Gray Leiper is a Boston-based voice teacher and baritone who seeks to bring out the vivid storyteller that exists in all singers through classical, choral, musical theater, pop, rock, and jazz vocal genres. To him, the joy of singing is exploring how many different ways you can make a sound – how emotions, actions, and sounds we already know how to make can influence our creation of sound. There are no bad sounds, only more or less efficient sounds that all have a place somewhere.

His voice teaching style is rooted in using speech inflection sounds that students already know how to make. Sometimes it’s a character voice, like Mickey mouse, or other times it’s a whimper your dog would make. These sounds are how we express ourselves in speaking, and accomplish the same emoting in singing while strengthening the muscular framework around our voice.

Rather than looking at practice as homework, Gray likes to present it as exploration. “How would this make us feel loud, or soft, or pointed, or smooth, etc.?” If students can be taught to think deeply about how or why they sing a certain way, they can motivate themselves to continue exploring their voices.

A particular passion of Gray’s is finding meaningful repertoire for his students. If a teenage student is singing a song meant for a character in their mid-40s,  the student will struggle to connect to the song. The most appropriate songs for students reflect the students’ age, emotional maturity, vocal development, and musical understanding. Using these songs, Gray teaches his students fundamental aspects of musicianship – solfege, pitches, rhythm, key signatures, intervals, etc.

Gray has most recently taught voice at Maestro Musicians Academy, Ensemble Performing Arts Studio, and in his own private voice studio. In July of 2021, he was on the staff of The Boston Conservatory Vocal/Choral Intensive where he taught voice and sight-singing to high school aged students from around the world.

Gray received his Masters of Music in Vocal Pedagogy and Opera Performance at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee and his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Oklahoma City University. He is an active performer in and around Boston, singing with Odyssey Opera, MASS Opera, NEMPAC Opera Project, Promenade Opera Project, Seraphim Singer, and Ensemble Companio.

When he’s not teaching or singing, Gray is either with his fiancée Katie and their two cats, Roxy and Copland, out cycling, or in the kitchen baking sourdough bread and cooking.

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Concord Conservatory Girls Chorus

"Why do we sing? We sing because words alone are not enough. We sing to tell our stories and share our experiences in a deeper and more compelling manner. We sing so that we can let our feelings out in a way that can be understood. My goal in teaching voice is to help my students develop a vocal technique that allows them to create a sound for any situation in any style for the rest of their lives. That way they can tell their stories in the way they want to in a healthy way."