Testimonials for John Murelle
I heard the voices of Christmas singing music of the season that reminded me of the meaning of hope, peace and goodwill toward men.
In the darkness of winter solstice, amidst covid and the bleakness that abounds, the voices sang out in a quaint New England village meetinghouse.
The young students of a local voice studio performed gratis for their families and their community. The church, founded in 1717, was the perfect stage for this beautiful performance. With its high-backed wooden pews and massive center pulpit, it provided the stunning backdrop for a lovely display of a Christmas tree surrounded by masses of colorful poinsettias.
The 15 singers, girls and one boy, were decked out in lovely, festive dress. They stood poised as each sang their solo piece. Accompanied by piano and flute, the music selections were both playful and holy. The performance was touching in its beauty and simplicity.
As I sat in the warmth of the soft church lighting, I felt the bond of the audience and musicians sharing a celebration of music and the best in all of us.
A worthy wish for always.
So, yes, there is a Santa Claus. Yes, there is the redemption of Scrooge. Yes, the story from long ago of a child born in a manger is true. The stories that love, kindness and connection can light the winter darkness and give us hope, peace and goodwill toward men.
December 21, 2021
West Barnstable MA
Cape Cod Times review
John Murelle has been an amazing vocal coach for my son, Christian, over the last 2 1/2 years. John taught Christian music theory, breathing techniques and performance etiquette. Because of John, Christian has learned to sing classical German, French, and Italian songs and has had the opportunity to perform them as well. John supported Christian in his endeavor to get into a music education program with voice as his “instrument”, and in fact we were thrilled when Christian was accepted into every music education program to which he applied, including the Hartt School of Music. John’s classical training, depth of knowledge, and connections with individuals at different universities have all been tremendously important to Christian. We are thankful to John for his belief in Christian as a singer and know that Christian’s confidence and future success will be due in large part to John’s efforts.
I was able to attend your studio recital this afternoon (came directly from a rehearsal of my own), and really enjoyed it. (It reminded me a bit of sitting on all the voice juries I have done over the years – I know lots of those Italian songs and arias:).
I am so impressed that you make this effort to organize such a traditional formal recital for your students, and the church is a perfect setting. The students all clearly take it very seriously, and presented themselves so well – a credit to your teaching. You have such an interesting group of younger and older students.
I loved that you used a “formal” recital format, but also didn’t hide your coaching the students as they needed it, and openly offered them so much support. Your pre-concert comments about their taking risks and needing support were spot on and so good for the audience to hear.
Many congratulations on this event, and especially on your teaching and commitment to your students – it was a pleasure to see and hear.
Dr. Amy Lynn Barber
Professor Emerita, Depauw University School of Music
I came into your studio wanting to go into musical theater, but you told me to try classical. I sang my first classical piece in your studio and now I’m in college as a classical voice major. Not only did you help me find my passion, but you also gave me the tools to succeed in it and I can’t thank you enough for that!
Voice Performance Major, Hartt School of Music
John Murelle has proven himself as a vital part of the New England teaching community. His students frequently are some of the most prepared and vocally organized high school students around!
Director of Vocal Pedagogy, Associate Professor of Voice – The Boston Conservatory at Berklee
“John is an absolutely fantastic teacher for singers of all ages! I came to study with him my junior year of high school and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. John helped me as a young singer learn the integral parts of being a musician like reading music, matching pitch, and pronouncing foreign languages.
He runs a very professional and energetic studio that demands commitment and focus from students, while still encouraging the fun of music. I not only improved immensely over my tenure with him, I was encouraged by him to participate in opportunities I never even would have known about. He understands not only the thriving arts communities of the Cape, but also the music world at large. He prepared me for not only my college auditions but paid concerts as well, always emphasizing how to present oneself in a professional manner. He facilitates many wonderful performance opportunities for his students, such as studio recitals and master classes with skilled singers in the business. These were some of my first experiences performing in front of people and in different situations and they both challenged and encouraged me as a singer. The skills John taught me, both in terms of performance and technically, I’ve carried on through my life as a musician and still think of whenever I walk into an audition. As a student now currently on scholarship working towards my Graduate Degree in Opera Performance, I have John to thank for a lot.”
