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Solo Contest Judges


Bob Marks

Vocal Coach

Robert (“Bob”) Marks is a voice teacher, coach, conductor, arranger, author and director. He holds a degree in speech and voice pathology, and has taught at the American Musical & Dramatic Academy and the Weist-Barron School in New York. He has been Special Guest Instructor at the Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia, The New York Singing Teachers' Association (NYSTA) Professional Development Program at Columbia University, The Voice Foundation Symposium: Care of the Professional Voice, and at NYU's Steinhardt School of Education. He has given workshops, master classes and seminars internationally.His articles have appeared in several publications, including the internationally recognized Journal of Singing.

For several years, he was the host and musical director of the acclaimed Youngstars cabaret performances of professional children in New York City. His music arrangements have been heard on many compact disc releases of the “Revisited” series of recordings on Painted Smiles Records. He also had the honor of directing ragtime legend Max Morath in Ragtime and Again off-Broadway at the York Theatre.

He has been the musical director of over 200 productions across the country, including every style of music, from Kismet to The Rocky Horror Show. He has coached cast members of almost every current Broadway musical, and former students have included Laura Bell Bundy, Kerry Butler, Debbie Gibson, Ariana Grande, Nikki M. James, Ricki Lake, Constantine Maroulis, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Natalie Portman, Christy Carlson Romano, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Britney Spears, and Ashley Tisdale. He was a pianist with the Broadway and national companies of the hit musical Annie, and spent two seasons as the Associate Conductor of the St. Louis Muny Opera, working with such stars as Shirley Jones, Paul Williams, Carol Lawrence, and Vincent Price.

At a time when all styles of non-classical music were mostly ignored and misunderstood by singing teachers, Mr. Marks helped found the seminal Music Theatre Committee of NYSTA, which continues to be a key element in its programs. For over 30 years he has maintained a private voice and recording studio in midtown Manhattan. He is a member of American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP); New York Singing Teachers' Association (NYSTA); National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS); and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS).


He is regarded by many as being one of “the best in the business,” and is committed to bringing his expertise and experience to singers and teachers of singing so that they may reach their vocal performance goals. Recently, he published a book with co-author Dr. Elizabeth Gerbi, 88 Keys to Successful Singing Performances which is available on

Website for more info:

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Ivy Waltz

Soprano, Associate Dean,  Ithaca College School of Music, Theatre, and Dance

Ivy Walz is a mezzo soprano known for her exceptional musicianship, colorful singing, and dedication to collaboration. She enjoys an enriching career as a vocal performer, vocal educator, clinician, and administrator. She has appeared with Cincinnati Opera, Syracuse Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, the Spoleto Festival, Opera Ithaca, Tri-Cities Opera and Resonance Works. As an active concert soloist she has been featured with Symphoria Syracuse, Binghamton Philharmonic, Akron Symphony, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes. Her scholarship within art song by women composers is  flourishing, with recent performances such as a lecture recital comparing Robert Schumann’s Frauenlebue und Lieben to Libby Larsen’s Love After 1950, and song recitals Out of the Salon, and Art Song in a Time of Women’s Suffrage. Recent invited performances are with the International Music by Women Festival, Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, Finger Lakes Chamber Ensemble, SongFest, Cincinnati Song Initiative, Denver Art Song Project, Civic Morning Musicals, andMiddlebury Song Fest. She is an active guest clinician for summer programs, schools, and universities. She holds the DMA from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and a BM and MM from Ithaca College. She serves as an Associate Dean at the Ithaca College School of Music, Theatre, and Dance where she is also an Associate Professor of Voice.


Nancy Carson

Owner, Carson-Adler Agency

Nancy Carson, owner of the Carson-Adler Agency, is internationally respected for high quality representation of young performers. An expert in her field, Nancy has been interviewed often on international television and is sought after as a speaker at industry seminars throughout the U.S.

As an advisor to the Actor’s Equity Association’s Children’s Committee, Nancy actively works for the rights of professional children. In the early 80s, she negotiated for her young clients and set the standard for requiring tutoring for children on tour, and was instrumental in getting mandatory tutoring written into the Equity Production Contract for Touring Companies. More recently, Nancy has been on the forefront of the movement requiring Broadway producers to provide tutoring starting with the rehearsal period and continuing until one week after opening night.

Nancy was also a leader in the movement toward non-traditional casting of children, representing the first African-American and Latino orphans in Annie, the first Asian and African-American girls to play ‘Cosette’ and the first girl to understudy Gavroche in Les Miserables.

She is on the speakers panel of the Screen Actor’s Guild Young Performers Committee and is a member of the National Association of Talent Representatives. She is a member of the advisory board for Looking Ahead, the branch of the Actor’s Fund supporting young performers. Nancy is also the author of Raising a Star, published by St. Martin’s Press.

For more information visit:


Dan Callaway

Assistant Professor of Voice at Boston Conservatory

Dan Callaway currently serves as Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre Voice and Vocal Pedagogy at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Before that, he taught on the musical theatre faculty at Elon University — voice, script and score analysis, audition survival, and director of the program revues Collage and Grand Night. 

Theatre credits include The Phantom of the Opera (National Tour), Pippin (Deaf West/Mark Taper Forum), Sunday in the Park with George (North Carolina Summer Rep), South Pacific and Man of La Mancha (Triad Stage), Carousel, The Light in the Piazza, and Lombardi (Theatre Raleigh), Where’s Charley (Encores!), Sweeney Todd (Musical Theatre West, Ovation nomination), Putting it Together (South Coast Repertory), Pirates of Penzance (Guthrie Theater), My Fair Lady (Sacramento Music Circus), Jesus Christ Superstar (MUNY), and One Touch of Venus (Royal Opera House Lindbury Studio).

He lives in Ashland, Massachusetts, with wife, Melissa, and their two boys. He’s a nighttime cereal connoisseur, solid home cook, and a pretty big deal hugger.

Find out more and how to work with him at

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