David Sorin Collyer
singer, actor, voice teacher
5/31/1914 – 5/9/1996

My Dad, David Sorin-Collyer, touched a lot of people’s lives. He was an extraordinary vocal teacher and coach, and he was a mentor to many. Starting out in Vaudeville, he then went on to do many Broadway Shows and Concerts. Dad was an entertainer through and through.

To me it was normal to expect that at any moment, no matter where we were, Dad would just burst into a song. As kids we were mortified, but that soon changed, and those moments became so loved and appreciated and now have become really wonderful memories.

I will always treasure the last few years of his life. We became especially close, not just as father and daughter, but as two artists exchanging ideas. This collaboration began when I apprenticed with him to learn to teach his vocal technique, of “Controlled Relaxation”. We also had such a ball putting an act together and doing concerts. I learned so much from his freedom, sharing, and pure joy on stage and in life.

Dad loved us children more than anything in his life. He would be so proud to see how much the family has grown.

To all of us, myself, Greg, Gail, Aaron, Ryan, Nathan, Gary, Denise, Cooper Mey, Uncle Frank, Kate and to our mom, Nanci Sorin-Collyer

His Spirit Lives On!!!

David Sorin Collyer was one of America’s foremost voice teachers, as well as a singing actor who appeared in many successful Broadway Shows. His students include many of America’s most famous singers and actors, as well as countless everyday speakers and people with speaking disabilities.

Singers who worked with David:

  • Paul Simon
  • Michael Bolton
  • Liza Minnelli
  • Barry Manilow
  • Bette Midler
  • The Manhattan Transfer
  • Ashford and Simpson
  • Chita Rivera
  • “Miami” Steve Van Zandt
  • Billy Idol
  • Meatloaf
  • Lucy Arnaz
  • Donna Murphy
  • Abbey Lincoln
  • Melanie
  • Melissa Manchester
  • Claire Barry
  • Patti D’Beck
  • Arlene Martell
  • Walter Willison
  • Sheila MacRae
  • Heather MacRae
  • Moogy Klingman
  • Buzzy Linhart

Actors who worked with David:

  • Eileen Fulton
  • Raquel Welch
  • Brooke Shields
  • Rita Moreno
  • Michael Nouri
  • Jack Albertson
  • Colleen Zenk
  • Carol Alt
  • Tovah Feldshuh
  • Madelyn Kahn
  • Bianca Jagger
  • Ron Pearlman

David studied voice in Berlin and the United States. He made his Broadway debut in Rogers and Hammerstein’s Allegro, in 1947, and subsequently spent twenty five years working steadily in the musical theatre.

Here is a list of some of the shows David appeared in:

Yoshe Kalb as Gedaliah
Opening: Dec 28, 1933 Closing: unknown Total Performances: 4

The Ziegfeld Follies
Opening: Nov 3, 1936 Closing: unknown

Nashville Sea Legs as Ben Yost’s Catalina Eight
Opening: May 18, 1937 Closing: May 29, 1937 Total Performances: 15

Allegro as English Professor
Opening: Oct 10, 1947 Closing: Jul 10, 1948 Total Performances: 315

Love Life as Leffcourt, a Go-Getter
Opening: Oct 7, 1948 Closing: May 14, 1949 Total Performances: 252

Miss Liberty as a brother Opening:
Jul 15, 1949 Closing: Apr 8, 1950 Total Performances: 308

Kiss Me Kate
Opening: Dec 30, 1948 Closing: Jul 28, 1951 Total Performances: 1070

The Liar
Opening: May 18, 1950 Closing: May 27, 1950 Total Performances: 12

Pardon Our French as performer
Opening: Oct 5, 1950 Closing: Jan 6, 1951 Total Performances: 100

Can Can as Bailiff & Assistant Stage Manager
Opening: May 7, 1953 Closing: Jun 25, 1955 Total Performances: 892

Kismet as Wazir
Opening: Dec 3, 1953 Closing: Apr 23, 1955 Total Performances: 583

Seventh Heaven as Gobin
Opening: May 26, 1955 Closing: Jul 2, 1955 Total Performances: 44

Silk Stockings as replacement
Opening: Feb 24, 1955 Closing: Apr 14, 1956 Total Performances: 478

Happy Hunting as singer
Opening: Dec 6, 1956 Closing: Nov 30, 1957 Total Performances: 412

Fiorello as Mr Zappatella
Opening: Nov 23, 1959 Closing: Oct 28, 1961 Total Performances: 795

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying as Tackaberry
Opening: Oct 14, 1961 Closing: Mar 6, 1965 Total Performances: 1417

collyer_bio_1Singer, Actor, Voice Therapist & Teacher

David Collyer was involved in the field of vocal communication for over fifty years. His long career began as an actor in the “Little Theatre” in Jersey City, New Jersey at the age of seventeen, and progressed rapidly to co-producer of a stock company within the same geographical location. Furthering his career, David Collyer appeared in various theatrical mediums, and various roles some of which were Vaudeville, Night Clubs, Master of Ceremonies, Broadway Shows and Musical Stock Companies.

collyer_bio_2David Collyer left behind his beloved career to enlist in the United States Army in March of 1942 and served as a First Lieutenant with the 78th Infantry Division in the European Theatre of Operation. He was discharged on July 4th, 1946, once again to pursue his career. During his enlistment, David studied voice in Germany, preparing for a Grand Opera Concert Career. His studies and auxiliary interest extended his vocal ability and prepared him linguistically to be conversant in French, German and Italian.

David Collyer began a career of vocal instruction during his participation in Broadway Shows. This soon expanded into the field of lecturing to orthodontic societies. He developed exercises that could readily be applied to the rehabilitation of their patients. David Collyer actively pursued both careers and expanded his interests into the research of voice and speech articulatory functions. With his extensive knowledge, David Collyer helped individuals in various careers, some of which are: Singers, Actors, Speakers, Lawyers, Doctors, Clergy, any Discipline requiring use of the voice.

 David Collyer with Liza Minnelli

David Collyer
with Liza Minnelli

His technique and exercises placed him in demand for Medical Panel Discussions, Lectures and Discussion Groups. While pursuing this aspect of his career, David Collyer joined the staff of the New York Hospital, Cornell Medical, Plastic Surgery Team as a Voice and Speech Therapist for the Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Program. David Collyer worked directly with the Chief of Staff of the hospital, Dr. Herbert Conway, the eminent plastic surgeon. During this period, David engaged in the extensive research in Physiology, the anatomical structure and the Myofunctional aspects of vocal communication. During this tenure, David Collyer lectured the various medical disciplines on the proper vocal myofunctional rehabilitation techniques at the monthly patients conferences.