Lis March has been teaching private voice for 27 years. Her students consistently earn Division I ratings and receive Outstanding Performer Awards at State Music Contests. Vocal Academy students have been members of and soloists with the Iowa OPUS All State Honor Choirs and the Iowa All State Choir, as well as numerous national honor choirs. Many have pursued professional careers in performing and music education.
Lis attended the University of Northern Iowa from 1981-1986, majoring in both Voice Performance and Clarinet Performance. Her stage experience includes roles in Puccini’s La Boheme, Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and La Clamenza di Tito, Carmen in Bizet’s Carmen, Peggy in Godspell, and Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar.
She was clarinetist and lead singer for the UNI Bearcats Dixieland Band, 1st Place Winners of the National Southern Comfort Jazz Competition in 1985. She was also a clarinetist with the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra.
She is currently a member of Milk and Honey, Iowa Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame inductees, as lead singer and also plays rhythm guitar, banjo, sax, flute and keys, and is a member of the acoustic trio Six Feet. She is also a member of the acoustic duo, The Sirens, and sings regularly at Figaro Figaro in Cedar Falls. She was lead singer, rhythm guitarist and sax/keys/flute player for the regional and local bands Surprise, The Tunes, Mischief, Quickdraw, Remember the Alamo, and Santa Anna Wind and was lead singer for the 1996 My Waterloo Days All Star band. In 1994 she was the Midwest Regional winner of the The Nashville Network's (TNN) Be A Star television show Competition. In 1995 Remember the Alamo won the same competition and was one of 20 bands nationwide to receive an all expenses paid trip to Nashville to perform on a TV special taped at the Opryland Hotel, where the band took 2nd Place.
Her vocals have appeared on numerous regional and local jingles, including the Iowa Lottery Powerball and Million Dollar Smile campaigns, Brewster’s, Shagnasty’s, Magicolor, Faces, Arlo’s, Hammer Medical Supply, promotional videos for AB Sound Source Multimedia Studios, and Crossroads Ford. Lis has sung with Bill Shepherd’s Combo and Jazz, Too w/Mike Mikalicek and was featured vocal soloist with the UNI Marching Band (in which she played clarinet from 1981-1985) for a special Veteran’s Day halftime show at the UNI Dome in 1995.
Lis is in high demand as Clinician and Guest Director for elementary, junior high and high school choirs, honor choirs and festivals across the Midwest. She has been Guest Conductor for the 700 member Dubuque All City Elementary Choir, the Northeast Iowa Choral Directors’ Association’s Junior High Honor Choir, the Northeast Iowa Choral Directors’ Association’s Elementary Honor Choir, the Iowa City All City Catholic Vocal Festival, the Dubuque All City Jr. High Choir Festival, the Southeast Iowa Choral Directors’ Association’s Junior High Honor Choir, the Tri-Rivers Junior High Conference Vocal Festival and the Upper Iowa Junior High Conference Vocal Festival. She regularly conducts vocal and choral clinics at the elementary, junior high and high school levels. She was chairperson forthe NEICDA Elementary and Junior High Honor Choirs for 8 years.
Lis has been employed by the Waterloo Community Playhouse since 1996 as Musical Director and pit orchestra member for the summer musical productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Annie, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair and Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, and Jesus Christ Superstar in which she also starred as Mary Magdalene. She was the Musical Director for the 2011Christmas production of Annie and the 2012 summer production of The Wizard of Oz. She was Director of Music at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Waterloo from 2001-2003.
Lis has been the Musical Director for the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center’s Annual Sponsorship Preview Shows from 2002-2017. She was the featured vocal soloist with the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra in December 2007 for their Holiday Pops Concert. The VOICES Choir, a select group of students from the Vocal Academy ranging in age from 8-18, were featured performers with the WCFSO in the December 2008 Holiday Pops Concert as Talented Youth of the Cedar Valley.
Lis is a licensed adjudicator for the Iowa High School Music Association and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the American Choral Directors’ Association, and the Iowa Choral Directors’ Association.
In her spare time, Lis enjoys reading, science, art history, biking, tennis, playing the Theremin, and traveling. She recently visited London, Oxford, Scotland, and Italy with her sister and niece. Lis hopes to one day stay in an ice hotel, swim with humpback whales, visit The Louvre, travel to Iceland, and sky dive.
Paul Schmidt (M.M., M.Div.) -
Paul teaches guitar (acoustic and electric), piano, drums, voice, songwriting, theory, history, and all things pertaining to America’s indigenous musics (rock, pop, folk, blues, R&B, C&W, etc.).
In his nearly four decades as an artist, teacher, author, and scholar, Paul was the co-founder of the National Music Center (educational component of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio); received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (at the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois) and the Selmer Corporation; released six albums of original songs; written internationally-recognized books on musical instruments (D’Angelico and D’Aquisto guitars, Ludwig drums, among others); performed and guest-lectured at concert halls, colleges, universities, museums, and a variety of other venues throughout the U.S.; and worked with a broad array of students of all ages, skill levels (special needs to gifted), interest levels (beginners to professionals), backgrounds and ethnicities.
For more information about Paul visit his website: www.artofmusicschool.com