Celebrating the Power of Voice with the Hard-of-Hearing Community
An Arts in Action Event

Sunday, October 15, 2023, at 2 p.m.
Joyce J. Cammileri Hall, University of Southern California


Patti Wong, “Both Sides Now”

Deborah Goldmann, “My Favorite Things”

Maggie Whittemore, “Angel”

Audrey Hampton, “Jamaica Farewell”

Keiko Kamiya, “Speechless”

Performers and Audience, “I Am Light”

The performances will be followed by a conversation with performers and their voice teacher partners about their innovative, interdisciplinary, and transformative collaborations.


Launched in 2021 with support from USC Arts in Action, Here, My Voice is a three-year, interdisciplinary collaboration between the USC Thornton School of Music, the USC Kaufman School of Dance, the USC School of Cinematic Arts, the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and the Los Angeles Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America. The project brought together two-person teams consisting of a hard-of-hearing participant and a voice teacher who collaborated over a three-year period to implement personalized, one-on-one voice lessons, which empowered hard-of-hearing participants to build confidence in making their voices heard through joyful self-expression, song, and spoken word. The project also included individualized movement exercises developed with USC Kaufman dance students.

The Here, My Voice project responds to the challenges of hard-of-hearing people to make their voices heard and use it for creative expression. The ability to create sounds that emanate from the body is fundamental to human experience. Yet many people in the hard-of-hearing community have no relationship to the creative power of their voice and, as a result, do not experience an entire aspect of human embodiment.

Here, My Voice was initiated and is led by Juri Hwang, whose research combines sound art, art intervention, and neuroscience of hearing through trans-disciplinary work between Media Arts + Practice and the Keck School of Medicine’s Bionic Ear Lab. Juri has worked with the hard-of-hearing community throughout her Ph.D. studies, and the culmination of this engagement is the Here, My Voice project. The remarkable success of the interventions was possible through the collaboration of a team of experts from the fields of audiology, music therapy, dance, vocal arts, media arts, and storytelling. Juri’s artistic sensitivity allowed her to reimagine the power of voice from an understanding of vulnerability and intimacy, and how this could be translated into a transformative experience of human connection and personal growth. The particular hardship of members of the hard-of-hearing community during the COVID pandemic due to mask wearing and social distancing was a particular driver behind making this project.

Juri Hwang

Danielle Barbera
Sandy Blake
LaMarcus Miller
Michele Patzakis

Marielle Brady
Frances Nolen
Stephen Pitters
Irianna Rocha

Madeleine Lew
Maria Maxfield
Julianne Papadopoulos
Michele Patzakis
Stephen Pitters
Natalie Sheppard
Tania Solomon
Lily Smith
Emily Thebaut
Emmanuel Yogue

Cathy Yang

Presented by USC Arts in Action, part of Visions and Voices, in partnership with the USC School of Cinematic Arts Media Arts + Practice Division and the Los Angeles Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America. Organized by Juri Hwang, project lead and PhD candidate, Interdisciplinary Media Arts + Practice.


Juri Hwang is a media artist, researcher, and currently a PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary Media Arts + Practice program at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. She explores the role of sound in 21st century culture as a sense modality and cultural object. In her theory and art practice, she reflects on the immersive, embodied, and affective nature of sonic perception and sonic memory. Her research includes media-archeological study of personal listening technologies and space, interdisciplinary research on multi-modal training for auditory rehabilitation, and music appreciation with hearing loss. In her media work, she invites listeners to engage in different modes of listening as an essential element of perceptual experience. Her recent media installations include the award-winning embodied sonic experience, Somatic Echo, which uses bone-conducted sound to turn the listener’s body into a medium of sound, and Nightfield, a spatial sound installation exploring material and spatial resonances of sonic memory. She also created SoundToy Game project, an innovative combination of a hardware platform and interactive game modules that provide spatial listening training to hard-of-hearing children through storytelling, multimodal game design, and augmented reality (AR).


