Cindy Townsend – Vocal (Soprano) 1990
“Warm, rich, clear and dynamic”…words written in various reviews to describe Cindy’s Soprano voice. She has performed on operatic and concert stages, across Canada, including her hometown, Saint John, New Brunswick and to Europe, including performances in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary, singing various roles from opera to musical theatre and concert work with from song to oratorio.
Cindy is a versatile singer who loves creating form the ground up whether that be in creating a role or a song program, which in the past was primarily for herself but now includes helping other singers to achieve their performance goals.
“Lois Marshall has been an incredible influence in my professional singing career and now very much so in my teaching.
Greta Kraus was another important person in my life as a growing artist. Greta’s depth to teaching German lieder is something that I feel so grateful for having experienced while at UofT.
My family was also a huge influence as I grew up in a musical family as the daughter of a trumpet playing big band leader. My sisters and I all sang together, often imitating the “Andrew Sisters”. We had many jazz and big band recordings and very few classical but one that we had was that of Lois Marshall. I listened to that recording over and over again and was in awe of all that my ears perceived.
As my studies progressed, I was able to audition for University of Toronto. I was so privileged to meet Lois Marshall and then lucky enough to study with her from 1990 until her death in 1997. I would not have missed one lesson with her as what she offered to her students was a wealth of professional experience and artistry that as I have grown in my career, I have come to appreciate fully.
She was my mentor and my friend, and I think of her every day, looking at her picture which sits on the piano that she left to me when she passed.
My story would not be complete without mentioning my family.
My performing career shifted to further teaching when my daughter was born in 2005.
Marasia has special needs. I mention this in my as I feel very fortunate to have had the musical life that I have and have been able to share it with Marasia, a child that absolutely loves music and thrives in its presence.
Teaching has become a wonderful focus now in my career as it has allowed me to be close by for Marasia’s needs.
In my studio, I believe that a solid foundation of technique is vital to any style in which a singer wishes to pursue. My goal is to achieve technical success allowing for the full development of the individual voice to be explored and challenged within the appropriate musical level.
I encourage both piano and theory at a young age, especially, and of course, a choral background for young singers is always a plus!
Providing an open and positive environment for each student to achieve their full potential is key and offering opportunities to think of the many possibilities of the voice and the music being studied is paramount.
Juggling all that is required professionally and personally is certainly a challenge but I would not have it any other way and look forward to all that lies ahead!”
Still singing, Cindy is a sought after teacher, adjudicator and RCM examiner.
She lives in Toronto with her husband Danny and their beautiful Marasia.
“ I am where I am today because of where I came from! I am so proud to call myself a Maritimer and even prouder of my musical heritage.
New Brunswick, a place where opportunity for any style of music in is embraced and fully appreciated, a place where I could do a comprehensive Bachelor of Degree in Vocal Performance at Mount Allison University, and a place where a Provincial Music Festival can offer all that is required to motivate a career in music. That was my experience when, in 1990, I won the “star” of the NB Music festival.
I won a cash prize that allowed me to start to dream of what could be beyond my current studies, and that included a masterclass with the great Canadian singer Lois Marshall, someone whom I had admired from a young age and could not ever have thought I would end up infront of to sing!
But I did because of the NB Music Festival. I sang in a masterclass working on Mendelssohn’s “Elijah”. It was scary and magical, but just enough to get my studies and soon to be friendship with Lois Marshall off the ground. From that experience, I moved to Toronto to attend UofT, finishing off with grad studies in Operatic Performance. From there, a career that has included many performances with incredible musical experiences has brought me to where I am now, a very satisfied soprano, still singing when I can, and offering all the positivity that I was so fortunate to experience early in my career to other aspiring singers. And to, of course, jungling a home life which includes my husband and our daughter, Marasia, who has special needs. Marasia is in a wheelchair, something which I had much experience with in my relationship with Lois, as from the time I met her, she too, was in a wheelchair. I surely did learn a ton beyond the music from Lois about overcoming personal challenges to achieve your life’s work.
So, see, NB Festival of music…all of this started with you…a career full of singing, teaching and wonderful life experience! Thank you!”