• Dana Z
    Dana Z

Areas of Expertise

Voice Performance and Pedagogy, Song Literature, Vocal Diction, Art Song by Women Composers, Gender Studies, First-Year Music Theory


Dana Zenobi joined the faculty at Southwestern University in 2007. A versatile performer who embraces both traditional repertoire and new music, she has earned national recognition for her interpretations of Art Song by women composers. She received an Honorable Mention for Exceptional Repertoire in 2016, and has been named a finalist for The American Prize in Art Song for the past four years. Dr. Zenobi premiered “Love While You May,” a song cycle by Ashley H. Kraft (’14) with trombonist and retired Southwestern faculty member Eileen Meyer Russell. She is featured on Viola By Choice Chamber Music Ensemble’s 2010 debut recording, Florilegium. She has performed with ensembles including the Austin Civic Orchestra, the Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, the Austin Chamber Ensemble, and line upon line percussion ensemble. On the opera stage, she appeared in the American Premiere of Philip Glass’s Waiting for the Barbarians with Austin Lyric Opera, and performed with Lyric Opera Cleveland in the first production of Mark Adamo’s Little Women directed by the composer. The Cleveland Plain Dealer praised her “dazzling coloratura” and “irresitible phrasing” as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and she has garnered similar success in roles ranging from Mozart heroines Konstanze and Donna Elvira to Verdi’s Violetta Valery. Dr. Zenobi has presented at conferences including the National Association of Teachers of Singing (Texoma Region), the Associated Colleges of the South Gender Studies Conference and the inaugural Music by Women Festival (Mississippi University for Women). Her studio teaching was recognized by The American Prize in 2014, when she received a Special Citation for Inspiration in Teaching. Three of her Southwestern students also received performance awards.
A native of Northport, NY, Dr. Zenobi is active in the local community as the executive director of BELTA - Building Empowered Lives Through Art, a nonprofit organization that supports emerging artists as they build successful careers. She also serves as the Secretary of the South Texas Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Dr. Zenobi created and currently directs the Sarofim Vocal Competition for high school singers, a single-day event that combines performance, master classes, and workshops. The SVC is held at Southwestern University every November. She earned her DMA in Voice Performance and Pedagogy at The University of Texas at Austin, where her research focused on aural modeling and acoustic analysis of the singing voice. Current research interests also include art song by Lili and Nadia Boulanger and Pauline Viardot-Garcia.


DMA in Voice Performance and Pedagogy, The University of Texas at Austin 2011
MM in Opera Performance, The University of Texas at Austin 2003
BA in Music and Women’s Studies, Duke University 1999

Teaching Philosophy

My students and I work together in the voice studio to discover and unlock the beauty of their voices, hone their performance skills, and build their confidence as informed and creative interpreters of classical music. My detailed teaching philosophy can be found here.

Previous Courses

Applied Voice
Applied Voice - Paideia Representing Gender Cluster
Vocal Pedagogy
Song Literature and Performance
Vocal Diction I - English and Italian
Vocal Diction II - French and German
Fundamentals of Solfege/Ear Training
Fundamentals of Music Theory
Music Theory I - Harmony in Practice
Solfege and Ear Training I


Interests include aural modeling, acoustic analysis of the singing voice, studio voice technology, art song by Nadia and Lili Boulanger and Pauline Viardot-Garcia.

Professional Work


Certificate Jaques Dalcroze (Dalcroze Eurythmics), Modules I & II complete, Modules III & IV (piano improv. exam pending) / Institute for Jaques Dalcroze Education / 2011 & 2014
Resonance Repatterning Practitioner Certification (Tools for Coping with Performance Anxiety, Strategies for Successful Career Building) / Repatterning Practitioners’ Association /2010
Certificate in Communications / Duke University Continuing Education / 2001

Advanced Performance Training

Apprentice Artist Program, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Summer 2004; Summer 2006
Aspen Opera Theater Center, Summer 2005
Rising Star Singers Audition Works, Summer 2003 (Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Faculty)
Opera in the Ozarks Summer Festival, 2003
Austrian American Mozart Academy, 2002


“Reflections on the 2011 Institute for Jaques Dalcroze Education,” Dalcroze Society of America Journal, Fall/Winter 2011

“A Study of Listening Behavior and The Effectiveness of Aural Modeling with Undergraduate Level Singers,” DMA Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin, 2011.


Florilegium, Viola By Choice Chamber Ensemble, Recording Released in 2010


  • Lecture Recital: Songs of the Boulanger Sisters, Music by Women Festival, Mississippi University for Women, 2017
  • Lecture: Practical Uses for Voice Technology in the Solo Voice Studio, Northwest Vista College, 2017
  • Performance/Presentation: Songs of the Boulanger Sisters, Associated Colleges of the South Gender Studies Conference, 2016
  • Lecture: Funding Strategies for Performers, National Association of Teachers of Singing Texoma Artist Series, 2014
  • Master Class:”It’s All About the Text,” Classical Singer National Convention, San Antonio, TX, 2014
  • Panel: Choosing a Dissertation Topic, UT Austin Butler School of Music, 2012
  • Guest Lecture: Research Methods/Acoustic Analysis, Vocal Pedagogy Class, UT Austin, 2011
  • Panel: Negotiating the Academic Career Path, UT Austin College of Fine Arts Career Services, 2011
  • Master Class: Vocal Performance, Duke University, 2008

Honors and Awards


  • Honorable Mention for Exceptional Repertoire, The American Prize Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, Art Song Division, 2016
  • Finalist, The American Prize - Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, Art Song Division, Professional, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016
  • Winner, Entergy Young Texas Artists Music Competition, Voice Division, 2005
  • Second Place Winner, National Federation of Music Clubs Biennial Young Artist Awards, Woman’s Voice, 2005

Critical Acclaim

“[In the American Premiere of Philip Glass’s Waiting for the Barbarians] In the supporting roles, Adrianna Zabala (the Barbarian Girl), Dana Zenobi (Star) and Georgia Pickett (Cook), all shone.” - Willard Spiegelman, Opera News, April 2007

“Two segments stood out [In Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio]. In Konstanze’s great Act Two aria, soprano Dana Zenobi caught fire and elevated her attractive…work into emotionally intense and technical inspired singing. And in Act Three, Zenobi and tenor John Day found the key to impassioned singing about pensive worry and deep longing.” -Charles Ward, The Houston Chronicle, November 12, 2006

“The chief vocal pleasure is Dana Zenobi, whose radiantly sung Mabel [in The Pirates of Penzance] sounds like a healthy warm-up for Violetta. Her coloratura dazzles, and her phrasing is irresistible and melting. Zenobi is a soprano to listen for.” - Donald Rosenberg,The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 16, 2006

“As sickly flower-maker Mimi [in La Boheme], Dana Zenobi looks like a drawing by Ingres, and her voice is just as inky: a deep, luscious soprano that spills out Puccini’s achingly beautiful tunes with grace to spare. There isn’t a false move in her performance, either.” - Nancy Galeota-Wozny, D.L. Groover and Lee Williams, The Houston Press, April 7, 2005


National Association of Teachers of Singing

  • Secretary, South Texas Chapter

Dalcroze Society of America