Danielle Barbera, MA, MT-BC, a member of Here, My Voice project leaders, is a Board-Certified Music Therapist. She received her BA and MA degree in Music Therapy from Montclair State University located in Montclair, NJ. She has worked in populations including hospice, psychiatric, and hospital settings working with children and adults with psychiatric, neurologic, and developmental disabilities. Danielle currently works as a music therapist for Hackensack Meridian Health’s Carrier Clinic, located in Belle Meade, NJ, and for the creative arts agency, Muzique LLC. Danielle is an active member in the music therapy field, having served on the Mid-Atlantic Region AMTA Assembly of Delegates and as the head of membership for the New Jersey Association for Music Therapy. Danielle’s work embraces the effectiveness music has holistically on our emotional, psychological, and physiological well-being.

For Sandy,  music has been a lifelong passion and a means of self-expression. She began singing and playing the piano at the age of 5 and by the age of 12 was singing and playing organ for her church choir at Sunday services, weddings, and funerals. Sandy graduated from the Conservatory of Music at Lawrence University, where she earned a bachelor’s in Music Education as a voice major. Sandy began her professional acting career performing in musicals, where she was often cast as the lead. Her career flourished as she performed in summer stock, Off-Broadway, regional theater, and eventually Broadway.

Fourteen years ago, Sandy suddenly lost much of the hearing in her left ear. Six years ago, Sandy lost all hearing in her right ear and was diagnosed with asymmetrical sensorineural hearing loss. She was fitted for a hearing aid on her left ear and, six months later, received a cochlear implant on the right side. Just four months later, Sandy had 92% word recognition. However, most music sounded quite out of tune whether she was playing piano or listening to recorded music.

Fortunately, Sandy was introduced to Dr. Raymond Goldsworthy and the Bionic Ear Lab at USC. Teaching her brain to recognize music through the electrodes of the implant, Sandy continues to make progress and helped develop the Here, My Voice creative project, in which participants with hearing loss receive voice lessons that culminate in each individual performing their songs and spoken-word projects.

Presently, Sandy is completing her Master’s in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University and working as a marriage and family therapist in the state of California.

LaMarcus Miller (aka Dr. L) hails from Los Angeles, where he is a “vocal chameleon,” simultaneously singing both classical and contemporary repertoire. Dr. L is a vocal technician who thrives on unlocking the technique of singers by illuminating the nuanced sensations of coordinated adduction and who offers support across genres. In addition to being a prominent vocalist/vocal instructor, he is currently a rising, sought-after music supervisor/coordinator for television and film. Dr. L has worked on TV shows such as The Wonder Years (Seasons 1 and 2) on ABC, RapCaviar Presents on Hulu, The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers on Amazon, Everything’s Gonna Be All White on Showtime, Dave (Season 2) on FX, Top Class on IMDB TV, Running While Black on Vice TV, and more that have yet to air including the much-anticipated Muppets documentary.

Michele Patzakis has received critical acclaim as a leading soprano with companies that included the New York City Opera, the Thèâtre de la Monnaie, the Orchestra of Toulouse, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Caramoor and Spoleto Festivals. She most recently created the roles of Maria/Church Lady in the world premiere opera Polymnia by Theodosia Roussos. A lover of the American songbook since her days in The Young Americans, she has been featured in concerts with the Marina Del Rey and San Bernardino Symphonies, and in roles such as Anna in The King and I and My Fair Lady, and in recitals across the country, including programs of Victorian Parlor Songs at Central City Opera in the historic Teller House and an upcoming recital at the Ebell of Los Angeles. She is currently an adjunct voice faculty at Pasadena City College and at Azusa Pacific University where she co-directed their 2023 opera production of Marilyn Forever. She is a teaching artist with LA Opera Connects: The Russell Thomas Youth Artist Training Academy and the Opera for Life and Wellness rehabilitation course for COVID-19 long-haulers). She is the director of the San Francisco District of the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. She earned a BM from the USC Thornton School of Music, an MM in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory, and a DMA from USC Thornton, where she was a voice instructor, conducted research in Music Education and Vocal Arts Medicine, and directed productions for the Chamber Opera of USC. She is a frequent adjudicator and presenter of masterclasses, vocal health workshops, and audition technique programs for NATS, the SoCal Voice Foundation, SongFest, Angels Vocal Art, and the James Toland Vocal Arts competition events.


