Coaching

In a nutshell, my vocal coaching will make you a better singer in almost any style. Just as my classical training in art songs and arias—sung in English, French, Italian, German, and Latin—continues to help me sing big band and small group, my tips, tricks, and assessments will help you not only put your best voice forward but also continue to improve. Singing should be effortless and in tune with great style. My method is simple: Straight ahead and strive for tone.

Unless you are imitating a legendary artist or filling a pre-designed slot, the best thing you can do that nobody else can do is to be yourself. We mimic the greats en route to finding our own voices. As Mother told me, “You take a little bit from here and a little bit from there, but when you get in the kitchen, you just have to cook!”

JULIA RICH

Professional Reference – Larry O’Brien
Education
Experience
Endorsements
Accomplishments and Recognition
Reviews
Discography
Publications
Vocal Coaching
      – Technique
      – Presentation
      – Genres
      – Extras
      – Booking a lesson

 

Professional Reference – Larry O’Brien

“As music director for The Glenn Miller Orchestra, I worked with Julia Rich for 20 years. She was our girl singer and vocal group leader for most of my tenure with the band.  As a vocalist, she sings the melody correctly—which is rare—allowing her to dig into the lyric to try to express what the composer and lyricist meant to convey. She always succeeded.

“The instrumentalists who sang with The Moonlight Serenaders were not professional singers, but Julia made them sound like they were, both individually and in the group. Even through personnel changes, I could rely on Julia to keep the Serenaders sounding great, to do the tunes justice. She was never afraid of a challenge and always found a way to make it work; for instance, when I asked her to have the group start Dream a cappella and maintain the pitch and rhythm until I brought the band in. She was so successful with the vocal group, it enabled me to do some of the more demanding arrangements that weren’t as well-known as Chattanooga Choo Choo and Kalamazoo but were popular with Glenn Miller aficionados.  Julia also prepared the Moonlight Serenaders for our recording sessions.

“As for featured vocalists, some came to us fully equipped, while others brought the raw material—a good voice and musicality—but not proper technique, because the style isn’t prevalent today. Julia taught them to sing the songs in the style—with the correct melody—and to impart meaning and emotion to the material, so as to be acceptable onstage. She taught them authenticity and consistency: it had to be right and it had to be good, every day. The old singers—the ones who made these songs popular—sang the melody and let the song carry its own message. Of the great ones, I would put my friend and former band mate Helen Forrest at the top of the list.

“I recommend Julia as a vocal coach and a singer—absolutely”: Larry O’Brien – Music Director, The Glenn Miller Orchestra (1981-83, 1988-2010)

 About Larry O’Brien

“Larry O’Brien, my conductor since 1967, plays one of the finest trombones that I have ever heard. He was very recently highly complimented in that respect at the Rainbow Grill in New York City when, at the end of one of our shows, my father stepped to the stage and announced to the audience that after many years of listening to the great sound of Tommy Dorsey he has once again found someone whom he truly considers to be of equal stature”: Frank Sinatra, Jr. – Spice – liner notes

 

Education

Middle Tennessee State University – Bachelor of Music – Music Education, Voice Major – Studied Voice with Cynthia Perkins, Harriet Patterson, Neil Wright, Margaret Wright
President – Delta Omicron International Women’s Music Fraternity

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga – Coursework toward Master’s Degree in Music –Studied Voice with Phyllis Sahadi and Dr. Rebecca St. Goar

 

