Private Voice Instructor, Jerry Elsbernd, holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Vocal Music Education from North Dakota State University. A former adjunct voice professor at Concordia University St. Paul and Northwestern College in Roseville, Elsbernd enjoys a thriving career as a full-time teacher of singing in his private Shorewood, MN studio and as a part-time private voice instructor at Wayzata High School, where he teaches classical and contemporary styles. He is a frequent contest adjudicator and master class presenter in the Twin Cities metro area.
Jerry is an active member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing), serving as the MN Chapter Treasurer and member of the executive committee since 2014. He was awarded the 2011 MN NATS Grant for research and was a presenter at the NATS National Conference in 2012 in Orlando, FL on the topic of collaboration between the singing voice studio and the speech pathologist’s office. Jerry chaired the auditions committee that brought the music theater divisions to the MN chapter for the first time in 2014. He has served as a judge in the state, regional and national NATS Student Auditions. He also served on the NATS National Student Auditions Rules Committee to review and revise the rules for the Music Theater divisions in 2017.
A passionate student of voice, Jerry continues his vocal education through private study and by frequently attending workshops, master classes and continuing education courses that pertain to singing and voice production. He is honored and grateful to carry on the tradition of singing and instruction that he has gained through his extensive study with his wonderful teachers, including Robert W. Olson (a student of world-renowned vocal pedagogue, Oren Brown), Rita Patané of Milan, Italy, and Mary Kay Schmidt (with whom he still studies). His professional singing experience includes being a member and frequently featured soloist with The Dale Warland Singers, a co-executive producer and member of the national touring tight harmony vocal group Three Hits and a Miss, and as featured soloist in numerous regional oratorio, operetta and concert productions of a variety of styles from classical to Broadway and jazz. He also directs the Senior Choir at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church West Campus in Victoria, MN.
Among his many successful students are several winners and finalists in the NATS Student Auditions at the Chapter, Regional and National levels, two American top 40 achieving pop artists (one with a gold record and one whose records have gone multi-platinum), two top honor recipients of the National YoungArts Foundation award in the HS Musical Theater category, a national honorable mention recipient in the YoungArts Classical Voice category, a National High School Musical Theater (“Jimmy”) award winner, multiple finalists and winners of the Hennepin Theater Trust’s Spotlight “Triple Threat” award, a winner of the Classical Singer Magazine’s High School Vocalist Competition upper Midwest division, a National finalist in the Classical Singer Auditions Plus Musical Theater Awards, two showcase artists in the MN Varsity talent competition through MPR, and several actors in lead and supporting roles in local, regional and national music theater productions, including Broadway tours and on and off Broadway productions.
Jerry’s graduating high school students have gained acceptance in the nation’s top classical and music theater programs, including New York University (Music Theatre-Tisch School of the Arts and Music Theatre-Steinhardt School of Music), Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Fordham Univeristy, Pace University NYC, Hartt School of Music, Rutger’s University, the American Music and Drama Academy (NYC), Oberlin Conservatory, Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, Princeton University Department of Music, University of MN School of Music, University of MN/Guthrie BFA Program, University of MI School of Music, Northwestern University, the Royal Conservatory of Music in London, Belmont University, St. Olaf College, Luther College, Concordia College, North Dakota State University Challey School of Music, and many more.