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Faculty

Elana Hedrych realized from a young age that singing was an unavoidable, strong passion. She began performing in the New York City area at the age of 12, gracing venues and festivals such as B.B. King, Bowery Ballroom, Gathering of the Vibes Festival, and more. She embarked on two tours of the east coast before the age of 18.

With Elana’s constant performances and desire to learn more, it became clear that she was destined to continue on the path of music. Elana graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in 2016. At Berklee, Elana was opened up to the vast field of jazz, falling in love with the harmonies, variety of chord progressions, and rhythms. In her early years at Berklee, Elana cultivated a repertoire of jazz standards, and learned solos in exploration of how to treat the voice as an instrument. With the mentorship of Jan Shapiro and Lisa Thorson, Elana began to explore improvisation, which has become one of her greatest skills.

During her undergraduate studies, Elana focused on her blossoming teaching career and her growing passion for composing. Her compositions began to form their own world, as she frequently explored the unconventional sounds that can be made with human bodies. Her mentor, composer Marti Epstein, expanded Elana’s understanding of Western classical music, particularly 20th and 21st century composers. Epstein guided Elana to compose according to her vision. Elana began performing with former band, Fireproof Collective. With this group, Elana fell into the world of free improvisation, finally performing the unconventional sounds and techniques that she had been implanting into her compositions. Elana’s mentors Alison Wedding and Kenny Werner lead Elana to her refreshing and candid approach to singing and improvising.

“Art is something that makes you breathe with a different kind of happiness.” ~ Anni Albers

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