Helen Hodam received her Bachelors of Music degree from Illinois Wesleyan University. She subsequently studied at Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School, University of Vienna, the Mozarteum (Salzburg), Aspen School of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, the Goethe Institut (Munich), and Alliance Francaise (New York and Paris).  Her teachers include Luigi Rossini, Paul Schilawsky, Paul Steinitz, Irene Aitoff, Olga Eisner, Grace Perry, Erik Werba, Eva Gauthier, and Ernst Wolff.

Hodam taught at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music from 1963 until 1984, and was a member of the voice faculty at New England Conservatory from 1977 until her retirement in Spring 2004. During this period, Hodam was also elected a member of the prestigious American Academy of Teachers of Singing in 1988, and in 1998 was appointed adjudicator for the Washington International Competition for Singers. In October 2004, as part of the homecoming weekend, “A Celebration of Song”, NEC presented a concert in tribute to Helen Hodam. The program notes for this concert cite the success of so many of her students as one of her greatest accomplishments: “Among Helen Hodam’s achievements there are 12 European and 20 Canadian and US opera houses where her students have sung. These students have won many prestigious prizes: 20 have successfully competed in Metropolitan opera auditions, winning district, semifinal, or final competitions. Two of her students have won Dealey awards, three of them Fulbrights, and 20 have been first place winners in National Association of Teachers of Singing competitions.”

Among the renowned singers who studied with Hodam are: Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano; Lisa Saffer, soprano; Ann Panagulias, soprano; William Thorpe, baritone; and Carole Haber, soprano and member of the NEC voice faculty.In addition to her teaching, Hodam also performed as a soprano soloist at many churches including Christ Church in New York. She also appeared in various opera and summer theater productions with groups such as the Paper Mill Playhouse and the Berkshire Opera Players.

Physical description

The Helen Hodam collection consists of .5 lin. ft.  This collection consists of books, a small number of papers, and miscellaneous artifacts


Helen Hodam donated a large collection to the NEC Library in February 2005, consisting of approximately 2,000 scores, 150 books, 200 CDs and 550 LPs. The gift transfer was handled by Hodam’s executor, Bradford Swing.  The scores were primarily in the classical vocal genre, covering all periods. The majority of these scores were cataloged and placed into circulation so that NEC students may benefit from this wonderful donation.  Those scores deemed rare were shelved in the NEC library vault. The recordings from Hodam’s collection covered the standard vocal repertoire, sung by a variety of singers. There were also several rare recordings of art song, cantatas, and opera. This group of recordings fills in important gaps in NEC’s audio library collection.

Hodam’s book collection contained titles pertaining to vocal pedagogy and composer biography. There were also books about foreign languages and instruction, as well as other miscellaneous materials. This finding aid is a guide to those language books and additional materials.


Access to the Helen Hodam Collection is by appointment through the Archivist or Director of Libraries. There are no restrictions pertaining to this collection.


All copyrights to this collection belong to the New England Conservatory. Permission to publish is through the Director of Libraries. This collection should be cited as the Helen Hodam Collection, New England Conservatory Archives. Boston, MA.