Experience

Glenn Miller Orchestra

  • Featured female vocalist (“girl singer”) – 25 years
  • Leader of Moonlight Serenaders vocal group – 17 years
  • Road manager or assistant road manager – 12 years
  • Booking agent – since 2008
  • Toured 46-51 weeks per year throughout the United States, Canada, and beyond, including 24 five-week tours of Japan
  • As road manager and vocal group leader, auditioned, hired, placed, and coached singers in all aspects of performance, individually and in groups
  • Played venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, Montreal Jazz Festival, World’s Fair in Seville, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, New Year’s Eve in Reykjavik, PBS Special in New York City, PBS Special in Baltimore
  • Worked with artists such as Rosemary Clooney, Mel Tormé, Helen O’Connell, Teresa Brewer, Kay Starr, Connie Haines, Jack Jones, Jerry Vale, The Mills Brothers, The Four Freshmen, The Four Aces, The Diamonds, The Count Basie Orchestra, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, The Pied Pipers, Buddy DeFranco, Erskine Hawkins, Les Elgart, Lynn Roberts, Buddy Morrow, Tony Bennett
  • glennmillerorchestra.com


Solo Artist

  • Singer and songwriter – since 1975
  • Recorded and co-produced five full-length albums, working on sixth
  • Recordings featured on TV’s Music Choice: Singers and Swing
  • Book performances, contract players, make set lists, write shows, consult on arrangements
  • Perform in clubs, bars, theatres, ballrooms, parks for concerts, dances, jazz festivals, fundraisers, private events
  • Work or have worked with Tony Migliore, Gary Weaver, John Propst, Jeffrey Steinberg, Lori Mechem, Johnny Veith, Butch Cornell, Paul Lohorn, Laura Hoffman, Jim Ferguson, Roger Spencer, Neal Starkey, Eddie Edwards, Bob Mater, Jim White, Bill Goodwin, Walter Hartmann, Bob Chmel, Rudy Petschaur, Eddie Metz, Pat Bergeson, Pete Bordanli, Joey Smith, Bill Washer, Denis Solee, Rickey Woodard, Marc Vinci, John Cowan, Mark Douthit, Don Aliquo, Rashaan Barber, George Tidwell, Andy Hagan, Lennie Foy


Booking Agent, Phoenix Talent Agency 
- since 2008

Public School Music Teacher, Church Choir Director – 10 years

Private Instructorsince 1975

 

Endorsements

  • “Larry O’Brien considers Julia Rich to be one of the best Glenn Miller vocalists ever”: excerpt from the book Chattanooga Choo Choo: The Life and Times of the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra by Richard Grudens
  • “A pure straight-forward singer of the tasteful school of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen McRae who looks as good as she sounds”: Jack Ellsworth – legendary New York DJ (friend of Sinatra)
  • “Julia was the best [grade level] Music Teacher we ever had in the CPS while I was Supervisor”: Jay Craven – Music Supervisor (23 years), Chattanooga Public Schools
  • “I’ve had the pleasure of seeing and hearing Julia perform on many different occasions through the years, and she’s always the consummate PRO. Her distinctive style comes from her varied experiences, and her ability to communicate with an audience is truly EXPERT”: Buddy DeFranco – NEA Jazz Master
  • “When I think of a true professional, my thoughts immediately go to Julia Rich. Her understanding of music, singing, entertaining, and the music business is unmatched. She has a solid work ethic that has certainly contributed to her success, from her years touring with the Glenn Miller Orchestra to her large recording output, including a great number of compositions and creative lyrics that showcase another side of her artistry. I would work with Julia any day…and am enriched that so much of my professional life has been side-by-side with THE CHANTEUSE”: Nick Hilscher – Music Director, The Glenn Miller Orchestra

 

Accomplishments and Recognition

  • Solo recordings including original compositions (The Irises, If I Spoke French, My First Love) currently played on nationwide television’s Music Choice: Singers and Swing
  • Original compositions (Two Afternoons in December, The Irises, My First Love, If I Spoke French, Tête-à-Tête) featured regularly in The Glenn Miller Orchestra show
  • Only female road manager in Glenn Miller Orchestra history
  • Longest serving “girl singer” in Glenn Miller Orchestra history
  • Tennessee Master Teacher, Level 3 – attained highest level scores
  • “…If I Spoke French has been our highest charting project by a Nashville-based artist and among the most requested projects of the year”: Greg Lee, Program and Music Director, WMOT/89.5FM 

