The College of Arts and Architecture

Mary Saunders Barton

Mary Saunders-Barton
Musical Theatre Voice and Pedagogy

Mary Saunders Barton is a Cum Laude Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Mount Holyoke College with a master's degree from Middlebury College and the Sorbonne, Paris. While in Paris, she studied with Pierre Bernac and received a diploma from the Ecole Normale de Musique.

She serves as head of voice for the Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Musical Theatre and as program head for the Master of Fine Arts in Voice Pedagogy for Musical Theatre. In addition to her university teaching, Mary maintains a studio in Manhattan for professional performers. Her students have been seen on Broadway in The King and I, Wicked, Beautiful, Mamma Mia, The Lion King, Kinky Boots, Book of Mormon, Chicago, Here Lies Love, After Midnight and Newsies in addition to numerous tours and regional theatres. In 2013, Mary was the keynote musical theatre speaker at the International Congress of Voice Teachers in Brisbane, Australia. In 2014, she was a master teacher for the intern program sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She is a frequent master class presenter at universities and professional organizations in the United States and Europe.

Mary has produced two DVD’s on musical theatre singing: Bel Canto Can Belto: Teaching Women to Sing Musical Theatre and a companion DVD titled What About the Boys: Teaching Men to Sing Musical Theatre.

Mary Saunders Barton is a member of the American Academy of Teachers of Singing. She retired from the Penn State faculty in spring 2017.