Student of The Voice Studio of John Murelle
“It was a pleasure to work with John Murelle on a seasonal concert, Holiday Duets, at the Cahoon Museum. His performance, in our main art gallery, created a moment that can only be described as magical. From his assistance in organizing the details, planning and promoting, the experience was truly superb. Our guests are still talking about it! I highly recommend John’s work; his professionalism and level of quality with his music are top-notch.”
PhD, Director and Curator, Cahoon Museum of American Art
“Becoming an adult is a comprehensive process. It is a progression involving overcoming childhood insecurities and blossoming into a more confident person. Gail Carson Levine, a favorite childhood author of mine, states: “When you become a teenager, you step onto a bridge. You may already be on it. The opposite shore is adulthood. Childhood lies behind. The bridge is made of wood. As you cross, it burns behind you.” As a teenager, still transitioning into adulthood, I have experienced many moments of growth leading me across a “bridge” to the proverbial adult I hope to become. I have a love of music that has grown with each step, each moment that I have experienced, since the time I first listened to Elvis Presley or picked up a guitar.
My goal as a child was to overcome my stage fright. My first step towards it was the fifth grade talent show, in which I performed “Country Roads Take Me Home,” singing and playing the guitar in front of an audience. Not letting stage fright get the better of me, I sang and played as best I could, hoping for the approval of others, which I received. However, in eighth grade, I decided I wanted to try something new. I had grown to love Julie Andrews and wanted to sing Edelweiss for my final middle school show. While still shaky and nervous, I received praise from those I truly needed it from and accepted that not everyone-especially my peers-enjoys the sounds of different music. Deciding I wanted to sing songs other than the newest Taylor Swift single, I joined musicals in high school and got involved with the Drama Club. In tenth grade, I realized it was not enough for me; I was determined to take another musical step.
Finding my voice instructor, John Murelle, was one of the most influential moments in my transition to adulthood. He helped me conquer my stage fright, has supported me through all of my musical endeavors (including introducing me to my love – the classical world), and has aided me in becoming a better person. Without his help these past few years, I would never be where I am today. Whether singing my first solo mass at school or getting the lead in the school play, I was forever inspired as because of him I was able to harness the talent he recognized in me. With the blossoming of my confidence, I auditioned for an opera program at Westminster Choir College and have since attended the program for the past two years. Each time, I have been invited to participate in Master Classes and met people who both challenged and encouraged my own growth as an individual and a performer.
John convinced me to try out for an all-state level choir at the New England Conservatory of Music. I was invited to join the Youth Chorale as well as the exclusive Camerata group. This past year, I performed the Alto Solo in Debussy’s Trois Chansons (Second Movement) in Jordan Hall. I landed the lead in the fall play with 246 lines in “You Can’t Take It With You” and am considered a high level singer at my school and in my community. With each step in my musical career, I have outgrown my childhood stage fright and learned to love and embrace performances, taking them as they may and accepting that which I cannot control. While I still get nervous, I have learned not to let anxiety overpower me. My transition into adulthood is a combination of a multitude of moments occurring over time. Music has been the catalyst which has led me to become the young adult I am today; music which does not involve just one occurrence, but a lifetime of events that will continue to inspire and help me grow throughout my life.”
Student of The Voice Studio of John Murelle
“Falmouth Jewish Congregation hosted an outstanding performance in word and song entitled “The Jewish Voice in American Song.” Scholar Stuart Hecht joined with baritone John Murelle and pianist William Merrill to illustrate the various ways in which Jewish songwriters found self-expression and explored their Jewishness in the American new world.
The result was phenomenal: a program that informed and educated and truly moved the audience. John Murelle displayed command, versatility, energy, and sensitivity to each individual song and blended beautifully with William Merrill’s accomplished piano accompaniment. The sell-out crowd hung on every word of the narrative and songs and were visibly moved by this thoroughly moving and professional performance.”