 

Reviews

(selected, 1988-2014)

  • “I was floored with Miss Julia Rich’s magnificent singing style, vast range, and stage presence”: Gary Neustadter, Herald Times Reporter, Manitowoc, WI (1988)
  • “This lovely southern belle has a voice befitting her name, a style of phrasing to make any horn player jealous, impeccable diction and just enough coquettish mannerisms to keep the audience wrapped around her finger”: Tom Phillips, Marge Hofacre’s Jazz News
  • “Anita, June, Chris: each one made each song her own. Add Julia to the list”:Larry Rout, WOBO/FM 88.7, Cincinnati, OH
  • “Julia is as comfortable with an up-tempo tune as she is with a heart-wrenching ballad. Her voice and style are nice’n easy. Great phrasing and timing and excellent arrangements”: Al Monroe, WNTI/91.9FM, Hackettstown, NJ
  • “A crystal clear voice, sound phrasing, and the ability to establish rapport with the listener through her understanding of the played material characterize her performances…her sense of timing is faultless as she interacts with her instrumentalists in ensemble and individually…unerringly on pitch”: Dave Nathan, Jazz News, All Music Guide
  • “Rich’s physical appearance was incongruous with her voice. One would not picture the small, almost frail woman in the hot pink dress as possessing a voice reminiscent of Sarah Vaughan or Anita O’Day. Physical incongruities aside, Rich’s voice on ‘Stars Fell on Alabama’ and ‘More Than You Know’ was rich, deep and masterfully controlled”: Emily Chase, The Journal, Springfield, IL
  • “Julia Rich shows an allegiance to the big band forms of the ‘40s and ‘50s but also proves to be a very intelligent songwriter who can come up with a lot of witty tunes about love and life, such as ‘If I Spoke French’ and ‘Boyfriends’ ”: Jerome Wilson, Cadence Magazine
  • “Julia Rich wowed the house with ‘The Irises,’ her own composition”: John Cutler, Lincoln Journal Star, Lincoln, NE
  • “Julia Rich has a warm singing voice, a style that falls between swinging jazz and cabaret, and the ability to sing a wide variety of material. She is best-known for singing with the Glenn Miller ‘ghost’ Orchestra but has the ability to stretch herself far beyond nostalgia swing”: Scott Yanow, Jazz Critic, All Music Guide
  • “Julia Rich possesses one of the best sets of pipes in the business!” – Jack Lebo, Big Band Report
  • “Julia Rich is a lady who has her head on straight. In [our] post-interview chat the word ‘tasteful’ was mentioned and that seemed to explain the Julia Rich approach”: Don Kennedy, Big Band Jump, Atlanta, GA
  • “Ms. Rich, dressed in a form-fitted brown sequined mini-skirt-type dress, demonstrated her sultry style with a lyric. She offered fine renditions of ‘I’ll Take Romance,’ ‘Almost Like Being in Love,’ and ‘I Know Why,’…”: Stephen Fratallone, Jazz Connection Magazine , Weed, CA
  • “[Nick Hilscher]…used the full version of ‘Don’t Sit under the Apple Tree’ with Julia Rich singing the long female vocal. Julia was also featured on ‘Happy in Love’ and she sang one of the best renditions I have ever heard of ‘These Foolish Things Remind Me of You’…Julia just seems to get better as time goes by”: Miller Notes
  • “The performance of the singer of the group, Julia Rich (Nashville, TN) is also remarkable, via the accuracy and softness of her voice, in the rhythmic swing of ‘At Last’ or ‘Just Friends.’ A great sensuality with the romantic accents!” Myriam Sainson, Celebrity Brass, Sherbrooke, QC (2014)
  • “Julia has left her mark on the Shoals. If they didn’t know who Julia Rich was last week, they sure as hell know who she is now”: Rick Elliott, Owner, Ricatoni’s and City Hardware; Presenter, W.C. Handy Festival, Florence, AL (2014)

