Born: 1902 - Oswego, New York, USA
Died: September 10, 1988 - Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA
The American baritone, voice teacher and therapist, David Blair McClosky, graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1925 and later studied in Berlin and Milan.
David McClosky made more than 20 appearances as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra during the 1930’s and 1940’s. He also sang in operatic productions in Europe and Africa and appeared with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and at the Baldwin-Wallace Bach Festival of Berea, Ohio.
In 1923 David McClosky became the first radio announcer in Boston, on WNAC. During World War II he served as an Army officer performing public relations duties in the USA and Africa. From 1946 to 1955 he headed the Plymouth Rock Center of Music and Drama, in Plymouth. He taught voice and other music courses at Boston University, The Boston Conservatory of Music, Phillips Academy in Andover, Bradford College, Massachusetts College of Art, Simmons College and Vassar College. He was a consultant at various times to numerous universities, among them Tufts, Cornell, Syracuse and Wellesley College.
David McClosky served as John F. Kennedy's voice coach during the 1960 presidential campaign. Beneficiaries of his work as a teacher included President Lyndon B. Johnson, Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, sportscaster Curt Gowdy, actors Faye Dunaway, Al Pacino, Jill Clayburgh and Ruth Gordon, folksinger Joan Baez, and opera singer Grace Bumbry.
While collaborating with otolarynologists at Syracuse University and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, David McClosky became an authority on the therapeutic treatment of voice disorders. The technique he developed had its origins with McClosky’s association with Dr. Irl Blaisdell of Syracuse University in 1946. During these years he was Clinical Voice Therapist and Consultant to the New York University College of Medicine. For 22 years, he served as Clinical Associate in Otolaryngology and Director of the Voice Therapy Clinic at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston.
The McClosky approach to the treatment of laryngeal disorders led to the publication of his first book, Your Voice at its Best (1959) - an unprecedented approach to the training of the voice, offering specific exercises to free the voice through relaxation, posture and well-coordinated breathing. With his wife, Barbara Henneberger, McClosky published a second book, Voice in Song and Speech (1984). These books are in the process of being combined and updated, and will soon be re-issued in a new single volume.
Founded in 1979, and incorporated in 1981, the McClosky Institute of Voice, Inc. is a non-profit organization devoted to the enhancement of healthy voice use and treatment of functional voice disorders without surgery. Its purpose is to continue David Blair McClosky's work in the field of voice training and vocal rehabilitation. Since 1982, the institute has offered professional development opportunities through annual seminars and workshops in voice and vocal health. These seminars and workshops are presented in the USAs and abroad to music educators, voice teachers, choral conductors, speech and language pathologists, public speakers and singers. In 1996, the McClosky Institute of Voice began offering its Certification Program, through which qualified people are trained to teach the McClosky Technique and become Certified McClosky Voice Technicians (CMVT's). The institute is dedicated to ongoing study and the training of qualified individuals to continue and further McClosky's work. The techniques developed by David Blair McClosky over fifty years ago are still effective today as CMVT’s help singers and speakers learn healthy ways to free, develop and restore their voices.