A native of Kansas, Dorothy Barnhart received her degree in music education from Kansas University, and a Master’s Degree in music education from Wichita State University. She moved to New Haven, Connecticut in 1979, where she established the Barnhart Voice Studio while studying conducting under Maestro Otto Werner Mueller at Yale University. At the same time, she served as the director of music at the First United Methodist Church of Meriden, conducting choirs and a brass ensemble. During her early years in Connecticut, Ms. Barnhart studied voice with master teachers Madam Marga Mueller in New Haven and Madam Eva Likova in New York City.
Ms. Barnhart was fortunate to sing under Robert Shaw’s direction during her college years in Kansas. Later in her career, she attended one-week choral workshops held at Carnegie Hall in New York City. She has also participated as a conductor at the Keene Choral Festival under Dennis Keene, Master Conductor and director of the choral group “Voices of Ascension,” and held at the Kent School in Kent, CT.
Ms. Barnhart was the Director of the Wallingford Chorus from 1990 through 1996, and taught voice in the music department of Choate Rosemary Hall of Wallingford for a number of years.
Ms. Barnhart founded Chorale Connecticut in 1996, a not-for-profit auditioned choral ensemble based in Meriden, CT. Since the Chorale’s inception she has served as its Artistic Director and conductor. Ms. Barnhart was also the director of The Travelers Choral Club, a non-profit organization under the auspices of Travelers Insurance of Hartford, CT, from 2006 to 2009.
Ms. Barnhart has studied singing with professional soloist and master teacher Beverly Myers in New York City and with Robert Edwin, a master teacher specializing in Broadway technique. She attends the Connecticut American Choral Directors Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing conferences whenever possible. The Chorus America’s “A Cappella Conducting Master Class” workshop held in Houston, TX in January 2010 gave Ms. Barnhart the opportunity to collaborate with other professionals and to refine her a cappella teaching skills. In 2011, Ms. Barnhart attended a vocal Pedagogy Workshop sponsored by the Boston Conservatory, which offered her a rare opportunity to acquire the most up to date information regarding voice production and vocal health, and to observe internationally acclaimed master teachers of voice. These exciting and intense musical experiences have served to expand and deepen the scope of her professional development.
In addition to directing Chorale Connecticut, Ms. Barnhart teaches voice in her Southington studio. She is also the director of the First United Methodist Church hand bell choir and substitutes as the pianist and Choir director as needed. She has served as director of the Southern Regional’s Choir.
Yes, Dorothy is from Kansas. However, after living in Connecticut for 34 years, New England has become her second home. She shares her life with Hannah Blue, a delightful and energetic standard poodle.