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Brenda Holleman

Professor of Voice

Music - Voice


My philosophy of teaching is to find the natural balance of each individual: that balance where the voice functions easily, with strength but without tension, and at its most beautiful. As a teacher, my goal is to truly listen: to empathize with students in the creation of their sound and to coach them toward their best, vocally, without imposing a superficial technique on them.

I take an individually tailored, holistic approach to each student. I believe I should teach my students autonomy. My aim is to teach them how to think independently. They should learn to think critically and understand the general principles of healthy voice function; learn how their individual instrument functions at its best; and know how their voice may function differently from others. Without these skills, one cannot successfully make the transition from student to professional.


Brenda Holleman joined the voice faculty of Oklahoma City University in 2001, following nine years of teaching at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney.  Her classical students have won major competitions including the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, the Joan Sutherland Vocal Award, and the Sun-Herald Aria Competition and include a finalist in the Placido Domingo’s Operalia – The World Opera Competition as well as winners of regional Met Auditions, the Met Young Singers Encouragement Award, Oklahoma City University's Stephen Dickson Award and Texoma Regional NATS. Her music theater students have performed on Broadway (Bullets Over Broadway, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Anything Goes, Sister Act); in national tours (including 42nd Street, Les Miserables, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Beauty and the Beast, Nice Work If You Can Get It); off-Broadway; and in regional companies across the United States.

Professor Holleman is a Priddy IV Fellow, selected as a member of a learning community whose mission is scholarly pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning, advocating arts integration across the curriculum through the exploration of new and alternative methods of course design and disciplinary expertise.

She grew up in the Chicago area, earned her bachelor of music degree from Illinois State University, and her master of music degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. She is an avid gardener, the mother of two sons, and lives in Edmond with her husband.

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