Catching up with Mary Saunders-Barton

Sara Brennen
November 17, 2009

How did you first become interested in your specialty?

My classical vocal training began to intersect with a more speech-oriented singing when I started a career as a musicals theatre performer in the 1970's. I began to see the value of adopting a broader concept of vocal technique, and continue to believe in the advantage of developing flexible voices, capable of singing in different styles.

What is the most exciting or fascinating part of your job?

Finding out how different voices work. Looking for ways to unlock vocal potential. It's always part physical, part psychological.

What is your favorite aspect of working at Penn State?

The opportunity to interact with so many gifted colleagues. The sharing of information.

Where do you see your field 10 years from now?

The sky's the limit. Literally. It would have been inconceivable 20 years ago to imagine singers doing what they can do with ease today. The developments in the field of voice science have done much to allay fears about the possible physical dangers of certain types of singing.

When you're not working, how do you spend your free time?

Reading, traveling, spending time with family and friends, walking, exercising.


woman in red singing

Mary Saunders-Barton

Last Updated November 17, 2009