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Voice Emergent‘s founder, Barclay McMillan, had a passion for sharing his innovative voicework that was fueled by his own personal experience of the healing power of sound.

Barclay McMillan, voice teacher in Ottawa, CanadaBarclay created opportunities for people to discover, or recover, their singing voices and explore them in a context of healing and well-being from 1991 until his death on November 2, 2019. He offered a range of courses and informal singing gatherings in Ottawa and took his work to other parts of Canada, the US and Europe.

A graduate of Carleton University and the University of Toronto, Barclay completed doctoral studies in practical Divinity (D. Min.) at UCS, Oakland. His dissertation, “Dancing Voice, Moving Spirit”, is a heuristic study of the transformative experience of participants in his LifeSong program.

A former teacher, naval officer and radio broadcaster, he was the host of Mostly Music, the CBC’s classical music flagship. Listen here to Barclay’s interview with Glenn Gould from this program. Barclay contributed many articles to The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada and The Canadian Encyclopedia. An experienced public speaker, he entertained service clubs, university societies, churches, and medical conventions with his good-humoured, articulate enthusiasm for the human voice and its potential.



After doing LifeSong, my singing and ability to express the emotional depths of my songs grew by leaps and bounds. I am head and shoulders above where I’ve ever been before.
Sue Foley, recording artist and Juno Award winner

Barclay has a genius for gently drawing forth potential while inviting fun and creativity. I feel more confident in all my vocal expression and more deeply connected to who I am at my core.
Helen Daniels, Helen Daniels Coaching

Click on the picture below to see a video of LifeSong graduates celebrating Barclay’s birthday at the National Arts Centre:

(photo by Petr Maur)

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