Elizabeth Byrum Linnartz, soprano, sings, teaches voice lessons and classes, and collaborates with other departments at Duke. In Duke Divinity School she taught “The Role of Music in Corporate Worship,” presented a lecture/recital on Britten’s Holy Sonnets of John Donne with Jeremy Begbie and Richard Hays, soloed with two of her voice/Divinity students with the Duke Vespers Ensemble in J.S. Bach’s Cantata 140, and twice organized a group of Duke singers to join choirs in Cambridge, England for the Easter at Kings Festival through the Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts. Other collaborations include concerts with The Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies, a lecture/recital for the German Department, and vocal coaching for the cast of Ragtime, a collaborative effort of Theater, Music and Dance.
Linnartz has sung in many solo recitals and joint faculty recitals in the Duke Music Department, gave a lecture/recital on Benjamin Britten’s Winter Words in the Rare Music Concert Series, soloed in Stravinsky’s Les Noces with chamber choirs of the Duke Choral and Choral Society of Durham and soloed with the Duke Chapel Choir’s annual Messiah. She enjoyed singing the national anthem several times for Duke Men’s basketball.
Dr. Linnartz teaches voice lessons and classes to music majors and non-majors. Because she lived and taught in Indonesia for several years she understands the challenges of being a cross-cultural student and enjoys teaching a very diverse group of singers. She recruits voice students through announcements to the International House and the VoiceNotes listserv and answers many requests for information about voice classes. For several years she taught English, Italian, Latin, German and French diction and has also taught courses in Chamber Music, Skills for Singers, and Opera and Broadway.
With voice students Dr. Linnartz is interested in developing the mind and life skills as well as the voice. Understanding a song text may involve historical research, cultural understanding, philosophical questions, interpretation of grammar and poetry, language learning and personal reaction to the text. She helps students locate resources they need to succeed at Duke, whether related to music performance, academic research, or overall health and well-being. Students giving a senior recital learn to break down a huge project into manageable tasks.
The Duke Voice Care Center, a private diagnostic clinic of Duke Medical Center, refers students to Dr. Linnartz (among others) and partners with her in care of student voices. In 2012 Linnartz assisted DVCC in putting on a two-day workshop, Contemporary Commercial Singing Styles with Jeannette LoVetri. She also organized master classes for Duke and UNC students with opera singers from the Mikhailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, on behalf of The Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies.
Dr. Linnartz has been an innovative teacher, in the early years applying for grants for free iPods for all voice students and for digital video cameras for all the voice studios. In 2007 she created and now maintains the VoiceNotes listserv for over 200 singers in the Duke community, who receive timely information of interest to voice students and singers.
Dr. Linnartz’s Duke students have soloed at Freshman Convocation, Graduation, annually at the Duke Chapel Messiah Sing-Along, at Men’s Basketball games, in Duke Hospital with Student Heath Arts Network, in Hoof 'n' Horn productions, several a cappella groups, all voice master classes, and at Deman events. A former student, Mike Posner, was the keynote speaker for Deman 2015. On short notice she and one of her students sang for composer Lee Hoiby in a master class at Duke. Several of her Duke students are now singing professionally.