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“The radiant quality of Julie's songs inspires human soul striving and leaves the singers, as well as the audience, with joyful strength and hope.” ~Renate Joy, singer and audience member.
Julie Courtney grew up in southwest Missouri, where she developed a love for nature and for music, studying piano, learning guitar, and singing in choirs. She graduated from Indiana University in 1990 with a degree in English Literature and, after much travel and adventure, made her home in Corvallis, Oregon. There she discovered Waldorf Education and trained to be a Waldorf Teacher at the Eugene Teacher Training in Eugene, OR. Julie's musical talents were noticed by other teachers and she was asked to teach music at the Corvallis Waldorf School. She decided to study music and attended Oregon State University where she concentrated on composition, conducting, and vocal technique under the guidance of Soprano, Janet Hackett. After the university, Julie became interested in the transformative vocal exercises developed by Swedish opera singer, Valborg Werbeck-Svaerdstroem (1879-1972) and pursued extensive training with Christiaan Boele, of Germany. Julie is now a certified teacher of these exercises, collectively known as the School of Uncovering the Voice.
Besides composing music for children's plays and making arrangements of many folk songs for teaching children, Julie's favorite compositions are primarily a cappella, sacred choral pieces for adults. She loves to set spiritual verses by renowned thinkers and poets, such as Rudolf Steiner, Novalis, and Christian Morgenstern, to music for SATB choirs. Her songs have been sung publicly by Festival Choir, which sings at Anthroposophical festivals in Eugene and Corvallis and is directed by Julie. Her "Ave Maria" was sung by Breve, a subset of Jubilate! Women's Choir of Corvallis, of which Julie has been a member for most of the last 16 years. Currently, Julie sings soprano with Eugene Vocal Arts.
Recently Julie taught You Can Sing! choir courses, and she currently directs Hazelwood Ensemble and Youth Choir. Participants learn special vocal exercises from the School of Uncovering the Voice, sing beautiful choral music, and perform the songs for the public. In addition to teaching children's classes, composing, and conducting, Julie teaches private and group vocal lessons.
Photo by Woody Fitzgerald