American Voices

A guide to the festival celebrating the past, present, and future of American singing


"I can’t remember in my lifetime when there’s been more knowledge in the general public, and interest... in singers and the art of singing, than now."

—Renée Fleming,
curator and host of
The Kennedy Center's
American Voices Festival

American Voices
Available on the iBookstore

Smart phones, email, and digital chat may be all the rage, but they can’t come close to the human voice. Our voices still remain the strongest and most immediate method of communication there is, and singing likewise remains one of the greatest ways to capture the imagination of audiences across countries and generations. It’s no wonder the voice inspires immense interest and study; but such study can bring confusion and frustration.

After all, what can singers and listeners do with this growing knowledge of the voice and of the art of singing? How can singers leverage this increasing interest to create a meaningful and lasting career? In a media world dominated by reality singing shows and vocal one-hit-wonders, how can singing be defined accurately and how long can it last as an art form? Formidable questions to be sure, but not discouraging enough to prevent acclaimed singer Renée Fleming and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC from seeking answers.

Over the course of one informative weekend, Ms. Fleming and colleagues from a variety of musical genres lent their talents and expertise to an unprecedented journey of vocal discovery aimed at educating young singers and seasoned vocalists alike. At this special conference, audience members were treated to a host of panel discussions, master sessions, performances, and even an evening concert designed to examine the broad history and exciting future of singing in America. What resulted were a series of invaluable lessons and a set of comprehensive blueprints for any up-and-coming vocalist.

Here’s your opportunity to “go backstage” at the Kennedy Center and see and hear about the unique pleasures and pitfalls of classical, musical theater, jazz, gospel, country, and pop singing. With this informative how-to guide that includes videos and audio segments from the festival, you’ll also learn the secrets to success from artists including Ms. Fleming, Eric Owens, Sutton Foster, Dianne Reeves, Kim Burrell, Alison Krauss, Sara Barielles, and Ben Folds on the art of singing. Plus, the guide is a powerful resource on vocal health and training, as well as an insider’s peek at music’s (ever-changing) business and technology. Whether you want to be a singer, know someone who does, or simply enjoy listening to the best singers in America today, American Voices will speak to you.



Eleni Hagen
Original Writer

Editors & Producers

Lisa Resnick
Content Editor

Kenny Neal
Manager, Digital Education Resources

Kennedy Center arts education resources have a new home!

© 1996-2019 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts  

ArtsEdge is an education program of

The Kennedy Center 

with the support of

The US Department of Education 

ARTSEDGE, part of the Rubenstein Arts Access Program, is generously funded by David Rubenstein.

Additional support is provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

Kennedy Center education and related artistic programming is made possible through the generosity of the National Committee
for the Performing Arts and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts.

The contents of this Web site were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not
necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal government.
Unless otherwise stated, ArtsEdge materials may be copied, modified and otherwise utilized for non-commercial educational purposes
provided that ArtsEdge and any authors listed in the materials are credited and provided that you permit others to use them in the same manner.

Change Background:

Connect with us!    EMAIL US | YouTube | Facebook | iTunes | MORE!

© 1996-2019 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts  
    Privacy Policy
| Terms and Conditions


You are now leaving the ArtsEdge website. Thank you for visiting!

If you are not automatically transferred, please click the link below:

ArtsEdge and The Kennedy Center are in no way responsible for the content of the destination site, its ongoing availability, links to other site or the legality or accuracy of information on the site or its resources.