“Ashley is a talented performer and a joy to work with. Her voice is incredibly versatile, perfect for classical, contemporary, or musical theatre.”
David Brown, Music Director, New York
“Ashley Willits is a delight to work with. Not only is she a thrilling singer, she is a superb actress and an eager participant in the rehearsal process. Ashley’s talent and professionalism are a joy to behold.”
Steven Hess, Musical Theatre Director
Bidalia Albanese, Director and Choreographer
“Ashley is a beautiful, exciting, sparkling, and sensual Soprano…. So privileged to be her voice instructor at UC Santa Barbara. I never doubted her talent, her wonderful and inspiring personality!”
Susana Poretsky, Mezzo-Soprano Opera Professional
"I started working with Ashley Willits at UC Santa Barbara in 2008, and continued to work with her until her graduation. Ashley has a very charismatic and lively quality. She’s very approachable, eager to learn and improve, and is kind to her colleagues and teachers. Ashley has a good feeling for the stage and for stagecraft. Her voice is lyrical and carries well in the theater. Her ease and enthusiasm on stage are evident.
I recommend Ashley without reservation."
Dr. John Ballerino, Continuing Lecturer, UC Santa Barbara
"I have had the fortune of working with Ashley as a vocal and acting soloist in my company's most recent production. Ashley truly has the voice of an angel! Her gift reaches deep into the heart and impacts the soul. She is a real pro and her kindness and humility are astounding, given her superior gifts in the vocal and performing arts. I only hope to have the opportunity to work with her again! She is a rare and invaluable jewel!"
Coleen Lorenz, Artistic Director NewGround Theatre Dance Company & President, ArtsUnityMovement non-profit
Faculty, Visual/Performing Arts:
Present - Canada College, Notre Dame High School
Previous - Notre Dame de Namur University, University of Michigan
"Ashley Willits is an accomplished singer with superb training and technique. While working together she had numerous pedagogical ideas that benefited our groups. She is also a fine pianist and was often called upon to accompany. She proved to be an excellent colleague who not only had new ideas but also a willingness to learn."
Jay Jordan, 40 year Music Director at Serra High School, San Mateo, CA
"Ashley is an amazingly talented performer and leader. I had the privilege of working with her for several years and was unbelievably impressed. She has the uncanny ability to make just about anyone comfortable with singing and bring out the best in them. As our music director she worked with students from 6th-12th grade. With these young performers she created amazing concerts that were lively, engaging, and unexpected--in the best way possible. Student talents were encouraged and showcased. There were no superstars because Ashley wanted to give everyone a chance in the spotlight. The creativity and originality was a joy to witness every year. Ashley is also a very poised and natural director and leader, drawing the audience into the story of each performance with her narratives and interludes. Ashley is a true gem. You can't go wrong with her."
Anne Schaefer-Salinas, Former Associate Head of School, Notre Dame High School, Belmont, CA
“I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Ashley Willits and have witnessed her incredible talent as a coloratura soprano, choir and orchestra director, music teacher, and her ability to work with students of all ages. Ashley is an incredibly talented musician and to hear her singing voice is like listening to an angel from heaven. She is definitely one of a kind!”
Carolyn Hutchins, Retired Associate Head of School, Notre Dame High School, Belmont, CA
"Ashley and I have been colleagues for the last four years. We met as part of team of high school music teachers to work with high school aged singers, both in a mixed chorus and as soloists and small ensemble members preparing for the high school musical. I can easily say that working with Ashley made my job easier and tons more interesting and fun. Why? Ashley exudes love: of music, of her family who she is very close to, to her students, her friends. She is kind and encouraging, full of good ideas to make the process of music-learning more successful, and she always was very humble when she needed advice about how to tackle conducting or musical glitch. With her strong and beautiful voice, her dramatic experience, Ashley could demonstrate what she wanted in particular passages and had terrific technical ideas to achieve her goals. Ashley has a beautiful, open mind; open to learning, open to make connections, open to new things. My best to her."
Pam Matthews, 25 year Music Director at Mercy High School, Burlingame, CA
"Ashley Willits is a talented musician, director, and educator. She has the proven ability as an educator to select repertoire that is both engaging and challenging for her students thus ensuring they actively participate while learning history, theory, and proper vocal technique. As a director, Ashley exhibits a calm demeanor that puts the vocalists and instrumentalists under her baton at ease. Ms. Willits takes the time to mentor students interested in directing by working with them to select music for ensembles then allowing them the chance to rehearse and direct a piece during the concert. From Schubert to Carole King, Ashley’s skill as a performer is unquestionable both as a pianist and vocalist. The timbre of her voice is stunning; a treat for anyone in the audience. Ashley is an ideal colleague and I recommend her without reservation."
Sean Kennedy, Senior Media Systems Specialist, Santa Clara University, CA
Owner, Sean K. Kennedy Audio