Voice Academy NYC Founder
Katarina Nolfe – Bio
“Teaching in New York City for twelve years, I have had quite a unique experience working with professionals, aspiring pros, amateurs or beginners of all ages, including architects, lawyers, brain surgeons, ambassadors, social workers, pilots and many more. I love the diversity this provides every day and watching the joy which people share with their voices, while strengthening their inner voices. This is why I created Voice Academy NYC.”
Swedish-born Katarina Nolfe studied voice technique, song performance and music theory at New School University, and has worked as a singer, songwriter and vocal coach for the better part of the last two decades. She began performing as a child and through her teen years furthered her professional training, including at Kulturama, one of the most reputable music academies in Sweden.
Privately, Katarina studied voice under the world-renowned voice teachers Dr. William Riley and Don Lawrence (whose collective client base is a who’s who list such as, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, and Usher to name a but a few).
Prior to founding Voice Academy NYC in 2006, Katarina worked as a singer and songwriter and collaborated in recording studios with various musicians and producers such as Catalyst (Lady Gaga), Stargate (Katy Perry, Rihanna, Selena Gomez) and guitarist Willie Brown Jr (Alicia Keys). While coaching different singers in the studios of NYC, she discovered her gift for showing others the fundamentals of singing.
On September 27, 2017, Rachel Platten (Fight Song) joined Katarina and Rob as a surprise guest vocal coach as they jointly coached eight cancer survivors as part of Ford’s Warriors in Pink, More Good Days Tour. (see more at AMNY.com and CBSNEWS.com)
Take a Listen to Katarina’s voice from the Harmony Sky EP
*Written and produced by Rob and Katarina.
Azudi Onyejekwe– Bio
Azudi is a Brooklyn based actor, singer-songwriter and educator. As the last born of six, to two incredible Nigerian born parents who immigrated to America in the 1970’s, infectious melodies, soulful basslines, African diasporic rhythms, and a transnational consciousness have permeated his existence for as long as he can remember, leading to a lifelong love affair with music.
Azudi is an honors graduate from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he double majored in Theatre and Africana Studies, but also trained extensively in voice and music theory. His voice teacher throughout his time at NYU was renowned vocal coach Dr. Pamelia Phillips. As an actor, Azudi has performed in dozens of productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway and at multiple Tony award-winning regional theatres across the country. He is a member of the original Broadway casts of the critically acclaimed Broadway musicals “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” (featuring 4 time Grammy nominee and multi-platinum recording artist Josh Groban) and “Violet” (featuring Grammy nominee and 2 time Tony Award winner Sutton Foster).
As a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Azudi has also performed at venues all around the city including 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, Pete’s Candy Store, The Parkside Lounge, The Shrine in Harlem, and Carnegie Hall. He is currently at work on a debut EP of his original music, to be released in early 2019. He has been a member of the Faculty of Molloy College-CAP21 since the 2015-2016 school year and also teaches acting and vocal performance privately.
Jonna Christensen – Bio
Jonna is a singer, songwriter, recording artist, dance teacher and a vocal coach from Finland. Jonna has been teaching private voice lessons since 2006 and worked as a dance teacher (commercial, hip hop, jazz, musical theater, latin) in various dance schools since 1996.
Jonna’s music career took of in 2002 when she was selected to be in the first Popstars band in Finland (a reality TV-format which was the inspiration for the Idols franchise). Jonna stayed in the band for only a short time before becoming the first singer and songwriter to combine American R&B sounds with Finnish lyrics and paving the way for a new era of pop music in Finland. Jonna released 3 solo albums with Sony Music, received multiple nominations at the Finnish Music Awards, booming radio play and top hits on the Finnish charts.
Jonna has been a TV host (Voice Out!, TV2), is a three-time Finnish “show dance” champion, has worked as a dancer in 2 different dance companies (StepUp dancers, Cat People show dance company) and she was a Finnish National semifinalist for the Eurovision Song Contest with her song “Puppets” in 2011.
Jonna has performed in musicals such as “Hair“, “Grease” and “Hello Dolly!” and she recorded the theme song for Disney’s Kim Possible in Finnish, among other voice over and studio work that she has done over the years.
Jonna got her Bachelor’s degree in pop and jazz vocal performance from Metropolia University in Helsinki, Finland and she also studied jazz vocals for 1 year at the Royal College of Music (Kungliga Musikhögskolan) in Stockholm, Sweden.
