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Focus Groups T-W: Voice and Speech Trainers Association

Voice and Speech Trainers Association

For more information about VASTA, click here to send an e-mail to the VASTA leadership.

VASTA is an international organization whose mission is to advance the art, research, and visibility of the voice and speech profession.


  • SERVE the needs of voice and speech specialists, teachers, and students in training and in practice.
  • ADVOCATE for those who work and study in the field.
  • PROMOTE the vital role of voice and speech specialists for all professional voice users.
  • BROADEN public understanding of the nature and importance of voice and speech use and training.
  • CREATE opportunities for ongoing education, and the exchange of knowledge and information among professionals in the field.
  • CULTIVATE diversity within our membership, and encourage a liveliness of thought and opinion.
  • UPHOLD and advance the highest standards of voice and speech.

VASTA VISION 2014 - 2023

  1. The Voice and Speech Trainers Association has had a long-standing commitment to advancing the field, professional development of its members, publishing, mentorship, diversity, advocacy, and international growth. While maintaining these on-going initiatives, the organization plans to use the following three charges to guide us as we move into the future.
    Share within our VASTA circle by increasing opportunities to learn from each other’s expertise, hear one another’s stories, open conversations, provide mentorship and nurture leaders.
  2. Expand outside our VASTA circle by creating initiatives to learn from other fields, invite new members in, and bring students to conferences.
  3. Engage with individuals and groups outside our field, offering our work to help empower their voices while opening ourselves to what we may learn in the exchange.


Read about what is happening with VASTA!

VASTA Conference 2017: August 4-8, Singapore at LASALLE College of the Arts — The Art of Storytelling

ATHE Proposals Due November 1!

Announcing a Call for VASTA Session Proposals for the 2018 ATHE Conference to be held in Boston from August 1-5, 2018!

The 2018 conference theme - Theatres of Revolution: Performance, Pedagogy, and Protest - is particularly provocative for voice practitioners as we look at the voice and body in performance and training.

For the following Proposals, the deadline is November 1st, 2018, 11:59pm, Central Standard Time

Workshops: Demonstrating practical, hands-on work.  Workshops usually have a minimum of three (3) presenters but can include more. These can be experiential or pedagogical in nature.

Paper Panels: A formal panel presenting papers/research exploring the facets of a single topic.

Panel Discussion/Roundtable: A more informal discussion of a single topic with three to five participants.

Multidisciplinary Panels: These can be any of the above formats, but must include multiple disciplines, such as VASTA and the acting focus group. Please contact Marie Ramirez Downing ( if you plan to put together a Multidisciplinary Panel. These panels must be sponsored by the focus group planners of at least one other Focus Group. Each Focus Group conference planner must be contacted. If you have an idea for a multidisciplinary panel but don’t have a group assembled, let her know and she can help you to reach interested parties from other Focus and Groups. Look on the ATHE website to see a list of the Focus Groups. Note: The presenting group does not have to contain representatives from focus groups but must have the sponsorship of the two groups.

For Debut Panels ONLY the submission process and deadline is different:

Debut Panels: We encourage First-Time ATHE Presenters who have short presentations to share, approximately 20 minutes, to share hands-on voice exercises and/or paper topics. Please send your “proposed exercise to present” or paper abstract directly to Marie Ramirez Downing ( no later than April 1, 2017.

If you have questions about the submission process or if you just want to talk through your ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact Marie Ramirez Downing at

We look forward to seeing you in BOSTON in 2018!

Representative Officers

Betty Moulton (University of Alberta)

Michael Barnes (Wayne State University)

Past President
Lynn Watson (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

Founding President
Dorothy Runk Mennen

Nataha Staley (Virginia Tech University)

Artemis Preeshi (Loyola University)

Newsletter Editor
Lisa Nathans

Associate Newsletter Editor
Lauren Murphy-Yeoman

Director of Annual Conferences
Micha Espinosa

Senior Tech Director
Michael J. Barnes (Wayne State University)

Director of Technology/Web Services
Adriano Cabral

Associate Director of Technology/Web Services
James Macon Grant

Director of Membership
Thrasso Petras (Douglas College)

ATHE Focus Group Representative
Rene E. Pulliam (The University of Mississippi)

ATHE Conference Planner
Marie Ramirez Downing (California State University, Chico)

ATHE Associate Conference Planner
Cynthia DeCure (California State University, Stanislaus)

Editor-in-Chief of Voice & Speech Review
Rockford Sansom (CMT-London)

Associate Editor of Voice & Speech Review
Jeff Morrison (Marymount Manhattan)

VASTA Archivist
Janet B. Rodgers

Brad Gibson (Srudio 58 Langara College)

Editor of VASTA Links Page
Amy Stoller (Stoller System, LLC)

Editor, Workshop & Events Page
Flloyd Kennedy (Being in Voice)

Social Media Coordinator
Judd Johnson

Social Media Content Manager
Foster Johns


Check our website for more details about programs, conferences, and a full list of board members and officers:

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