A lifetime calling
I've been teaching since 1973. From childhood, I've desired to help others find the same joy and fulfillment that I've found through music and to teach those who have a sincere desire to dedicate themselves to their music. Over the years I've worked with thousands of singers with the central goal of treating students to the kind of life-changing, life-enhancing experiences I've enjoyed.
Patricia Shanks in 2018
Patricia trained with teachers and coaches of the old European singing schools and from the Golden Age of Singing in America. Ultimately, she credits her understanding of the vocal mechanism to Natalie Limonick, who was general director of the USC Opera Program, director of the UCLA Opera Workshop, president of the Opera Guild of Southern California, and who worked with such celebrated singers as Martial Singher and Lotte Lehmann at Santa Barbara's Music Academy of the West. Working with Natalie Limonick Patricia learned foundation principles of vocal technique which had been absent from her university studies.
Patricia also studied technique and repertoire with Esther Andreas (Metropolitan Opera), Naomi Farr (New York City Opera), Nina Hinson (San Francisco Opera), Marion Cooper, Dietrich Erbelding, Charles Ross Perlee, and a number of other respected teachers and coaches. Patricia's mentors worked and trained with the world's greatest musicians. Among the artists in this impressive teaching lineage were Arnold Schoenberg, Francis Poulenc, Pierre Bernac and Nadia Boulanger.
Patricia Sang with the former Los Angeles Music Center Opera Association, with Orange County's Opera Pacific and with the Los Angeles Master Chorale under Roger Wagner. Maestro Wagner personally selected Patricia to sing with the hand-picked chorus for the touring company of Deutsche Oper Berlin at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Patricia performed in master classes taught by Giorgio Tozzi (Metropolitan Opera), Blanche Thebom (Metropolitan Opera) and Dorothy Warenskjold (San Francisco Opera). She has recorded background vocals for a number of artists and was a staff soloist at the famed Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, California. She has shared the stage with many respected opera singers. She has performed solo before the Greek consul to the United States, Congressman Lee H. Hamilton and other dignitaries. And she has shared the stage with soap opera star, Eric Braeden.
Patricia is an Emmy™ Award-winning writer and a working voice-over talent. She is an active member of SAG-AFTRA and AGMA. Patricia is a former TV Arts & Entertainment news segment host and producer and NPR affiliate radio station host, and a former columnist for The Los Angeles Daily News and Examiner online.
Patricia has taught private voice for The Young Americans College of the Performing Arts and Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA). She has served as a judge for the Long Beach Mozart Vocal Competition and the Burbank Philharmonic Young Artists Competition, and for other contests.