Today Alexa is joined by Robert ‘Bob’ Marks, a voice teacher, coach, conductor, arranger, author and director. His extensive career has seen him act as a musical director for over 200 productions and his clients have included Ariana Grande, Ricky Lake, Sarah Jessica Parker, Natalie Portman, Britney Spears, and Ashley Tisdale. His writings have appeared in the Journal of Singing and he has recently published the book 88 Keys to Successful Singing Performances with co-author Dr Elizabeth Gerbi.
- Bob saw his first musical theatre performance on Broadway when he was five years old. It was Jerry Herman’s first show called Milk and Honey. Bob was much more enthralled with the conductor and the orchestra players than he was with what was happening on stage.
- Bob worked with many stars before they became famous. At the time when Natalie Portman saw him, she hadn’t won an Oscar. Britney Spears was sent to Bob by her agent because she had an audition for Les Misérables. Ariana Grande was the younger sister of Frankie Grande who was Bob’s student and had just landed a role in Mama Mia on Broadway.
- It’s a wonderful thing to be in control of your own audition with self-tapes. You don’t have to deal with a stranger at the piano or worry about tempo as you know what you’re singing with.
- Bob’s book is a collection of 88 short chapters, hence the title: 88 Keys to Successful Singing Performances. People can just read a chapter or two at a time and get what they need.
- His book covers vocal health, dealing with voice teachers, finding a voice teacher, finding a coach, and preparing music for the accompanist.
‘I learned a lot. I learned from my mistakes. I learned by my successes’
‘Now we know that the idea that if you sing opera, you can sing everything is not necessarily true’
‘Once people know who you are, they start calling’
- Handle: @bobmarks
Relevant Links & Mentions:
- Sheet Music: musicnotes.com
- Dr Elizabeth Gerbi: elizabethgerbi.com
- The Voice Foundation: voicefoundation.org
ABOUT THE GUEST
Robert (“Bob”) Marks is a voice teacher, coach, conductor, arranger, author, and director. He holds a degree in speech and voice pathology and has taught at the American Musical & Dramatic Academy and the Weist-Barron School in New York. He has given workshops, Master Classes, and seminars internationally. His articles have appeared in several publications, including the internationally recognised Journal of Singing.
He has been the musical director of over 200 productions across the country, including every style of music, from Kismet to The Rocky Horror Show. He has coached cast members of almost every current Broadway musical, and former students have included Laura Bell Bundy, Kerry Butler, Debbie Gibson, Ariana Grande, Nikki M. James, Ricki Lake, Constantine Maroulis, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Natalie Portman, Christy Carlson Romano, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Britney Spears and Ashley Tisdale.
He was a pianist with the Broadway and national companies of the hit musical Annie, and spent two seasons as the Associate Conductor of the St Louis Muny Opera, working with such stars as Shirley Jones, Paul Williams, Carol Lawrence and Vincent Price. Recently, he published a book with co-author Dr Elizabeth Gerbi, 88 Keys to Successful Singing Performances which is available on amazon.com