Director of Lifelong Learning, Falmouth Jewish Congregation
Take 10: Peak Performance
“Boston is filled with music schools, so a lot of graduating students stay and open voice studios. Here on the Cape, private classical voice teachers are more of a rarity, which has made relocating to the Cape two decades ago a good move for baritone John Murelle, from both a business and a personal perspective.
Murelle has a busy performance schedule throughout the region, but at his intimate Route 6A studio he works one-on-one with aspiring vocalists. Some are high school students hoping for college scholarships and, perhaps, musical careers. Others are mature adults who finally have time to turn their attention to long-held personal goals.
What Murelle teaches goes well beyond how to sing, because true classical voice training naturally extends to include acting, audition techniques, ear training, music theory, music history, proper etiquette and protecting the voice from injury.”
Read the full article here.
Cape Cod Media Group
“Please extend our heartfelt thanks to your voice studio students who performed most recently at our library; it was a professional, energetic, and charming program. After all, what is Disney,if not charming? Indeed, your students captured that charm: they were in-character and clearly having fun. the caliber of your students’ performances was excellent! It was a special day for us, having the library’s halls filled with the joy of music.
And it was a pleasure to work with you to arrange the program: you and the level of professionalism you bring to your performances are a tribute to your field.
Making cultural programs available to the community is an important role for libraries. With their performance at the Osterville Village Library, your students made an important cultural contribution singing for the public’s pleasure.
Thank you for such a wonderful program and special day. We would look forward to hosting you, again, in the near future.”
Susan T. Belekewicz
Executive Director, Osterville Village Library
The Voice of Music: The Studio of John Murelle
“In the village of East Sandwich is a place where singers, young and old, are learning music from a man who has devoted his life to singing and teaching voice. John Murelle is the real deal. He hosted an Open House last weekend at his studio, a cozy, inviting room on the second floor in East Sandwich on Route 6A.
John extended a warm greeting to his many visitors, who were entertained by John Salerno playing lively tunes on the piano. At one point, pianist Lucy Banner joined him for an impromptu duet. A drawing for two private voice lessons was offered along with homemade cookies.
Several years ago I met John through the New Church in Yarmouth Port, where we led summer services for the Swedenborg Church that were arranged by Walter Chapin. John sang solo baritone and sometimes a duet with soprano Joan Kirchner. The magic of their music remains in my memory, though sadly these summer services are no longer held. Later I heard his students sing at First Night in Chatham and was impressed by the caliber of their voices and the variety of music they sang.”
The Barnstable Patriot
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to write a recommendation for John Murelle’s appointment at Cape Cod Community College. I have known and observed John’s work for at least twenty years. I am a friend of Mr. Murelle. However, I come to write this recommendation as a daughter of a vocal music professor at Ohio State University and as the president for 16 years of a university that has a nationally recognized School of Music. So, although I am not a musician, I am an appreciator of fine music and the teaching of vocal music.
I have attended many of John’s concerts, his student concerts and even taken a lesson in voice from him myself. Mr. Murelle sets high standards for himself and his students, and he works and supports his students to achieve those goals. This becomes obvious in the quality of his students’ and his own performances. Both my husband and I are academics. As such, we have had the opportunity to get to know some of the students personally by helping them through the college selection process. During those meetings we also had a chance to learn about John through their eyes. They have nothing but praise for his professionalism, his artistic mastery and his continued support of their dreams.
To that end, he has had great success in placing students in highly-regarded, collegiate music programs. I am also impressed with John’s versatility. He takes on genres from jazz to classical, from German lieder to Italian opera. This provides the students with a breadth of understanding of music. And all of this is done in a highly professional style and approach. John is an extraordinary talent and is passionate about his art. He transfers this to his students.
I recommend John Murelle to Cape Cod Community College without reservation. You would be fortunate to have this talented instructor and musician on your faculty.”
Madeleine Wing Adler
Ph.D., President Emerita, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
“As Executive Director of the Cape Cod Conservatory of Music & Arts, I have been able to observe John and admire his obvious dedication to his students. His passion and energy shine through when engaging students in their lessons and the results speak for themselves in the quality of his students’ performances at recitals, secondary education, audition and performance work. John is a true professional.”
