Jessica has been performing since she was seven
and teaching privately since 2007. Growing up, she competed in the Bill Riley Talent Search at the Iowa State Fair for fifteen years. She was a Sprout Champion in 1999 and a Senior Finalist in 2007. She loves the competition because it gives youth all over the state the opportunity to perform and practice their craft. Saunders has been teaching at West Music for almost three years and her students have appeared in multiple productions with City Circle Community Theatre, Young Footlighters and Iowa City Community Theatre.
Jessica is currently finishing work Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Iowa. She holds her Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Northern Iowa and her Bachelor’s Degree from Wartburg College. She also currently works as the Opera Research Assistant at the University of Iowa and is an Adjunct Faculty of Applied Voice at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa City.
Jessica is comfortable teaching both classical voice and musical theater style to students of varying skill levels from sages 6 to adult. She believes in building confidence in her students and strives to work with each student to explore their individual skills and talents.
Saunders most recently performed at the Druid City Opera Workshop in Tuscaloosa Alabama, and will be singing with the choir Whateverman in their world premiere of Gabriel Kahane's "Kick the Can." Saunders has performed with the University of Iowa opera theatre as Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus and as The Fairy Queen in Iolanthe. She has also judged at the Bill Riley Talent Search at the Iowa State Fair and appeared as a soloist and ensemble member with Southeast Iowa Symphony, Wartburg Choir, Wartburg Opera Ensemble, UNI Opera Ensemble, Quad Cities Opera and has performed in concert with Simon Estes.
In her free time, Jessica enjoys spending time with her friends, dancing and performance of all kinds...and of course SINGING AND TEACHING!