Joey Bates is a Master Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®, conductor and music director as well as a vocal coach.
Joey has taught singing for over 30 years, and his approach is based on breathing techniques. In 1999 he met Catherine Fitzmaurice and was so inspired by her extraordinary approach to voice work, focusing especially on breathing, that he studied with her and became a certified associate teacher in 2000. He quickly added this amazing technique to his own teaching and began an ongoing and vibrant relationship with Catherine, which led to her naming him as a Master Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework® in 2012.
Joey has served as music director of regional theatre and of opera companies where his repertoire includes over 100 musicals, operas, and symphonic and choral works. Highlights include Candide, Sweeney Todd, Parade, HMS Pinafore, Was (World Premiere), Chicago, Cabaret, Into the Woods, Crazy for You and The Light in the Piazza.
Beginning in 2000, he has worked with some of the top composers, directors, performers and teachers in the American Musical Theatre including Judy Blazer, Joseph Thalken, Malcolm Gets and Susan Blackwell. He has worked with Ricky Ian Gordon and Tina Landau on their musical, States of Independence. His recording of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Only Heaven is available on PS Classics.
Joey’s interest in music theatre has included many new works in various stages of development, from readings and semi staged presentations to full productions. These include works by Ricky Ian Gordon (The Family Piece), Joseph Thalken (Was), Sean Michael Flowers (Prometheus Dreams and Guarding Gold Street) and Christian Duhamel (A Beautiful End).
His orchestral repertoire includes music by Barber, Bernstein, Poulenc, Mozart, and Chausson among others.
Joey has also staged over 20 musicals and operas that include Crazy for You, Evita, Into the Woods, The Apple Tree, A Little Night Music, Godspell, The Light in the Piazza and Amahl and the Night Visitors.
In 2004, Judy Blazer, Landon Heimbach and Bates co-founded The Artist’s Crossing whose mission is “promoting the arts by bringing together diverse artists of all levels and backgrounds, to mentor and guide aspiring artists, members of the community and one another through educational workshops, the creation of new works and productions of existing repertoire."
He just concluded a 33-year career in academia, during which time he was instrumental in creating the musical theatre programs both at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama. In addition to his musical contributions to these universities he was stage director for several productions and taught speaking voice, dialects and music theatre history.
Joseph Bates and I have engaged in much music making as well as working together as collaborators in performance, training and administration. We have a constant flow of exchange about music, theater, language, literature, and voice. He has been a wonderful vocal coach for me and his Fitzmaurice work always adds dimension to the musical expertise and pedagogical knowledge he brings to a lesson. His constant interest in all aspects of the arts make him one of the most rounded people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He is an extremely gentle and nurturing person as a teacher and collaborator which only makes his information more deliciously ingestible! If you combine his personality with all the vast ability he has to guide an individual or a group artistically, I would simply say that Joseph Bates is a one stop shopping experience. He really covers all the bases.
Judy Blazer - Broadway Actress-www.judyblazerstudio.com
If there were such a thing as a horse whisperer for artists, that would be Joseph Bates. With his mystical sensitivity to the artistic heart, he coaxes the wild stallion spirit of the singing artist out into the open, soothes its fears, and gently harnesses it to make music come gloriously alive. He has an encyclopedic awareness of new composers and works; a passion for words; and an astonishing, seemingly boundless knowledge of repertoire that spills from category to category: musical theater, art song, opera, jazz, popular. His gift for matching up songs to the individual is uncanny; many of my favorite pieces were presented to me by Joey with the words, “You are meant to sing this.” To work with Joey Bates is to be affirmed and to find your way back to the beautiful joy that should always be a part of making music.
Lee Merrill - Opera and Musical Theatre Actress