Deirdre Welborn Francis

Deirdre Welborn Francis
Associate Professor of Music, Voice

Associate of Fine Arts, Anderson (University)
Bachelor of Music Education, Furman University
Master of Music, Westminster Choir College of Rider University

dfrancis@andersonuniversity.edu

(864) 231-2001

What classes do you teach at Anderson

Applied Voice, Vocal Pedagogy, Vocal Diction, Conductor of the AU Women's Choir, Director of Contemporary Vocal Lab

What year did you start teaching at AU

1996 (full time since 2002)

Why teach at AU?

My grandmother was a 1921 graduate of Anderson (University) and later taught piano here. I graduated from Anderson (University) and now I teach here. I feel like I am giving back to a place that gave me such a good foundation and a place where I have such a connection. I love the beautiful campus, my supportive and encouraging colleagues and my students who continually strive for excellence.

Hobbies

Traveling, photography, exercising, community musical theater

People might be interested to know I...

I am a crossover singer, performing in genres such as classical, musical theater and jazz. I have a great deal of choral conducting experience, including the Anderson University Choir. I am a frequent choral clinician, conducting many honor choirs, including South Carolina Music Educators Association and American Choral Directors Association events and other public school honor choirs. I am also a specialist in children’s voice and have conducted community children’s choirs for most of my professional career, most recently the Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium Girl Choir. I have also served as a musical director in churches and maintained a private voice studio, each for more than 30 years.

How would you describe your classes to someone who has never attended one?

In the voice studio I strive to establish a sense of trust with each student. I am open and honest with students about my expectations, my requirements, my own experiences as they apply. I remain firm in my expectations. The students soon realize that I do have their best interest in mind, that I only ask of them what I know they are capable of giving, and that I accept nothing less than their very best, their maximum performance at each level. I encourage them, challenge them, question them, even provoke them to reach their short term and long term goals. I provide them with sound vocal pedagogy to meet each goal. I rejoice with them when they reach those goals, and quickly help them to establish new ones.   I believe to grow, to reach one’s maximum performance, to remove those things which interfere with our potential, one must take risks. I often quote opera legend Beverly Sills, “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you never try.” Whether in singing or beyond the field of music, I don’t want my students to allow the fear of failure to prevent them taking those risks. For as in music and as in life, the risks are great, but the rewards are many. If you're not making mistakes, you're not taking risks, and that means you're not going anywhere.

More About

Professor Francis has served as an officer in the South Carolina chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, having served as the vice-president, president and district governor.

Professor Francis is certified in Somatic Voicework through Jeanette Lovetri and the Institute for Contemporary Commercial Music Vocal Pedagogy at Shenandoah University.

Professor Francis is a Singing Voice Specialist who rehabilitates singers who've suffered vocal injuries; she is certified through Dr. Karen Wicklund and the Florida Center for Voice and Speech.