Meet the BVC Aspire Team!

bfa broadway industry college women in theatre Apr 20, 2023

One of the first things you'll do is meet with your team of personal coaches in your initial consultation.

To get to know you, we'll have you sing and read, and answer some questions that help us get to know you and what makes you unique!

Over the next four months, you'll receive 12 hours of performance coaching dedicated to choosing and working on your audition songs and monologues.

Cynthia Kortman Westphal 

Aspire Co-Founder

On top of being a tenured faculty member at the University of Michigan's department of Musical Theatre, Cynthia is a Broadway music director and conductor. Most recently, Cynthia music directed the first North American tour of COME FROM AWAY. Broadway shows include: The Lion King, (where she was an original company member, associate music director, conductor, and keyboard player for seven years), A Christmas Story (written by former students Benj Pasek and Justin Paul), The Gershwin's Fascinating Rhythm, and Miss Saigon.

Fun facts:

She is obsessed with her 6 pound dog named Bailey, and 2 chickens named Daisy and Mary. She has two sons in high school who are NOT going into musical theatre. And she is 6' tall!

While Cynthia wears many hats, she is passionate about working with singers—especially in helping them discover their ability to sing in the multitude of vocal styles that are happening today—and her current and former students can be seen in nearly every Broadway musical each season, as well as in regional theaters across the country, and in film and TV.

Chelsea Wilson

Aspire Co-Founder

It's already been a wild year for our co-founder, Chelsea Wilson… She welcomed her second daughter earlier this year! ๐ŸŽ‰Chelsea is a vocal coach and voice teacher, and she co-founded Broadway Vocal Coach with Cynthia Kortman Westphal!

When it comes to the overwhelm AND joys of the college audition process, Chelsea gets it! She went through it herself and ended up getting her BFA from the University of Michigan (which is where she met Cynthia)! โฌ‡๏ธ

"My mom and I went through the college audition process back in 2007-08, and we were absolutely clueless! It was a stressful experience for my entire family as we navigated it all on our own, piecing together information from various websites, and cobbling together help from multiple teachers and mentors. It was a year long roller coaster ride!"

Chelsea became the official associate vocal coach for the Broadway companies of SCHOOL OF ROCK in 2017, and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA in 2018. She was also the associate coach for the national and international tours of SCHOOL OF ROCK, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR.

After eight years living and working in New York City, in 2020 Chelsea found her way to to Wisconsin, then Washington State, and now North Carolina! She now lives in Raleigh with her musical-theatre loving, piano-playing husband and their two daughters. ๐Ÿฅฐ

A fun fact about Chelsea is that her favorite color is CHARTREUSE!

Julie Kavanagh 

Program Director

Julie is currently on the 1st Nat’l Tour of Mrs. Doubtfire in the ensemble/Dance Captain. She has been working with performers on their college MT audition process for the last 9 years! In fact, she went through the college audition process herself before getting her BFA in musical theatre from CCM.

๐ŸŒŸ A few fun facts about Julie ๐ŸŒŸ

1. Between the start of Aspire 2023 to the start of Aspire 2024—Julie will have travelled to 26 different US cities, and 15 States with Mrs. Doubtfire on Tour!

2. Julie knows Katie (2022 Aspire Head Coach), Chelsea (BVC Co-Founder), and Casey (BVC Operations Manager) from a NYC Ladies Book Club they all joined many moons ago ๐Ÿฅฐ

Your Julie, Cynthia, & Chelsea got together for an episode of the BVC podcast to discuss the 7 things families overlook during the musical theatre college audition process!

Click here to listen to the episode!

Marjorie Failoni

Assistant Director & Dance Coach

From child hand model to BVC Aspire Assistant Program Director & Dance Coach, meet Marjorie!

Marjorie is a New York based performer, creative, and educator. She's originally from St. Louis, MO and holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan. 

โžก๏ธ Choreography credits: Christmas in Connecticut at Goodspeed Opera House & a new adaptation of The Little Mermaid on the Disney Wish.

โžก๏ธ She has performed around the country!

