Cherry Duke and Risa Renae Harman presented a most informative and illuminating Zoom Webinar, Crafting Your Career: Essential Business Skills for Performing Artists, to students at St. Olaf College. Their advice and knowledge, based on years of experience in the performing arts world, was invaluable to all students–regardless of their path in music. Everyone left the webinar inspired with tools and new information to move forward in their careers.

— Tammy Hensrud, Professor of Voice, St. Olaf College

Being a musician is about more than just performing and playing an instrument. It is also about learning how to market yourself, manage money, find gigs, and make connections with other musicians with the intentions of building relationships and connections. On Monday I had the opportunity to attend a seminar over these principles. There is so much that goes into being a good musician and I am so grateful for Cherry Duke’s seminar explaining everything on how to become a better performing artist.

— Ashley, Undergraduate Clarinet Major, Northeastern State University

I have to tell you how marvelous the seminar was this afternoon. You shared such informative material with our students and were so engaging in your presentation. When that number of students comes to talk afterward, you know you got to them.

— Martha Hart, Voice Faculty, Webster University

Cherry covered topics that we need to know as a freelance artists and explained them in a way that was easy to understand. She helped me further understand how to promote myself and how to stay connected.

— Ellen, Resident Artist, Winter Opera St. Louis

The class was amazing! The way that it is organized and your knowledge of marketing, websites and social media was not only incredibly impressive but also extremely helpful. Also, your style of presenting is so warm and approachable, that everyone was put at ease enough to really get something out of it.

— Ellen Zimmer Lewis, Music Department Coordinator, Lehigh University

Cherry Duke was very informative and knowledgeable about how as a performer you also need to be an entrepreneur. It was very helpful to know what is expected of you as a professional besides knowing your craft.

— Sarah, Undergraduate Voice Student,, Salisbury University

Cherry’s presentation was fast-moving, informative, witty, and clear. As a composer, I believe I now have more tools for making my online presence more effective.

— Paul Salerni, PhD, Composition Faculty, Lehigh University

Cherry Duke gives terrific seminars on a wide range of important topics and issues for young singers including social media, websites, and other technology-related skills. Her lively, interactive presentations offer a wealth of practical information and empower young artists with new ideas to market their talents. I recommend Cherry without hesitation and look forward to having her back at Alabama.

— Paul Houghtaling, PhD, Voice Faculty and Director of Opera, University of Alabama

I feel that the presenter is very knowledgeable about the subject matter, encourages audience participation, and is full of helpful resources. I can’t wait for her next lecture!

— Christopher, Graduate Voice Student, University of Alabama

[After attending “Social Media for Performing Artists:”] I thought I knew a lot about social media, having grown up in a digital age, but I learned so much more than I thought I knew! I now know what possibilities abound!

— Amanda, Masters Student in Voice, New York University

Cherry’s presentation on social media for the performing artist is simply fantastic. Since social media is here to stay, she clearly highlights the ways in which performers are able to capitalize on the professional advantages made available through this communication tool. In addition to discussing the nuances of how a performer can build professional relationships, she also talks about some common pitfalls to avoid as a performer. The class response was so overwhelmingly positive that my students said “this should be mandatory for all performance majors.” Thanks for a wonderful presentation!

— Jeremy Aye, Voice Faculty, New York University

Learning to be a singer and learning to be a professional singer are two different processes. Dr. Harman’s seminars will show you how to merge your love for singing into a realistic pursuit of a musical career.

— Casey Robards, collaborative pianist, vocal coach, Bay View Music Festival

Risa Renae Harman investigates the traditional methods of management and self marketing and continues to update the class with the new trends that the industry, technology and social media afford us. This class is fun, interactive and its information invaluable to all singers, regardless of whether they have management or not.

— Buffy Baggott, mezzo-soprano, voice teacher

Through Risa Renae Harman’s Money Management seminar, I learned so much about creating a realistic budget that is applicable to my lifestyle. I have implemented her advice, and I’m spending less and staying within my budget allowances! Her advice on taxes was helpful as well. I did them on my own this year, using some of her suggested advice. Risa made the financial aspect of career planning easy to understand, and something that I felt I could do.

— Brittany, Opera Student, Bay View Music Festival

Using her vast experience as a singer and marketing expert, Cherry provided our young singers with information to assist them in creating a professional presence on the web as well as how to navigate the fast-paced digital marketing world. Cherry’s presentation is engaging, clear and concise, with specific information on how to compete in today’s ever-changing artistic marketplace. This program is a must for any performing artist interested in moving forward in their career.

— Risa, Voice Faculty, Bay View Music Festival

Thanks for all the help today! I always like the way you explain things. You are so much clearer than other computer gurus I have had! (My niece, who has a doctorate in Middle East history; has published and is brilliant, talks about NEVER understanding what the computer teachers are talking about when she has gone in for help!)

— Martha, computer tutoring client, New York City

Cherry Duke’s presentation contextualized the various social media options and helped me focus on those that have the most impact of my intended audience. She’s an energetic, engaging presenter who takes an active interest in the students she is working with.

— Lisa, Graduate Student in Voice and Composition, University of Iowa

I’m moderately tech-savvy, and I still learned a lot about ways I can communicate more effectively, and how I can mix and match different tools to create an online presence that is uniquely me. I think what I enjoyed the most is your emphasis on how these virtual connections can strengthen and support our real face-to-face relationships in our communities. Thanks also for providing so many great resources and empowering us to learn more on our own now that the workshop is over.

— Emily, mezzo-soprano, voice teacher