Meet the Teachers


SamSmallwNameSamantha Whitehouse:
Owner, Voice Coach

Sam trained privately for many years in contemporary singing at a voice instruction and recording studio in Boston. She also studied performance, recording and music business there. After several years as a student, she was hired to manage the studio’s voice department. She began researching and teaching voice privately in 2007. She continues to enhance her techniques through work with a private voice and piano coach, as well as attending classes in acting, music theory and musical theatre. She thoroughly enjoys helping others explore their own capacity for singing and to find their own voice, as well as creating opportunities for all singers to perform and participate in music at all levels of experience.

Sam has enjoyed performing ever since her first living room variety show as a little girl. Prior to moving to San Francisco, she performed in a diverse array of bands throughout the Boston area and upstate New York. In addition to voice coaching and running OpenVoice Studios, she continues to write music and perform locally.

Sam’s musical influences range include Sarah Bareilles, Melody Gardot, Etta James, Ani DiFranco, Susan Tedeschi, Bonnie Raitt, Gwen Stefani, Sade, Norah Jones, Mary J. Blige, P!nk, Erykah Badu and many more.

 

Molly Kozma: head teacherMolly Kozma:
Head Voice Coach

Molly began dancing and singing when she was a toddler, and hasn’t slowed down since. Her love for Tap and Jazz dance opened her eyes to Musical Theater, which led quickly to Jazz, R&B, and Pop music. She studied Musical Theater at Young Performers Theatre Arts Academy here in San Francisco as a teenager, and went on to study at Blue Bear School of Music, and most recently studied privately with Katie Guthorn. While earning her degree in Dance at Oberlin College, Molly sang with the female a cappella group Nothing But Treble, and was a featured soloist with The Obertones. She had the honor of working with vocal coach Rona Leslie in New York City, where she pursued her Broadway dreams and recorded her first contemporary solo demo. After a few years as a backup singer in Nashville, she made her way back home to San Francisco, and is thrilled and inspired to be a part of OpenVoice Studios!

Molly’s musical influences include Aretha Franklin, Rickie Lee Jones, Sarah Vaughan, Patty Griffin, Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, Whitney Houston, Allison Moorer, Jill Scott, and so many more!

In addition to teaching, Molly will be contributing to the overall growth and function of the business, from accounting and scheduling to streamlining the way information is coordinated across all studios, and handling about a billion other things so that the business runs smoothly.

 

Sarah Ennis:
Voice Coach

Sarah cannot remember a time when music wasn’t an enormous part of her life. Prior to embarking for college on the west coast, she studied under a number of different coaches in Chicago, including John Komasa, incorporating contemporary, musical theater, and classical technique into her vocal style.

Her passion for singing led to a BA in music from Santa Clara University in 2010, where she also developed a strong foundation in music theory. At SCU, she performed in a number of operas, musical theater reviews, and recitals, in addition to founding an a cappella group called Vocalicious.

Her influences include Regina Spektor, Florence and the Machine, Talking Heads, Rilo Kiley, Paul Simon, Kristen Chenoweth, Dirty Projectors, Belle & Sebastian, Arcade Fire, and many, many more.

 

Jasmine Pritchard: Voice Coach, San FranciscoJasmine Pritchard:
Voice Coach

Music has always been part of Jasmine’s life, and she has been singing since she was 5 years old. She grew up listening to musical theater and old 50’s and 60’s tunes, then developed her own tastes in pop, R&B and more recently, folk and bluegrass. She considers her favorites to range from Elvis and Neil Sedaka to Adele, Mariah Carey, Bon Iver and even Tupac. She has dabbled with many instruments, including the violin, cello, guitar, and flute, but is most comfortable on the keyboard. She has performed musical theater since high school in the Philippines, and participated in theater showcases in Berkeley, San Mateo, and San Francisco since moving to the Bay Area in 2009.

When she is not herself performing, Jasmine is very active behind the scenes in the local music industry. She works for 5 local musicians, a live music production company and manages an island rock band named SAGE. She has always considered herself a people person and is happiest when she is helping others realize their passion, whether it be in music, poetry, acting or the fine arts. Her favorite quote comes from Eleanor Roosevelt, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”

 

Amy Obenski:
Voice Coach

Amy has been writing, performing and recording her own songs for ten solid years.  She has  released four albums, toured throughout the U.S. and Europe, and has had a song placed on the TV Show, Grey’s Anatomy.

Her musical experience began at age five, when she began singing in her elementary school choir.  She continued studying voice and music intensively throughout her youth and into her adult life.  After college she began writing songs and performing, eventually becoming what is now a fruitful career as a singer-songwriter.

Though voice is her main passion, Amy also has many other musical talents, including classical piano, acoustic guitar, and audio engineering.  Amy is excited to bring her diverse experience to OpenVoice Studios.  Her basic singing philosophy is to “just relax, breath, and let your natural voice flow!”

