VOYAGE MIA MAGAZINE ARTICLE
ABOUT MARY AND FLORIDASINGS
Meet Mary LaRae Walkley of FloridaSings[Voyagemia Staff]
Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary LaRae Walkley.
Mary has been working in music her entire life. She has a degree in piano performance and music theory. After graduating from college, she began her study of the voice with her mentor, Seth Riggs, in California. She currently has voice studios in Miami, New York, and Tampa, with many students singing on Broadway, on National Tours, and doing recording in the Music Industry. While she works with many professional singers on a continuing basis, she welcomes beginners and young people to her studios as well. Her technique, The Connected Voice, serves all styles, including but not limited to pop, musical theatre, R&B, jazz, alternative, reggae, and rock. She has had many students make the finals on American Idol and on The Voice.
She has started three successful summer programs: In 1991, with Anne Reinking, the Broadway Theatre Project, which was promoted by Playbill while she was still with that program, as the best training ground in the country for musical theatre.
In 1995, she founded the Speech Level Singing Institute in Los Angeles, which she administered for 5 years. In 2012, she was a founder for The Performing Arts Project, a training ground in singing, dance, and acting, which takes place at Wake Forest University every summer, and with which she is still associated.
Has it been a smooth road?
Working in the arts, with creative people, has been one of the great joys of my life. The gift of singing is a true blessing…. I get to sing every day, all day long!! My students are so hardworking and talented, and I learn from them every day. Any struggles or small bumps in the road pale in comparison to the happiness I derive from my job.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the FloridaSings!! story. Tell us more about the business.
FloridaSings!! is a voice studio, with locations in Miami, New York City, and Tampa. It offers private, one-on-one voice lessons with Master Teacher Mary Walkley. Also available are workshops and classes at your location.
FloridaSings!! specializes in a voice technique called The Connected Voice, which is a very commercial sound. This method of singing connects the voice from the bottom to the top, with no “break” in the sound. It results in a strong, connected range, which resonates with strength and beauty. For examples of this technique, please see the
“Student Videos” page on my website, www.floridasings.net.
As a company, FloridaSings!! is most proud of the success of our students. It is difficult to find a Broadway show or a National tour without a FloridaSings!! student. In the music industry arena, Mary is respected and recommended by many A&R professionals and by well-known producers, as she has turned out many working singers and recording artists. Her high school students regular gain admittance to top colleges, such as Berklee, Michigan, NYU and Carnegie Mellon, to name only a few.
What sets FloridaSings!! studios apart is the success of its students, and the background of Mary LaRae Walkley.
Through her association with Ann Reinking and Seth Riggs, and also through her association with the summer programs she has administered, she has met and networked with top professionals in musical theatre and the music industry. Not only does she provide top-notch training to her students, she has 30 years of experience under her belt, and is equally at ease with beginners and big stars. Her travel to New York City and Tampa studios from her Miami base has only broadened her networking and her influence.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
As time passes, Mary spends more and more time here in Miami at her home studio.
"Miami is a fun place to have a voice studio, because my student clientele is so varied…from kids to musical theatre students, to reggae bands, to jazz singers (some Grammy nominees there), to pop and R&B," says Mary.