Position: Auxiliary Adjunct Associate Professor, Voice; Co-Founder, CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Location: Ruebush Hall, Room 235
Phone: (540) 678-4433
Employed Since: 1995
- Vocal Pedagogy
- Musical Theatre Singing Styles
- Commercial Singing Styles
Conservatory Professional Highlights:
Edrie Means, “rock star of vocal crossover” (The Cultural Feed), is an internationally recognized expert in training singers in all vocal styles and an active professional singer. She was the recipient of the prestigious 2021 Van Lawrence Fellowship Award. She was a master teacher for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Intern Program in 2013 and is co-founder of the Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah University. Edrie has presented numerous papers, countless workshops and masterclasses at national and international conferences. She is in high demand for her presentations and masterclasses on commercial and musical theatre singing styles. Edrie has presented at the Voice Foundation Symposium, NATS National Conference, Pan-American Vocology Association, the Southeastern Theatre Conference, Mid-Atlantic NATS, Northwestern NATS, and universities throughout the United States. As a leading researcher in functional voice training and healthy vocal production, she has authored research publications in The Journal of Voice regarding the teaching CCM styles. Edrie’s first publication in the The Journal of Voice (2003), led to establishing the Shenandoah University’s CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute. As an institute faculty member, Edrie teaches a course on singing styles. She is a contributing author for four books: “Teaching Singing in the 21st Century,” “The Vocal Athlete” (second edition), “The Voice Teacher’s Cookbook: Creative Recipes for Teachers of Singing” and “Training Contemporary Commercial Singers.” Edrie is on the Advisory Board for the NATS National Musical Theatre Competition, Advisory Board of the Voice Foundation and Advisory Board of the Pan American Vocology Association. An interesting fact: Edrie is the biological daughter of the King of Bluegrass, Jimmy Martin.
Her students can be heard on Grammy Award-winning recordings, on Broadway, Off–Broadway, national and international tours, regional theatre, TV (including “The Voice,” “American Idol,” “Kidz Star USA”), recordings, cruise ships, theme parks, films, New York City and regional cabaret venues, concert halls and opera houses worldwide.
As a performing artist she has been in demand as a contemporary music specialist. She has sung in the world premieres of works by Philip Glass, Jacob Druckman, and in “Kaballah” by Stewart Wallace, in which the role of Binah was written for her and a CD recording made with Koch Records. For Dominick Argentos “The Dream of Valentino,” broadcast by NPR, she created the role of Jean Aker; for Philip Glass “The Making of The Representative of Planet 8,” broadcast by PBS, she created the role of Klin.
Many performances have been broadcast internationally on NPR and PBS. She is recorded by Decca and Koch. Edrie has appeared in leading roles with the Houston Grand Opera, Washington Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Cleveland Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Mid-Michigan, Opera Grand Rapids, Pittsburgh Playhouse, State Opera of Cairo, Egypt to name a few. Guest artist with symphony orchestras including Houston, Cleveland, Corpus Christi, Victoria and the National Symphony. She has sung lead roles in musicals and operetta, including “Follies,” “My Fair Lady,” “Carousel,” “The King and I,” “West Side Story,” “Show Boat,” “The Sound of Music,” “The Merry Widow” and “Zorba.” She has served as a standby for Broadway stars Patti LuPone, Elaine Paige and Linda Lavin. She recently sang with Jonathan Pryce and Cloris Leachman in “My Fair Lady” at the Kennedy Center.
Edrie has performed principle roles with well-known artists such as Placido Domingo, Renee Fleming, Bernadette Peters, Linda Lavin, Elaine Paige, Rosiland Elias,Timothy Noble, Dihann Carroll, Tony Randall, Tommy Tune, Mirella Freni, Karita Mattilla, Suzanne Mentzer, Renato Capecchi, Paige OHare and long-time friends the late Eddie Bracken, Marquita Lister and Denyce Graves.
In addition to her operatic roles she has sung extensively in leading roles of musical and operetta production. Edrie was standby for Patti LuPone in the title role of Regina at the Kennedy Center and returned to the Kennedy Center for the new Sondheim production of “Follies” starring Bernadette Peters, Elaine Paige, Ron Raines and Danny Burstein. Lead roles in musicals theatre including “My Fair Lady,” “Carousel,” “The King and I,” “West Side Story,” “Show Boat,” “The Sound of Music,” “The Merry Widow” and “Zorba” to name a few.
Recitals in the United States and Canada include a New York City debut in the New York Festival of Songs Series with pianist Michael Barrett and guest artist with symphony orchestras of Houston, Cleveland, Corpus Christi, Victoria and the National Symphony. She was seen nationally and internationally on TV in the role of Suzy in the opera “La Rondine” directed by Marta Domingo, which was released on DVD by Decca in 2009.
Edrie was invited to sing at the birthday party of Academy Award winner film/TV/Broadway star Celeste Holm. She was also invited to sing for three separate award gala concerts for film and stage stars Dame Julie Andrews, Ben Vareen, Chita Rivera, opera singer Martina Arroyo and film star Eli Wallach.
Her students have been heard on “American Idol,” on recordings and have appeared in films, on Broadway and Off-Broadway, on TV, in cabaret, national tours, regional theatre, concerts and opera worldwide. Student Josh Bernstein was 4th place out of 45,000 entries for the “Kidz Star USA” 2011 Talent Search.
Edrie was one of six NATS members appointed by the current NATS President Donald Simonson to help the creation of the NATS sponsored National Music Theatre Competition. Edrie served as a judge for the competition.