 

Discography

Solo Albums

  • I’ll Take Romance – Julia Rich
  • The Way You Make Me Feel – Julia Rich
  • If I Spoke French – Julia Rich
  • Witch Hazel – Julia Rich
  • Moonshine in Nashville – Julia Rich

Featured on

  • Moonlight Serenade – The Glenn Miller Orchestra
  • Here We Go Again – The Glenn Miller Orchestra
  • Swing Time – The Glenn Miller Orchestra
  • On the Air – The Glenn Miller Orchestra
  • Steppin’ Out – The Glenn Miller Orchestra
  • The Glenn Miller Spectacular – The Glenn Miller Orchestra
  • Timeless – The Glenn Miller Orchestra

 Videos

  • Glenn Miller’s Greatest Hits, Volume 1 – The Glenn Miller Orchestra
  • Glenn Miller’s Greatest Hits, Volume 2 – The Glenn Miller Orchestra
  • The Glenn Miller Spectacular – The Glenn Miller Orchestra
  • As Long as There’s a Morning – Julia Rich
  • Red Dress Tunes and Black Dress Tunes (4 videos from live show) – Julia Rich

 

Publications

    • 2010 – Sinatra Singing (book) – by Richard Grudens – pp. 257-258 – essay by Julia Rich
    • 2012 – Perfect Harmony (book) – by Richard Grudens – pp.89-91 – The Moonlight Serenaders and Me – by Vocalist Julia Rich

 

Vocal Coaching

Technique – to build strength, increase range, focus and enhance tone, improve pitch accuracy, blend registers, and keep the voice healthy and young

Vocal production

Breathing – Supporting the tone
Warm-up and exercises: scales, intervals, Vaccai
The jaw, the throat, the tongue, the mirror
Placement – The vocal line – The tonal center
Flexibility and freedom – Effortlessness
Your distinctive tone

Vocal independence

Discriminatory listening
Harmony singing – This against that
A cappella singing
Singing in tune

Vocal health and maintenance

Donald Mills (The Mills Brothers) said it best.
Rosemary Clooney’s take
Staying in shape, managing the schedule, embracing good habits
Finessing a tough situation – OTC
Decibel levels, for singing and hearing

 

Presentation – fundamentals for the performing singer

 Song-singing basics

Melody and lyrics – Tuneful singing – Making it speech
Finding your best key and your good range
Your style, the song’s style, the meeting place
The arrangement: meter, tempo, rhythm, form, flavor
The players, the feel – Intros and extros
Diction – Phrasing – Timing – Dynamics – Coloring
Rubato, legato, staccato, vibrato, straight tone
Bending the note – Licks and embellishments – Affectations
Telling the story – Serving the song – Milking the cow

 On Stage

Wardrobe, hair, makeup – Specific to the gig and/or your style
Getting on and off, bowing – What to do with your hands and body
Microphone technique – Adjusting to the sound variables, room acoustics
Monitors – Front of house mix – Decibel levels
Programming a show: set list and stage patter
On somebody else’s show: adjusting to the tone and perhaps the wrong key
Charts vs. tunes and keys
Getting the right players, rehearsing, listening, interacting
The audience and you
Decorum: onstage, backstage, all around the house
Hearing/seeing it on playback
Act vs. artist

 

