Newport News-native Heather Parcells performed in her first professional job dancing at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg during her senior year of high school. Heather received her BFA from the Florida State University, moved to New York and in 10 days landed the role of Velma Kelly in the National Tour of CHICAGO. Heather made her Broadway debut in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Her television and film credits include Every Little Step, Guiding Light, Good Morning America, The Today Show and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Heather also appeared on the 100th Episode of Dancing with the Stars with Mario Lopez. In NYC Heather is on the faculty for The Broadway Artists Alliance, and has taught for The Broadway Dance Center, Broadway Classroom and Camp Broadway.
In 2012, Christopher Newport University established the Torggler Summer Vocal Institute (TSVI), a prestigious residency program for emerging young singers who wish to train with world-renowned vocal pedagogues and performers. TSVI exposes students to critical theories while developing a wide variety of essential performance skills during a two-week intensive artistic experience. All voice lessons, coaching and master classes are taught by leading performers, teachers and scholars. Skill-classes and workshops — including private lessons, vocal health, sight-singing skills, ensemble singing, diction, dance, acting, and movement and stage combat are offered. A maximum of 50 students are chosen to participate each year. TSVI is made possible by a generous gift from George and Mary Torggler, retired entrepreneurs and longtime supporters of the arts and education.