Bettina Sheppard

Bettina’s works reflect her varied background as singer, pianist, and composer, after many years spent in dramatic and musical theatre.  Growing up in a half Welsh, half American household, there was ample opportunity to explore Celtic music and culture, which greatly colored her musical sensibilities and choices of source material.   Now her writing is multi-ethnic and demonstrates a fusion of many styles.  She holds graduate degrees from both University of Virginia and CUNY, where she studied composition with Chris Theofanidis and Shafer Mahoney, as well as composition studies at Juilliard with Conrad Cummings. Dual undergraduate degrees were in piano performance and philosophy.

Some of her works include a song cycle of Emily Dickinson poetry performed at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall; settings of Millay poetry commissioned for the American Cathedral in Paris; a song cycle of Misuzu Kaneko poetry; stage productions, including TraumNovela (Barrow Street Theatre, Barcelona, Dallas); 365 Days/365 Plays by Pulitzer prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks at Barrow Street Theatre and The Public Theater; Hell (dance production at City Center); The Picture of Dorian Grey; Kindly Direct Me To Hell: An Evening With Dorothy Parker.

Bettina is currently a member of C4, the Choral Composer/Conductor Collective based in New York City, and has written numerous pieces for the group.  As both singer and composer, she created the new group Bridges Vocal Ensemble, presenting her compositions of various cultures and time periods, in venues such as Carnegie Hall and City Center. Bettina is presently working on the new opera Stillwaters, which features Native American ghosts . Also in the works is an opera based on Welsh folk tales of The Mabinogion. Solus, her CD of original material was released under her Welsh name, Brythonwen.

Serving as musical director for numerous theatrical productions, she has also directed and performed with many vocal groups from madrigal to rock, and created the jazz harmony group Satin Dolls.  She is the in-house composer for New York Open Center, and a member of The Sound and Music Institute, an innovative group of multicultural musicians who are exploring the effects of both archaic and modern music in today’s world. Members include Grammy Award winner David Darling, the late Don Campbell, John Beaulieu, Silvia Nakkach, and Pat Moffit Cook.  Bettina is the author of The Everything Singing Book, published by Adams Media, and is on faculty at City College CUNY.  She also teaches voice classes at Broadway Dance Center, and has recently opened her own school for singers (SAVA, Sheppard Academy of Vocal Arts).

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Love Is Anterior To Life