Joan Frey Boytim at the 54th national conference of the National Association of Teachers of Singing
At the 54th national conference of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Joan Frey Boytim ’55, M’64 was given the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The conference took place at the Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile on July 11, 2016. The award ceremony was part of the NATS gala celebration banquet, which closed the biennial conference attended by a record-setting number of delegates.
Boytim has devoted her life to sharing her musical talents and skills while enjoying a brilliant career as a teacher, author, compiler of song anthologies, arranger, clinician, and professional performer.
For her accomplishments and her remarkable contributions to aspiring musicians and vocalists and to the profession of studio voice teaching, she was awarded the IUP Distinguished Alumni Award for Service in 2007.
In 1956, Boytim opened her own studio as a private voice teacher. Over the years she has taught well over 1,000 teenagers and community adults. In addition to teaching privately, she also taught junior high general music, senior high choral music, and instrumental instruction in the Carlisle Area School District. She served four years as an adjunct voice professor at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg. She continues to teach in her Carlisle studio and presents her students in recitals and other community programs.
In 1990, she began compiling vocal anthologies for G. Schirmer and Hal Leonard Corporation, the largest musical publisher in the world. By the end of this year, Boytim will have 60 vocal anthologies in print.
Joan Frey Boytim, holding her NATS Lifetime Achievement Award, with Allen Henderson, left, and Norman Spivey
Richard Walters, vice president of classical publications at Hal Leonard Corporation, remarked to the audience, “After 25 years, she has accomplished a great deal. We’re so glad to be a part of it and have her as part of our family. What is inspirational to voice teachers is that this teacher from a small town, who works with young singers exclusively, could do something like this. To share that with you and have it mean something to you, I know it means the world to her.”
Her book, “The Private Voice Studio Handbook: A Guide to All Aspects of Teaching,” was published in 2003 and revised in 2014. To date, more than a million copies of her publications have been sold.
“I am known as the old lady on Glendale Street who still teaches people to sing,” Boytim said. “As a grassroots career teacher by choice, I felt that I had reached the pinnacle when my student Laura Choi Stewart was an NATS Artist Award national winner.”
Boytim remarked that her life’s work is that of a teacher of singing, not as a performer. “My nature is that of being the motor that keeps things running,” she said. “I firmly believe that I have received more than a doctorate in private voice teaching from all the opportunities and affiliations these last 58 years with my NATS family and with participations in the conventions and workshops.”
She also shared the honors with her late husband, James A. Boytim ’59, who died in 2014. “Jim was my inspiration in guiding me through the many decisions in my life. For 53 years he gave me complete freedom to pursue my dreams to make community voice teaching a profession of excellence,” she said.
In 2015, Joan Boytim provided major financial support for the professional development of independent studio teachers by offering up to 14 awards for independent teachers to attend the NATS National Conference. As a result of her generous contribution, NATS renamed its Independent Teacher Fellowships the Joan Frey Boytim Awards for Independent Teachers.
“Her students all know her as a dedicated and exacting teacher, a collaborative musical partner, and a champion of our association and profession,” said Norman Spivey, outgoing president of NATS. “Joan has touched us all, sharing a legacy of publications and successful students. She has reminded us that when we teach our students, we really are changing the world.”
Based in Jacksonville, Florida, the National Association of Teachers of Singing is a nonprofit international professional organization for teachers of singing. With more than 7,000 members, the association provides services to members through conferences, workshops, vocal competitions, a recognized scholarly journal, and its network of regional and chapter events.