Actors Equity Association(AEA), American Guild of Musical Artists(AGMA), Opera America, The Voice Foundation, National Association of Teachers of Singing(NATS), Pan-American Vocology Association (PAVA), Music Teachers National Association(MTNA), Virginia Music Teachers Association(VMTA).
B.M., Shenandoah University; M.M., University of Houston
Fields of Expertise:
- Musical Theatre Styles Specialist (Pop, Country, Jazz, Legit, R&B and Gospel)
“Soprano Edrie Means offered superb work as the maid Despina. She combined superb tonal clarity with vivid characterization.” Houston Chronicle, Charles Ward, COSI FAN TUTTE (Houston Grand Opera)
“Soprano Edrie Means sang brilliantly as Klin, the fruit maker.”Opera News, Opera Magazine, London, Los Angeles Times, William Albright, PLANET 8 (World Premiere, Houston Grand Opera)
“She is the one person I have heard who nicely sings in and out of each style effortlessly!” Richard Miller, International Pedagogue and Operatic Tenor
“What a Beautiful voice and Expressive singing – that’s the way songs need to be sung. Songs need to tell a story and Edrie told the story!” Celeste Holm (Broadway/Film/TV Star)
“Edrie not only has a beautiful voice, but was very expressive and sensitive with the text.” Angela Lansbury (Film/Broadway/TV Star)
“The musical theater revisions developed by Edrie Means Weekly were adopted for use by the Mid-Atlantic Region of NATS, which includes South Carolina. As president of SCNATS, I found that the revisions created heightened interest in singing styles appropriate for musical theater. Lively discussions among our teachers provided the opportunity to educate and inspire. Edrie’s leadership made preparing students and teachers for musical theater auditions both a challenge and a chance for growth.” Sharyn Mapes, President SC NATS
“A truly unique vocal talent, Edrie Means Weekly can capture the essence of just about any style of singing and then teach others how to sing that style with the same healthy ease.” Deborah Thurlow, State Governor MD-DC NATS
“Edrie Means Weekly speaks knowledgeably about vocal technique for both the classical and music theater singer. She is energetic, supportive and constructive as she works with individual students. A wonderfully gifted singer in her own right, she openly shares her expertise, and her beautiful voice to demonstrate healthy use of the voice for all styles of music. She is a must-have clinician for your Musical Theater students.” Maryann Sewell MD-DC NATS
“Edrie Means Weekly has been of immeasurable help to both the Virginia District and the Mid-Atlantic Region of NATS. A performer herself, she is very knowledgeable in both the pedagogy and repertoire of musical theater as well as classical singing, and we have benefited from her generosity of time and expertise as our consultant. Edrie has worked tirelessly to help our region develop recent changes in the music theater category requirements, putting us at the cutting edge of the national organization. We look forward to her leading a music theater pedagogy master class at our Regional Spring Conference at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina on Friday, April 3, 2009.” Dr. John Blizzard, governor, Mid-Atlantic Region National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS)
“Edrie Means Weekly is a superb operatic soprano, a powerful music theatre belter , and an experienced and highly skilled voice expert in many other styles. She is an excellent role model for the teachers who come to study vocal techniques for the various styles of Contemporary Commercial Music (music theater, jazz, gospel, rock, pop, Rhythm and Blues, country, folk, and alternative), as she is both a master of the vocal production demands and an experienced singing teacher. She guides others by her example and with detailed information about the musical and performance needs that singers must meet in order to have successful careers in any style.” Jeannette LoVeti, Singing Voice Specialist
“Edrie Means Weekly is a plethora of knowledge in the musical theatre styles! Her stylistic flexibility was impressive. Her positive reinforcement created a safe environment to experiment. She was able to adjust to various competency levels without skipping a beat.” 2007 CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute Musical Theatre Styles Class participant
“Talented Edrie Means sang with style such Gershwin numbers as Someone To Watch Over Me, and My Mans Gone Now. Even the verses were attractive. Means spectacular voice, effective acting, and depth of emotion should take her far. Her accompanist, Ruth Tomforhde, provided the perfect setting, making every nuance of Means even more effective.” The Eagle, Thyra Plass, NPR
“And highly impressive in this tuneful cast of more than 40 members was Edrie Means, who sang a hair-raising rendition of Climb Every Mountain as the Mother Abbess.” Washington Post, Leonard Hughes
“Friday night, Edrie Means made the rest of her performance as radiant as her first appearance. Means commanded the stage with her presence, and she led the rest of the cast in a beautifully staged production.” The Beacon Journal, Elaine Guregian, Maria in The Sound of Music Cleveland State Theatre
“Two of the finest performances of the evening belonged to Edrie Means as Carrie Pipperidge, and Marc Embree as Jigger Craigin. Means has a beautiful voice, which hopefully will be heard in future Grand Rapids productions.” The Grand Rapids Press, Julie Ridenour
I believe you never stop learning. Shenandoah University continues to be cutting edge and blazing trails in education. I have always been a mover and shaker, active in research, training and developing courses to further vocal education. Prior work investigating training of commercial voice resulted in the creation and co-founding the Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) Vocal Pedagogy Institute here at Shenandoah University that significantly influenced pedagogical training in voice instruction curricula in National Accredited Schools of Music programs nationwide. The collaborative atmosphere makes it a pleasure to come to work here.
Married to Peter Weekly with two children, Edward and JoyAna
The Official Website of Edrie Means Weekly
The CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute
The official website of the Shenandoah Conservatory’s Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) Vocal Pedagogy Institute, since 2003.