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Dr. Carleen Graham Named Associate Dean And Director of Vocal Arts At Manhattan School Of Music

Dr. Graham is director of HGOco, Houston Grand Opera's celebrated initiative that connects the company to its community.

Dr. Carleen Graham Named Associate Dean And Director of Vocal Arts At Manhattan School Of Music

Renowned international music conservatory Manhattan School of Music (MSM) announced today that esteemed educator, director, and arts ambassador Dr. Carleen Graham will join the Vocal Arts division as the School's inaugural Associate Dean and Director of Vocal Arts beginning on July 1, 2021.

An experienced and respected educator - she is a Distinguished Teaching Professor Emerita of the State University of New York at Potsdam - Dr. Graham is director of HGOco, Houston Grand Opera's celebrated initiative that connects the company to its community through numerous learning and community programs serving over 80,000 Houstonians annually. In her new position at MSM, she will provide a unifying leadership role to oversee all aspects of the Vocal Arts student experience, ensuring a cohesive learning environment within the four areas of the division: voice, vocal related studies, choral, and opera.

She will lead a division that includes Chair of Vocal Arts Maitland Peters, Director of Opera Studies Tazewell Thompson, Director of Choral Activities Kent Tritle, and a host of distinguished faculty in advancing decisions related to academic and artistic programming that reflect and foster a culture of inclusion and a high level of collaboration among students, faculty, and administrative staff.

"We are absolutely delighted to welcome Dr. Graham to MSM," says Executive Vice President and Provost Joyce Griggs. "She brings a deep commitment to training and preparing exceptional young people to forge future careers as artists, teachers, leaders in the arts, and as global citizens who will contribute creatively and sensitively to the world we all share. Her deep experience bringing opera to the Houston community, and her related work with many service organizations, reflects an interest in arts advocacy and the relevance and deep value of the performing arts, not just in the lives of students, but in the lives of audiences as well."

Central to Dr. Graham's work at MSM will be her leadership in shaping a future of artistic training at MSM that is responsive to our current societal challenges and provides students the opportunity for exploring new performance paradigms. Building on MSM's legacy for artistic innovation, Dr. Graham and faculty colleagues will develop a curriculum for classical singers that sharpens their artistic preparation and readiness to enter a profession that has been profoundly changed by current and recent events.

"For over 100 years, Manhattan School of Music has been foundational in the musical education of countless world-class professionals across a wide spectrum of the performing arts and other industries," Dr. Graham said in a statement. "Located in one of the most exciting cities in the world, it offers unprecedented educational, artistic, and civic opportunities to its diverse international student population. The newly structured Vocal Arts Division provides an exciting opportunity to reimagine what a 21st-century music education means for aspiring young singers. I am grateful to President Gandre and Provost Griggs for the opportunity to serve this historic institution and to work with its impressive faculty to provide an inclusive and safe space where all students can creatively explore, learn, and begin to lay their path in a rapidly changing performing arts industry."

MSM's voice department counts among its many high-profile alumni Susan Graham, J'Nai Bridges, Soloman Howard, Nicholas Phan, Sol Jin, Dolora Zajick, Shuler Hensley, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Dawn Upshaw, Simon O'Neill, Yunpeng Wang, and Lauren Flanigan. Its opera studies program has a long history of acclaim, having been hailed over the years by The New York Times, Opera News, and The New Yorker, among many other publications.

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