Celebrating Business – Eunice DeMello – Vocal Coach
Mind over emotions! Thanks to Eunice I’ve been able to re-label my stress response to solo musical performances. I maintained a huge blockage for decades about letting anyone hear me attempt to make music. Back when I was in 5th Grade, I had been forced into a horrific piano recital and never touched a keyboard again.
About 40 years later, Eunice invited me into her vocal studio, encouraged me, trained me, and gently nudged me back on stage. In my first recital, I went into uncontrollable, full-body quaking, but I proudly FINISHED my song! Ta Da! More Eunice encouragement: Recital 2, still quaking, I forgot the words and faked Italian to arrive at the end of my aria. Eunice’s patience with me continued. Fast forward to my most recent recital, I’ve made quite a bit of musical progress, and I hardly shook at all. Thank you Eunice!
I first met Eunice when she attended my Nia class, and I can tell you, she is a powerhouse. You will seldom meet an individual with the will power she possesses. She has dedicated herself to staying fit well into her senior years, at an advanced age she declines to disclose! She lives alone, doing much of her own gardening on the steep slope her house is built on. It’s not unusual for me to find her up on a ladder fixing or pruning something when I arrive for my weekly lesson.
Some of her mind over matter, can-do attitude just can’t help but rub off on us, her students!
Eunice’s studio boasts students far more advanced and vocally talented than myself, some of whom have been with her for decades! Eunice M. DeMello is not your average vocal coach. Based in Honolulu, she possesses over half a century of professional experience as a singer, songwriter, dancer and choreographer. She has served with the University of Hawaii Theatre Group, directed The Players of St. Clement, taught at the Jazz Festival, produced and written plays and lectured on music at universities.
She helped to establish Hawaii’s first state museum representing local artists – The Hawaii State Art Museum. For her demonstrated commitment to Honolulu, July 12, 1998 was proclaimed Eunice DeMello Day by Former Governor Benjamin Cayetano.
Far from retired, Eunice still lends her expertise as a vocal coach, training a wide range of students from professionals to amateurs, singers, lawyers and doctors. Using her unique physically-oriented vocal techniques, she credits her success as a performer and instructor to the love and support of her parents, as well as the guidance of her professor, Hermanus Baer.
Eunice holds a master’s degree in music from Northwestern University and a degree in music education from the University of Hawaii. She served as the chairwoman for the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and as an onsite reporter for the National Endowment for the Arts.
My hat’s off to Eunice!