Eau Claire celebrates World Voice Day

Worldwide celebration starts annual tradition in Eau Claire

McKenna Dirks

More stories from McKenna Dirks

3rd and Vine
April 5, 2022

Photo by Sam Farley

The World Voice Celebration welcomed all ages and featured a variety of interactive stations for attendees to engage in.

Once a year, people around the world gather together to celebrate the human voice and all it is capable of. World Voice Day, held on April 16, is a day for people to recognize the importance of maintaining a healthy voice and appreciating it.

On April 6, the Pablo Center held its first World Voice Celebration — just a few days prior to the international event.  

“We are trying to promote healthy use of the voice,” said Diana Cataldi, an applied voice instructor at UW-Eau Claire. “It’s educational and a celebration.”

Cataldi said the event first took place around four years ago, but this is the start of an annual event. It is also a byproduct of a new Pennsylvania-based organization in Eau Claire called The Voice Foundation, Cataldi said.

The Voice Foundation is the world’s oldest and leading organization dedicated to voice research, medicine, science and education, according to their website. The organization was founded in 1969 by Wilbur James Gould, an internationally recognized voice specialist.

Voice professionals of Eau Claire established a new addition to The Voice Foundation called Western Wisconsin Chapter of The Voice Foundation, Cataldi said.

The World Voice Celebration provided many interactive activities. One activity included “test your voice” assessments, which tests vocal range.

Other hands-on activities included a build-a-larynx craft — where attendees could create a larynx out of paper — video footage of male and female voice box exams, university students teaching relaxation techniques and groups, like the Uncommon Denominator, performing.

“We also try to make it as family friendly as possible,” Cataldi said, “Lots of children’s activities, but mostly veered towards adults. We want to appeal to kids too.”

Katie Spreitzer, a speech pathology student at UW-Eau Claire, had a station set up called “The Singing Larynx.” The Singing Larynx was a video for, primarily, children to watch and educate themselves with.

“It’s really cool to discuss voice and provide education, as well as the groups that have been performing,” Spreitzer said.

Cataldi said a lot of professions use voice, such as giving presentations, teaching and singing.

Laura Hurd, a speech-language pathologist in voice disorders, said her favorite part of this event was giving people their voice back.

The point of this event, Hurd said, is not only to celebrate but to bring awareness to voice, as well as bringing all different professions and individuals together to create even greater awareness to vocal hygiene and health.

“We want to educate people on how to maintain that part of the body — giving information about how it works,” Cataldi said. “It’s an underappreciated part of the body.”

Cataldi said the foundation wants people to have a better understanding of the body parts people don’t think about on a daily basis.

Dirks can be reached at [email protected].