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Elizabeth Benson

Elizabeth Benson

Associate Professor

Theatre & Dance

Elizabeth Benson

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211 Telfair Peete Theatre

Personal Website

Office Hours

By Appointment


DMA, The City University of New York Graduate Center

MM, New England Conservatory

About Me

Dr. Elizabeth Ann Benson is recognized as a dynamic scholar, pedagogue, and performer. Her book, Training Contemporary Commercial Singers is hailed as “a remarkable and long-awaited contribution to the world of voice pedagogy” (Journal of Singing). She has published research in Voice and Speech Review, The Journal of Singing, and American Music Teacher and regularly presents at conferences for The Voice Foundation, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Musical Theatre Educators’ Alliance, and the Association for Popular Music Education. She has been a livestream guest speaker with national and international organizations including the Grammy Awards MusiCares Program, NATS Chat, Institute for Vocal Advancement, Voice Study Centre, Vocology in Practice, and more. Her current research program examines issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging within the voice studio. In 2023-2024, she co-authored the fat liberationist articles “Anti-Fat Bias in the Singing Voice Studio,” (Journal of Singing) and “Fat Liberation in the Singing Voice Studio” (Voice and Speech Review) with Kate Rosen (Fat Joy Voice, Kate Rosen Voice Studio). In 2021, she co-authored the anti-racist article “Practicing Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging in the Singing Voice Studio,” (Voice and Speech Review) with Trineice Robinson-Martin (Princeton University) and Marisa Lee Naismith (Griffith University, Queensland Conservatorium). In 2024, that article was selected by Routledge to be part of a special collections book titled Voice and Identity (edited by Rockford Sansom). She has delivered guest lectures for New York University, Loyola University (Chicago), and Shenandoah University, and has appeared as a guest on the VocalFri Podcast and A Voice and Beyond Podcast.

Elizabeth is an Associate Professor of Music Theatre Voice at Auburn University, where she teaches applied voice for music theatre majors and class voice in singing fundamentals. She also regularly serves as vocal director in university theatre productions. Highlights include The Integration of Tuskegee High School, Spring Awakening and Into the Woods.

As a master class clinician, Elizabeth has presented for The New York Singing Teachers’ Association (NYSTA), for Colorado-Wyoming NATS, and at several universities and theatre companies around the country, including The University of Colorado in Boulder and Queensbury Theatre in Houston. She specializes in versatile vocal function, with stylistic applications spanning from opera to musical theatre to rock singing. Passionate about continued professional development, she has trained in Somatic Voicework™, the LoVetri Method, Lisa Popeil’s Voiceworks® Method, Estill Voice Training®, and Soul Ingredients® Method, among others. Through Vocal Health Education (U.K.), she earned both the Vocal Health First Aid (2021) and the Vocal Habilitation Professional (2023) certifications. She is currently working toward her certification as a Voice Rehabilitation Specialist.

Praised for her “delightful” (The Boston Globe) and “delicately compassionate” (Times Herald Record) singing, Elizabeth is acknowledged as a vibrant and versatile performer. In her Carnegie Hall début, she created the title role of Lucy by Tom Cipullo, and her performance was acclaimed as “excellent” (The Big City). She has sung leading roles with Loveland Opera Theater, Luminous Thread Productions, and Cabaret Otaku. As a 2015 winner of The American Prize Chicago Musical Theatre Award, she made her solo début at Chicago’s Symphony Center singing songs by Rogers and Hammerstein. She made her Telfair B. Peet Theatre onstage debut in her 2018 solo cabaret show: Weaving Stories: A Cabaret of Connections, which featured songs drawn from classical art song, musical theatre, and contemporary pop/rock. As a member of Opera on Tap Colorado, she performed regularly on the 2020 livestream concert series “Love in the Time of Covid-19: An Apocalypse Cabaret.” In 2022, she made her rock band debut with ThunderGypsy at the Hard Rock Cafe in Atlanta.

Elizabeth holds a master of music degree from New England Conservatory, and a doctorate from The City University of New York Graduate Center. She is both a graduate of the NATS Intern Program (2016) and a recipient of the NATS Emerging Leader Award (2012). She currently directs the national NATS “Conference Connections” mentoring program. She also serves as the International Mentoring Director for the Music Theatre Educators’ Alliance, and as the president for the Alabama Chapter of The Voice Foundation. In 2021, she earned the first ever College of Liberal Arts Diversity Fellowship at Auburn University, through which she created and directed a college-wide faculty mentoring program with a focus on equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. 



Benson, Elizabeth Ann, Training Contemporary Commercial Singers, Oxford: Compton Publishing, 2020.

Book Chapter:

Benson, Elizabeth Ann, Trineice Robinson-Martin, and Marisa Naismith, “Practicing Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging in the Singing Voice Studio,” in Voice and Identity, edited by Rockford Sansom, London: Routledge, 2024.

Journal Articles:

Benson, Elizabeth Ann and Kate Rosen, “Fat Liberation in the Singing Voice Studio,” formally accepted by Voice and Speech Review. Publication anticipated July 2024.

Benson, Elizabeth Ann and Kate Rosen, “Anti-Fat Bias in the Singing Voice Studio, Part 2: How to Make a Size Inclusive Voice Studio,” The Journal of Singing 79, no. 5 (May/June 2023): 653-660.

Benson, Elizabeth Ann and Kate Rosen, “Anti-Fat Bias in the Singing Voice Studio, Part 1: Culture and Context,” The Journal of Singing 79, no. 4 (March/April 2023): 503-512.

Benson, Elizabeth Ann, Trineice Robinson-Martin, and Marisa Naismith, “Practicing Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging in the Singing Voice Studio,” Voice and Speech Review 16, no. 2 (July 2022): 166-179.

Benson, Elizabeth Ann, James Stover, and Tara Snyder, “Dual Roles, Dual Voices: Analyzing Vocal Function in Hamilton: An American Musical through the Estill Voice Model™,” Voice and Speech Review 14, no. 1 (January 2020): 28-44.

Benson, Elizabeth Ann, “Reclaiming ‘Romantic’: The Art Songs of Tom Cipullo,” The Journal of Singing 75, no. 3 (January/February 2019): 253-268.

Benson, Elizabeth Ann, “Modern Voice Pedagogy: Functional Training for All Styles,” American Music Teacher 67, no. 6 (June/July 2018): 10-13.