Jonna crowdfunded, produced and released an independent album “Sound Mind” in 2015 and after touring with the album in Europe, she relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area. After 2 years in California and touring the west coast, Jonna moved to NYC in 2017. For the past year, she has been performing her music regularly at different music venues in NYC and while continuing to write new music and pursuing her own music career, she is very excited to start teaching voice lessons at the Voice Academy NYC.
Jonna’s over 20 years of experience as a performer gives her a unique set of tools in coaching new talent not only in singing but also in the art of performing.(/ but in all aspects of performing).
Tate Chu – Bio
Tate is a professional opera singer, vocalist, performer, and voice/piano instructor from beautiful San Diego, California. Classically trained, she has sung the great soprano roles from Musetta (La bohème) and Gilda (Rigoletto) to her upcoming performance as Nedda (I Pagliacci) with Opera New York. Tate has performed in musicals such as Phantom of the Opera (Carlotta), Grease (Rizzo), and Once on This Island (Mama Euralie) and stage directed multiple productions as founder of her company The CoOperative. She has sung alongside Andrea Bocelli (Hollywood Bowl), Kathleen Battle, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and recorded with various labels including SONY Classical Records. When paired with her extensive dance and acting background, students benefit from a well-rounded and thorough knowledge of performance as well as music theory and aural skills.
Tate received her Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from California State University Fullerton, where she was educated by great performers and directors such as Deborah Voigt, Frederica von Stade, and Tito Capobianco. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in opera performance at Manhattan School of Music.
Tate believes that music has the ability to bring empowerment, hope, and motivation to all walks of life and could not be more thrilled to be teaching voice and piano at Voice Academy NYC. She looks forward to working with music lovers of all ages and uncovering the power of music in your life!
Rob Nolfe – Bio
Born in Alabama and raised in New Orleans, Rob Nolfe took up guitar at age 10 and has been playing, writing and recording music ever since. From Hollywood to New York, Rob has worked in business management for major recording artists including The Rolling Stones, Sting, and David Bowie and included stints at MTV, Fox Family Channel and Beyond Music.
In college, while getting his two degrees (Economics and MBA), he honed his performance skills singing and playing regularly in rock, pop and blues bands and as a solo acoustic artist as well. He also ran live sound for bands and opened a small recording studio where he produced local bands and radio spots. After college, Rob relocated to Hollywood where he worked in the music divisions of Mary Tyler Moore Productions and Fox Family Channel and for an artist management company and record label Beyond Music/Left Bank Management who handled the likes of the Bee Gees, Blondie, Motley Crue, Meatloaf, Lucy Pearl, and many more.
While in Hollywood Rob continued playing in bands, producing demos and as a recording engineer. He produced a modern world music release which was distributed by Sony/BMG and followed by a promotional tour at Borders Books & Music stores and live shows, including CBGB’s in NYC.
Rob and Katarina are currently producing music for various artists and projects including Harmony Sky at Voice Academy’s recording studio, writing songs and developing young artists in addition to teaching and leading workshops on singing, performing and producing/recording.
Taking classes with Kat was a great experience! She is so patient, calm, and friendly. Kat is so knowledgeable and really cares about you and your future career as a singer, which really inspired me. I felt Kat's love for what she is doing through the lessons, which made the lessons more exciting.I have definitely improved dramatically. Kat taught me so much, from breathing correctly to singing with power to rhythm and dynamics. From the first lesson i took with her, i already gained so much.
I learned a lot. Rob is a friendly person so it's easy to be comfortable around him. He fits the vocal exercises to your voice and gradually builds up. He also isn't afraid to push you a little so you reach your full potential. He can also give you songs that fit your voice better. Not only does one learn to sing properly here, they can also learn to build their confidence while singing in front of an audience even if it's just one person. Rob cares about your career as a singer whether it's just a hobby or something you would like to pursue professionally.
I came to New York City from Holland and took a intensive course 3 times a week at Voice Academy. Singing with Kat was really nice and I learned a lot. My head voice is already getting stronger! And also my singing teacher here in Holland thinks I improved! Kat has a great personality, that's also why it is so much fun working with her! Thanks so much,
Working with Kat has been an amazing experience! She is patient, honest, and she is very kind. She doesn't push you to do anything you're not comfortable with, like showcases. I've been in one showcase so far and it was really nice to learn from other people's performances. I've also had a recording session, which was really fun to do! I would definitely recommend her to anyone who is looking for an amazing and professional vocal coach.
I did a lot of looking around and research before I decided upon taking lessons from Rob at Voice Academy. He was more than willing to sit down with me before we started with the lessons so that I could really see what he was like as a person and teacher and if Voice Academy would be a good fit. It absolutely is and Rob is a fantastic teacher. He is very professional and makes you feel immediately comfortable.
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