Taylor O'Donnell

Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments
Faculty Bio E-Mail

For media inquiries, please contact Media Relations

Known for her exploratory use of vocal color and texture, and sincere delivery in her musical stylings, Taylor O’Donnell is a contemporary vocalist, educator, and conductor who uses her roots in R&B, folk, jazz, rock, and classical music to communicate her musical dialogue.  Growing up in Colorado and living all over the country from Florida to Maine, her performing experience has taken her from playing with her own jazz trio on cruise ships and throughout New England to performing as a guest artist with symphony orchestras. Her musical diversity informs her deep love for vocal improvisation and for exploring a plethora of sounds and colors to connect more deeply to her audience.

Career Highlights
  • Lead vocalist for the retro-soul band Mother Superior and the Sliding Royales
  • Vocalist, songwriter, and keyboard player for the electronica trio Novel/Novella
  • Soprano vocalist and pianist for the Vintage Vocal Quartet
  • Appears on jazz trumpet player Chris Klaxton's albums, Starcode and Collage
  • Appearances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City
  • Appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, working with producer David Foster
  • Member of the Seacoast Jazz Society advisory board from 2017 until 2019
  • Studied with Phil Mattson, Diana Spradling, Duane Davis, Steve Zegree, and Terence Blanchard
  • Performances alongside artists Donny McCaslin, Dave Douglas, Lyle Mays, Fred Hersch, and Jed Wilson
  • M.M., University of Miami, Frost School of Music
  • B.M., Western Michigan University
  • A.A., School for Music Vocations at Southwestern Community College
In Their Own Words

"Singing authentically starts with exploring the unique sounds each individual can make. I love that Berklee is a place where you can hone your own distinct abilities and sound through dedication and hard work. I hope my students come away from their lessons with a deeper connection to their instrument, material, audience, and, most of all, to themselves."  

"Building an honest, open rapport with my students is something I take very seriously as being part of someone's musical journey. By discovering the sounds, textures, and rhythms hidden inside of you, and through deepening your capacity to listen, your voice becomes both the paint and paintbrush as an artist. Exploring vocal technique and singing beyond your comfort zone helps you learn to trust your instrument, sing emotionally and freely, and at least catch a glimpse of what is possible."

"A sense of body awareness, connection to the breath, a free-functioning voice, passionate delivery, and connection to the lyrics are all essential for any unshakeable performer, and I try to address each student's needs on an individual basis. I nurture their connection to the art of practice and a solid work ethic so that they may bring prowess and passion to their music. At the end of the day, I aim to help them remember why they started their musical journey in the first place. Music school is difficult. It's not about figuring out how to get famous or being the best: it's about connecting to your truest self, deepening your skills, and finding your musical message, so that you leave Berklee with a sense of purpose."

Get More Information

By requesting information from Berklee, you will receive emails about our educational programs, student resources, facilities, and more based on your selections.