Clinicians

William Sauerland

William Sauerland is an Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies for the School of Music at Purdue University – Fort Wayne. He conducts the university choral ensembles, teaches classes in conducting and music education, and supervises student teachers. He was previously a Lecturer in Voice at San Francisco State University, and the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Chabot College in Hayward, California. Dr. Sauerland taught choral music at Lick-Wilmerding High School for six years, and served as Associate Music Director for the Grammy Award-winning Pacific Boychoir Academy.

Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for his “limpid tone and astonishing eloquence,” Dr. Sauerland remains active as a professional countertenor. His recent solo appearances include the American Bach Soloists, Echoing Air, Festival Opera Company, Folger Consort, Handel Opera Project, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, Oakland Symphony Orchestra, and Pacific Chorale. A former member of the Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer, Dr. Sauerland has sung throughout the world, and recorded multiple albums for Warner Classics.

Dr. Sauerland received the Doctorate of Education in Music and Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. His research interests include social justice pedagogy in vocal music education, trans and gender expansive vocality, and student-centered teaching. His publications appear in the Journal of Singing, Journal of Music Teacher Education, VOICEPrints (Journal of the New York Singing Teachers’ Association), and in the forthcoming book, The Art of the Choral Music Educator. As a Marshall Scholarship recipient, he earned a Master of Music and Post-Graduate Diploma in Advanced Vocal Performance from the Royal College of Music in London. Raised on a small dairy farm in Ohio, he received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Alexandra Plattos

Alexandra Plattos Sulack (she/her) is a performer, singer, teacher, and coach. She is the co-founder of The Voice Lab Inc., a studio that provides private music lessons around the world as well as voice services for transgender and non-binary folx. Recent publications include editing One Weird Trick: A User’s Guide to Transgender Voice. As a coach, Ms. Plattos Sulack supports trans/non-binary performers, including the cast of Stu for Silverton, a new musical about America’s first openly transgender mayor. Ms. Plattos Sulack frequently performs on the concert, operatic, and improv stages. She is a core member of Forte Chicago, performing operatic improv and sketch comedy; a troupe member of the American Immersion Theater; and Artist-in-Residence with the Cliff Dwellers Club of Chicago. Known for her comedic timing, she is the 2018 champion of Opera on Tap Chicago’s Annual Diva Off competition, where she wowed the judges by hula hooping her way through Mozart’s “Der Hölle Rache.” She is a member of the National Association for Teachers for Singing (NATS), The Voice Foundation, Illinois Education Association-National Education Association, and the PanHellenic Honors Society. Alexandra lives in Chicago with her husband Nathan and their pet turtle, Boris.

Liz Jackson Hearns 

Liz Jackson Hearns (she/her/they/them) is a voice teacher and co-founder of The Voice Lab, Inc. in Chicago. She works with with transgender and gender nonconforming singers, helping them develop healthy singing habits during medical transition and beyond. Liz is a passionate vocologist working to advance voice science education and advocacy. In addition to singing voice training, Liz works with trans and non-binary clients to develop a speaking voice that aligns with their gender identity and gives workshops and training for fellow voice practitioners. Liz holds a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from North Park University and a Bachelor of Arts from The College of Idaho and also attended the Summer Vocology Institute at the University of Utah. Liz is the co-author of The Singing Teacher’s Guide to Transgender Voices and author of One Weird Trick: A User’s Guide to Transgender Voice.