Genres

 Standards and Swing – Specialty of the House

The Great American Songbook – Jazz Standards
The art of swinging – The art of crooning – The (rubato) verse
Torch songs and ballads, swing tunes and barn burners, swing ballads, stop time, instrumental fills, the Latin bag, novelty tunes
Composers such as: George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Rodgers and Hart, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Hoagy Carmichael, Harry Warren, Vernon Duke, Frank Loesser, Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields, Henry Mancini, Michel Legrand, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Peggy Lee, Ray Henderson, Herman Hupfeld, Fats Waller
Big bands such as: Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie, Jimmy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Chick Webb, Harry James, Stan Kenton, Les Brown, Nelson Riddle
Singers and groups such as: Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Billy Eckstein, Helen Forrest, Johnny Hartman, Jo Stafford, Vic Damone, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Joe Williams, Fred Astaire, Dinah Shore, Ethel Ennis, Helen O’Connell, Astrud Gilberto, Anita O’Day, Dick Haymes, Bobby Darin, Chet Baker, Doris Day, Kay Starr, Patti Page, Steve Lawrence, Nancy Wilson, Carmen McRae, Rosemary Clooney, Louis Armstrong, Bob and Ray Eberle, Nat King Cole, Cleo Laine, Bessie Smith, The Pied Pipers, The Modernaires, The Four Freshmen, The Mills Brothers

Vintage Pop, Country, and Folk – Especially ‘50s through ‘70s – Songs in this category have great crossover potential and can be sung as traditional jazz standards with jazz instrumentation or, like standards, can be adapted to your own inventive style and arranging.

Singers and songwriters such as: The Beatles; Smokey Robinson; Sam Cook; Hank Williams; Kris Kristofferson; Dottie West; Carole King; James Taylor; Bob Dylan; Neil Diamond; Michael Nesmith; Leonard Cohen; Donovan; Dion; Joan Baez; Joni Mitchell; Janis Ian; Lee Hazelwood; Van Morrison; Paul Simon (Simon & Garfunkel); Don McLean; Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys); Stevie Nicks; Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young; Buddy Holly; Phoebe Snow; Roger Miller; John Denver; Dolly Parton; Loretta Lynn; Jimmy Webb; Burt Bacharach; Sonny Bono (Sonny & Cher); Stevie Wonder
More singers and groups: Marvin Gaye; Linda Rondstadt; Gladys Knight; Dionne Warwick; Eddy Arnold; Ray Price; Judy Collins; Karen Carpenter; Nancy Sinatra; The Dixie Cups; The Supremes; The Everly Brothers; The British Invasion–Chad & Jeremy, Peter & Gordon, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Lulu, Herman’s Hermits; The Turtles; The Rascals; John Sebastian (Lovin’ Spoonful); Aretha Franklin; Patsy Cline; The Kingston Trio; Peter, Paul and Mary; Tennessee Ernie Ford; Connie Francis; Brenda Lee; Roberta Flack

 

Extras

Songwriting

Assessment of your original compositions
Lyrics, melody, style – Rhythms and rhymes – Groove
Form, e.g., AABA (optional Verse at beginning), ABABCB
A fresh way to say it – Keeping it catchy
Writing a good song is like playing a good solo.

Recording

Making an album, programming a project
Choosing keys, instrumentation, arrangements
Booking the studio, engineer, producer, musicians, arrangers
Preparation –Time is money.
Headphones and microphones
Listening back, making the right choices
Mix and master, artwork and design, song sequence, text
Photo shoots – Making a video
Manufacturing, licensing, distribution

Business and marketing

Selling yourself, networking, auditioning
Press kits, websites, videos
Building an audience
Building a tour, getting an audience to your gigs
Contracts and riders


Booking a lesson

Sessions are available in person or via Skype.
Sessions may be booked by the hour or according to the situation: master class, clinic, studio/gig support.
You may provide your own accompanist, sing with your tracks, or sing a cappella.
You may choose your own songs or learn new songs in a specific genre.
Private lessons: Upon hearing your voice, I will provide you with not only exercises but also a list of songs/artists for listening and singalong. This tune list will be specific to your voice and personality and will help develop and enhance your style.
You may take solo lessons or with your harmony group.
Onsite support is available for recording sessions, rehearsals, live shows, video shoots, photo shoots, wardrobe selection.
Assessment of or creative assistance with your musical project—writing a song, developing and writing a show, creating an album or website, help with text—can be booked by the hour or by the project.

Contact me for a consultation via the CONTACT page on my website www.juliarich.com.