Conservatory of Music

From Bach to Broadway

Joan Ellison

Lecturer in Voice
M.M.T., B.M., Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Joan Ellison holds a Master of Music in Teaching and a Bachelor of Music in voice performance from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Daune Mahy. Further studies in belted and popular vocal styles and pedagogy were with Leon Thurman, author of Body Mind &Voice, and piano study with Robert McDonald and Sharyl Smith. Since 2002, she has served as Lecturer in Voice at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, teaching music theatre majors. She recently joined the faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music as Teacher of Popular Voice, and also serves as a visiting guest artist with the Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House M.F.A. Acting Program.

Ms. Ellison’s graduates have performed principal and ensemble roles on Broadway (Evita, Lysistrata Jones, Ghost: The Musical, Memphis, Rent, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, West Side Story, Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang, Young Frankenstein, Kinky Boots), Off-Broadway (The Fantasticks, Triassic Parq, Bare), in national touring companies (The Book of Mormon, Wicked, We Will Rock You, Grease, Legally Blond, Hair), in feature films and television, and with regional theatres (Paper Mill Playhouse, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, St. Louis Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Idaho Shakespeare Festival), as well as at the Cleveland Play House, Great Lakes Theatre, PlayhouseSquare, Opera Cleveland, and every other major Cleveland-area venue. They have also done commercial voice-over work and can be heard on pop, rock, country, and Broadway cast albums.  

In 2005, Ms. Ellison made her Severance Hall debut as a featured soloist with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra opposite Broadway baritone William Michals, and has enjoyed regular return engagements with the orchestra. February 2011 saw her debut with the Erie Philharmonic in “The Music of Richard Rodgers” under the baton of Carl Topilow and a return for the Phil’s Holiday Pops concerts with conductor Daniel Meyer. Her debut album, A Date With Judy: Joan Ellison Sings the Songs of Young Judy Garland, is available on iTunes, and she is currently recording a Gershwin album for release in 2013. A new concert for symphony orchestra, Get Happy: The Songs of Young Judy Garland, with arrangements by Paul Ferguson, debuts in 2014.

Recent theatrical roles include Julie in Carousel, Lizzie in 110 in the Shade, Nellie in South Pacific, Eliza in My Fair Lady (in-concert), and Claudia in Nine, as well as the revues A Grand Night for Singing and The Music of Jacques Brel. A specialist in vintage vocal styles, she has performed and arranged the radio-style concerts Gershwin On the Air (with duo-piano accompaniment and a girl trio) and A Date with Judy! The Songs of Young Judy Garland, among others, with multiple engagements at Stages at the Cleveland Play House, Nighttown, and on numerous theatre and concert series’ around the country (  She is a member of Actors' Equity Association.

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