The American mezzo-soprano and music pedagogue, Barbara Winchester, obtained her Bachelor of Music and Mster of Music degrees from New England Conservatory of Music (1965-1970). Her voice studies were with with Mark Pearson, Gladys Miller, Nina Hinson; coaching with John Moriarty, Allen Rogers, James Busby.
Barbara Winchester has performed extensively in opera and oratorio in the Boston area with many leading groups, including the Boston Classical Orchestra, the Masterworks Chorale, Cantata Singers, and Emmanuel Musicís series of weekly Bach cantatas Series of weekly Bach Cantatas. She is perhaps best known, however, as a recitalist and interpreter of contemporary music. She has appeared with such groups as Alea III, Composers in Red Sneakers, Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble and the Composers Guild in New York. Winchesterís long collaborations with composers have resulted in premieres of works by Robert Aldridge, Peter Child, David Cleary, Herman Weiss, Virgil Thomson, Rodney Lister, Malcolm Peyton, Arthur Krieger, George Edwards, Steven Mackey, Marjorie Merryman, Arthur Berger, and many others.
A well-known teacher, Barbara Winchester is on the Voice Faculty, Division of Prep & Continuing Ed at New England Conservatory of Music New England (NEC) in Boston. Her voice students at NEC have received many awards. Her former student, Wendy Wang, is the only voice student to have been accepted into the double degree program with Harvard and NEC. Other student awards include the Harvard Musical Association competition and awards from the Handel and Haydn Society Apprenticeship Program.
Barbara Winchester has a passionate interest in a wide range of vocal literature, and has been a member of such varied groups as the Social Harp, a quartet specializing in early American music, and the Boston Chamber Soloists, a vocal ensemble exploring the vocal quartet literature. She has sung much of the repertoire for voice and guitar with Jeffry Steele and Robert Ward. She has appeared in numerous performances with chamber ensembles Dinosaur Annex and Music at Eden's Edge; the latter in in residence at the Hammond Castle in Gloucester. She has appeared in concert at the Gardner Museum, Goethe Institute, French Library, Beauport Museum, Kingís Chapel, MIT Chapel, and many other concert series in the Boston and New England area.
Barbara Winchesterís interest in vocal chamber music led to the co-authorship of a pioneer bibliography in the field: Vocal Chamber Music: A Performerís Guide, published by Garland Press in 1985. The second edition was published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis in 2008. This is a comprehensive bibliography of Vocal Chamber Music, that is, music for solo voice with other solo voices and piano or instrumental ensemble. The book is intended to be a practical guide to this often neglected repertoire. She has recorded on the Centaur label.