PATRICK CORBIN, USC Kaufman School of Dance
Patrick Corbin danced professionally for the Washington Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, ABT II, the Joffrey Ballet, Lar Lubovitch, Martha Clark, and the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Patrick was featured in five PBS Great Performances, the Academy Award–nominated documentary Dancemaker, and received the New York Performance Award (Bessie) for Sustained Achievement with Paul Taylor. Patrick stages his and Paul Taylor’s work on companies and universities throughout the United States. He has served as guest faculty at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris; University of California, Irvine; George Mason University; SUNY Purchase; University of Kansas; University of Texas at Austin; and University of Michigan, and has taught professionally for American Ballet Theater, Miami City Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet. Patrick joined the faculty of USC Kaufman in July 2015 and holds an MFA in dance from NYU.

RAYMOND GOLDSWORTHY, Keck School of Medicine of USC
Raymond Goldsworthy received his BS in Physics from the University of Kentucky and his Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences and Technology from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ray joined USC as an associate professor of Otolaryngology in January 2014. His research combines psychoacoustics, signal processing, and auditory rehabilitation towards improving hearing for the hearing impaired with emphasis on cochlear implant users. Ray is a cochlear implant user himself and is passionate about the interplay of auditory experience, auditory perception, and cutting-edge medical bionics towards improving the lives of people with hearing loss. His research teams are quite diverse, with individuals from disparate fields, whether students, associates, or established colleagues, actively engaged in research projects on topics of psychoacoustics, signal processing, and auditory rehabilitation. This multi-disciplinary approach will encourage the development of the next generation of technological solutions for hearing impairment.

MARIENTINA GOTSIS, USC School of Cinematic Arts 
Marientina Gotsis is associate professor of research at the Interactive Media & Games Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and director of the Creative Media and Behavioral Health Center. She has a broad background in arts, design, and engineering with a special interest in interactive entertainment applications for health, happiness, and rehabilitation. Marientina serves as a mentor guiding the design of a rigorous mixed methods evaluation plan with concrete research questions and hypotheses and assists the team with instrument design, selection, and data analysis. She also helps with networking via clinical partners to look at how this project can expand to hard-of-hearing persons from more communities.

DJ JOHNSON, USC School of Cinematic Arts 
DJ Johnson is a filmmaker with over 20 years of experience in media education, specializing in media strategies for social change and community organizing. He has worked with nonprofit organizations and educational institutions to design media and promotional campaigns in a variety of areas including antiracism, violence prevention, youth development, and healthy parenting. DJ currently serves as associate professor of Practice in the Media Arts + Practice Division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He is recipient of the USC Mellon Mentoring Award for his outstanding teaching and support of undergraduate students and has designed curricula and implemented educational programs internationally. He has been an envoy of the American Film Showcase since 2017 and has conducted filmmaking workshops in Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania, and Senegal, and serves on the board of directors of Picture Alternatives, a nonprofit organization that uses creative media to promote the social value and effectiveness of alternatives to violence.

BEATRIZ ILARI, USC Thornton School of Music 
Beatriz Ilari, PhD, is associate professor of Music Education and Chair of the Department of Music Teaching and Learning at USC. Using both quantitative and qualitative approaches, she has conducted extensive research with infants, children, and adults to examine the intersections between music, development, cognition, and culture. Beatriz is a research fellow at USC’s Brain & Creativity Institute, and collaborates regularly with researchers from various fields in Brazil, Portugal, Spain, the UK, the United States, and Hong Kong.

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