Broadway: Escape to Margaritaville (Dance Captain/swing &Tammy u/s)

Nat'l Tours: 9-5 (Dance Caption) & Disney's High School Musical (Dance Captain)

Marjorie is on faculty at Broadway Dance Center in NYC, and judges for dance competitions. 

Bre Jackson

Performance Coach

It all began when Chelsea (BVC co-founder) and Bre met as first-year college students at the University of Michigan, where Cynthia (BVC co-founder) would be their professor. Fun fact...Bre started college at the age of 16!!

We are thrilled to welcome back Bre Jackson to our BVC Aspire Team! Bre made her Broadway debut with The Book Of Mormon and has gone on to star on Broadway and National Tours many times since. She understudied Cynthia Erivo as Celie in the 2015 revival of The Color Purple, was seen on Broadway as Catherine of Aragon in SIX The Musical, and is currently in MJ The Musical on Broadway.

Other credits include Dreamgirls as Effie in the South Korean Tour, and Pricilla Queen of the Desert National tour. On TV, Bre appeared in Jesus Christ Superstar: Live in concert on NBC, starring John Legend.

A few fun facts about Bre: 

๐ŸŒŸShe’s a Capricorn

๐ŸŒŸPlain kettle chips are her weakness

Grace Morgan

Performance Coach

Grace Morgan is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Musical Theater program and spent years traveling North America as the alternate for Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera. Regional credits include Sandy in Grease at Forestburgh Playhouse, Belle in A Christmas Carol at the Denver Theater Center, Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music at Indiana Repertory Theatre and most recently Irene Molloy in Hello Dolly! at Beef and Boards. 

In addition to her performing career, Grace is busy raising her two young children in Manhattan alongside her husband who also just happens to be her college sweetheart ๐Ÿฅฐ

๐ŸŒŸFun fact: Grace is left-handed!

Naz Edwards

Performance Coach

From mentoring high school students in Michael Feinstein's Great American Songbook vocal competition to teaching master classes at the University of Michigan, Naz has dedicated over a decade to nurturing talent across the country. Whether in her private studio preparing students for university auditions or sharing her expertise as a guest clinician and mentor, Naz believes that a fusion of performing, acting, singing, interpretation, presentation, and, most importantly, storytelling, is essential for a fully realized performance. “Connect-Create-Communicate” is the hallmark of her work.

Some of her most cherished roles are:

โžก๏ธ Broadway: Zorba (the Leader) & Anna Karenina (Dunyasha)

โžก๏ธ Tours: Zorba & Ken Hill's Phantom of the Opera (Madame Giry)


Anime fans might recognize her as the voice of Queen Beryl in the cult series Sailor Moon!

Kaitlyn Davis

Performance Coach

Kaitlyn has starred as Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at major regional theatres across the country (which is where she met BVC co-founder Cynthia!) and understudied Carole King and Cynthia Weil in the national tour.  Prior to Beautiful, Kaitlyn played Christine Daaé in the North American Tour of The Phantom of the Opera, where she had the incredible opportunity to perform for Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Kennedy Center!

She holds a Masters of Music in Opera from Rutgers University, and B.S. in Music Education from Hofstra University. She is also a passionate musician and songwriter with indie pop music available on all streaming platforms.

A few fun facts about Kaitlyn:

๐Ÿธ She has a pet toad named Small Daphne who she is OBSESSED with (and who is indifferent towards her at best)

๐Ÿ“š She loves fantasy novels

Kelcy Griffin

Performance Coach

You might have spotted her in TV shows like Power, Gotham, and the Emmy-winning Fosse/Verdon, where she brought Debbie Allen to life…please join us in welcoming @kelcygriffin to the Aspire team!

Kelcy is a proud Chicago native and has a BFA in musical theatre from the University of Michigan. Broadway credits include Chicago and Bullets Over Broadway choreographed by Susan Stroman. She has performed with numerous national tours including Dreamgirls and Memphis the Musical. 

A few fun facts about Kelcy:

๐ŸŒŸHer parents own a chocolate shop. 

๐ŸŒŸShe was fluent in Japanese in kindergarten. 

We're thrilled to have Kelcy as part of our Aspire team! 

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