Kevin M Howard
Executive Director, Arts Foundation of Cape Cod
“What a teacher! Not to mention the person!
My daughter found John Murelle late into her junior year of high school. With his guidance and mentoring, she was able to navigate her way through college music school applications and auditions with ease.
John is a challenging and demanding teacher, but also a thoughtful and patient one. He encouraged my daughter to study classically, and in doing so she is learning to use her voice to its full and natural capabilities — learning not only the mechanics of singing but the artistry as well. With the many recitals John puts on with his students, they gain experience not only singing different musical genres and styles, but also in performing.
His dedication and passion have fostered a love of classical music in my daughter (whose main focus had always been musical theater). John has made such a difference in her life, and has proved to her what she can accomplish with hard work and dedication. This fall she will be attending one of the top voice performance schools in the country.”
Parent of a Voice Studio of John Murelle student
“It is my great pleasure to write to you about the evidence of fine teaching that I have seen from John Murelle’s students. I have had the pleasure of working with several of them. I have one (a sophomore) in my studio now. I can say he was one of the best-prepared students I can remember having as a freshman in 40 years of college teaching. His technical preparation for college study was excellent with a good start on learning breath management, an understanding of resonance and a sense of vocal sound. He had, in addition, an excellent work ethic and understanding of style and performance. He had performed in public often and understood even as a freshman what it means to prepare for that responsibility. The number and variety of public performances that John offers his students is exceptional. I am grateful to John Murelle for sending us such fine students and the significant contribution he makes to our profession.”
Professor of Voice and Director of Honors at Westminster
Westminster Choir College of Rider University
“The Barnstable Senior Center had the pleasure of hosting a concert for the first time by the students of John Murelle on August 23rd, 2011. The concert was When You Wish Upon a Star, The Songs of Disney. I have not seen an audience so engaged and enthralled. Having been at the Center for three years, it is the first time I have seen a standing ovation and we have a performance here at least once a month. The following day everyone was asking when they would return for another show. We are all looking forward to seeing John and his students perform again at the Barnstable Senior Center.”
“Kudos to John Murelle and his voice students, whose wonderful concerts are known to many. Mr. Murelle not only brings pleasure and entertainment to feed the soul, he also makes very sure that people who attend these wonderful events are aware of the needs of the hungry families here in Sandwich. At each student concert he takes up a collection to support The Sandwich Pantry. These are the things that help us to carry out our mission to see that no family that we can reach will go hungry .Thank you, John. We are grateful to you for your efforts.”
Sandwich Food Pantry Director
Good evening John. A few things I would like to share with you this evening as we wind this summer down: first, your expert coaching with Lilly. I am sure you believe “in the magic of young girls heart“ and perhaps you have coached any of them, but for us, this precious child has done so well developing her instrument under your care for tutelage. We are so grateful to have found you by serendipity and for your interest and dedication.
The concert with your students was indescribably fabulous! Thank you so much for arranging all of that and for teaching all of these lovely people in their beautiful voices how to put together a show In the most difficult of times. Clearly you are not only a gifted artist yourself but also a great director.
…is that I appreciate it as does Lilly your expertise, your kindness and your skills. We feel blessed to have found you by whatever magical Forces came together to enable that to happen with this, of all years. Thank you so much. You rock!
The studio prepared me for audition season and helped me every step of the way. John is an amazing mentor and is very knowledgeable about the admissions process for music schools. Thanks to his lessons, I had my pick from multiple, very prestigious music schools.
I enjoyed your Spotlight videos immensely!!! I have subscribed to the opera, the piano series, the symphony and Steppenwolf Theater for over 35 years. . .but have never heard of these people!!! Your videos were extremely well done and your presentation was very interesting. Every time I see Fred and Ginger dance in “Swing Time”. . I will think of Dorothy Fields. And every time I hear “Some Where Over the Rainbow” I will think of Yip thanks to you.
Here I am in my 20’s when I met Mandy Patinkin at a summer festival. He also sings, “Brother Can You Spare a Dime”!!!
All The Best,