A roundtable discussion. Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) conference, October 2018.
    • Ness, C. & Hunter-Holly, D. (2017). Voice Assessment. International Congress of Voice Teachers. Stockholm, Sweden.
    • Ness, C. (2016). Estill Vocal Pedagogy as Curriculum. North American Summit. Estill Voice International. Chicago, IL.
    • Ness, C. & Hunter-Holly, D. (2016). Assessment for Private Voice Teachers. National Association of Teachers of Singing International Conference. Chicago, IL.
    • Ness, C. (2016). “Now You’re the Music Director: Tips for Choral Music Educators Teaching Music Theatre.” Wisconsin State Music Association (WSMA) Conference, October 2016. Madison, WI.
    • Ness, C. (2015). Belting Basics. Classical Singer Convention. Chicago, IL.
    • C. (2014). Contemporary Vocal Pedagogy and the Choral Instructor. Wisconsin State Music Educator’s Association (WSMA) Conference, October 2014, Madison, WI.
    • Ness, C. (2014). Teaching Music Theatre in Global Contexts. International Music Theatre Conference, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Shanghai, China.
    • Ness, C. (2014). Music Theatre Pedagogy for Teachers. International Music Theatre Conference, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Shanghai, China.
    • C. (March, 2014). “Arts Education in Chicago: Advocating for Change” Presentation to the employees of William Blair Corporation, Chicago IL.
    • Ness, C. (2013). Evaluating the Next Master Teachers: Methods and Materials for Mentors. Presented at the Estill World Voice Symposium, Harvard University, Boston, MA.
    • Ness, C. & Dennee, P. (2013). Choral Tone: Exploring The Range of Possibilities. Presented at the Phenomenon of Singing International Symposium IX, St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada.
    • Ness, C. (2013). Collaborative Learning: Integrating the Opera and Music Theatre Workshops. Presented at the National Opera Association, Portland, OR.
    • C. (June, 2013). “Arts Education in Chicago Public Schools.” Interview on WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio, with Naila Boodhoo and The Afternoon Shift.
    • Ness, C. (2012). Collecting Culture and the Teaching of Singing. Poster session presented at the Wisconsin Music Educator’s Association Conference, Madison, WI.
    • Ness, C. & Dennee, P. (2012). Starting the Conversation: Implications and Pedagogical Considerations for Music Theatre Singing and the Choral Setting. Presented at the bi-annual convention of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Orlando, FL.
    • Ness, C. (2012). Crossing Genre Borders: Music Theatre Techniques for Classical Singers. Presented at the convention of the National Opera Association, Memphis, TN.
    • Ness, C. (2010). Music Theatre Techniques for Choral Teachers. Presented at the annual convention of the Iowa Music Educator’s Association, Ames, IA.
    • Ness, C. (2008). The Great Ladies of Broadway. Presented at the bi-annual convention of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Nashville, TN.