 

Erin Haney:
Voice Coach

Erin discovered her love of singing after being placed in a kindergarten music class. As a child, Erin performed in show choirs and musicals and began playing piano and reading music at the age of seven. She then began studying voice privately and began teaching voice lessons when she was just 16 years old. Throughout her adolescence, she continued to perform and was featured in her high school’s advanced choir. One of Erin’s proudest accomplishments is that she was hand selected for the California State High School Choir, which performed in Sacramento.

In 2002 Erin moved from her hometown of San Diego to Los Angeles, where she studied vocal performance at Musicians Institute of Hollywood. This was where she honed her passion for contemporary music styles. While in school, Erin performed at dozens of venues in the Los Angeles area and sang in numerous bands and groups including a five part female a cappella group called Funk Divas. Erin continued her private studies under the direction of Dena Murray, an accomplished author in the field of vocal technique. She then began working in the business side of the music industry at artist management and marketing companies.

Erin’s musical journey then led her to Nashville, where she met and worked with many talented musicians. In 2010, she returned home to California – this time San Francisco – and began teaching voice lessons again. She is thrilled to be a part of the OpenVoice family.

Erin’s musical influences include Brandi Carlile, Adele, Heart, Bonnie Raitt, Celine Dion, Sara Bareilles, Mariah Carey, Alanis Morissette, Queen, The Beatles, Bette Midler, and more.

 

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Katie Meehan:
Voice Coach

Katie started singing with her mom, brother and sisters at the age of four.  Since then, she has always been involved in anything music based.  In elementary through high school Katie learned the flute, alto sax, and tenor sax, but her main passion was singing.  Katie is from Boston MA.  There, she studied voice with Jose Delgado.  She graduated from Salem State University with a BA in theatre performance and a minor in music. After college Katie lived in NYC for six years where she studied with Kate Pazakis.

Currently, Katie is getting her MFA in acting at the Academy of Art University.  She is thrilled to be a part of OpenVoice studios.  Some of her music influences include Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Ben Harper, Brett Dennen, Radiohead, Amy Winehouse, The Beatles, Billy Joel, Huey Lewis, Lou Reed and many more!

 

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Tracey Holland:
Voice Coach

Tracey Holland has been singing, performing, and studying voice for 17 years. She was fascinated by music from a very early age, hearing tales of show business from her grandmother- a singer, dancer, and actress herself (and one-time Bette Davis protégé!)- and singing harmonies around the house. Her early years as a singer were spent in choirs, and when she was 17 she moved from Los Angeles to Boston, MA to study at Berklee Collee of Music. “A large part of my decision to go to Berklee was actually motivated by a crippling performance anxiety that I had- ironically- always dealt with. I had always been a performer as a singer and a dancer and was no stranger to the stage, but had always had a group of voices to hide behind. I knew that if I was going to grow as a musician, I had to face those fears head-on,” she says. Being thrown into the deep end, so to speak, was a turning point for her in her commitment to a creative life. She eventually left Berklee to study at Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles, where she earned an Associate of Arts degree in Music/Vocal Performance in 2006.

Since then, Tracey has written for and fronted two of her own bands, and contributed vocals and collaborated with various other musicians, in addition to teaching voice. Specializing in a wide range of styles- from rock, pop, folk, country, R&B, soul, Americana, and blues- and performance/performance anxiety, Tracey’s philosophy as a voice instructor is to take the mystery out of the voice, help students understand their instrument, and ultimately find their own unique sound. Currently, Tracey fronts and plays percussion in Vandella, a rock/Americana/soul band that is heavily ensconced in the San Francisco local indie scene. As acting band manager and one-half of the songwriting duo of Vandella, she has toured the West Coast several times and put out two releases with the band- an EP, V, in 2009, and a fulllength album Fire in the Desert, in 2012. With a third release and more tours on the docket, she has a unique perspective on what it takes to be a frontwoman and songwriter, and how to lead a band in the indie/DIY-landscape of the music business today. As a teacher, Tracey pulls from all aspects of her background as a singer and musician to offer a dynamic and multi-faceted approach to vocal coaching.

 

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Jefferson Bergey:
Voice Coach

Whether it’s Motown-inspired acoustic soul, dirty groove-laden pop, barroom blues, or classic crooning, Chicago-native Jefferson’s Bergey’s multi-genred, sometimes theatrical style can be described as walking a thin line between softly-rocking and hardly-folking. He was trained classically at the University of Iowa yet has been applying and improving his technique ever since with any style of music that his head, heart, and larynx allows.

Along with occasional episodes of his whimsical web series (Bergey and the Buddha) he splits his time singing weddings and corporate events (Suite Love Express and Lucky Devils Band) and as the voice of Gregg Allman in Freestone Peaches. He’s also volunteered and performed at the Special Olympics Summer Games in Long Beach, The John Steinbeck Association in Monterey, and has played numerous private acoustic shows at the Facebook compound in Palo Alto. As a solo act and with various groups he’s shared the stage or opened for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, JJ Grey’s Mofro, Bob Schneider, Ari Hest, New Monsoon, amongst numerous other national touring artists.

You can find him on facebook, twitter, bandcamp, itunes, youtube, spotify or anywhere else the wizards of Google might direct you. He’s thrilled to be joining the teaching staff at OpenVoice Studios!

 

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