Maestro of Resonance: An Interview with Dr. Stephen King

Dr. Stephen King

Dr. Stephen King

Dr. King, it is a privilege and honor to have the opportunity to share your career highlights with our audience. As an internationally recognized teacher, you fly into L.A. to work with our young artists three days every month.

How do the great vocal teachers get great? May we recap a bit of your formal academic path?
I was hooked nearly from the beginning. I went to college at Auburn University in Alabama and began by studying biochemistry. When I made the critical discovery that it would never be my passion, I joined the choir and auditioned for the voice program. After acceptance, I started intensively studying voice. Within six months, I was on stage singing in my first show, Gianni Schicchi. I cringe when I think of how I must have sounded then! After that, I entered graduate school at Florida State University and began singing.

In a few short years, you gained noted expertise as an acclaimed singer and esteemed vocal teacher.
Music is a small world, and your students can be your best advertisement. I was teaching a student who was in the finals at the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum competition. The person running the opera studio asked me outright if l would teach for them. She said, “We keep hearing exceptional things from your students!” I agreed to fly from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, where I was teaching, to Houston once a week, and give it a try. Rice University became involved and asked me to formally interview with them for a faculty position. I did, and eventually became the Lynette S. Autrey Professor of Voice, and Chair of Vocal Studies at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice.

Singing has provided me with a diverse career. I have been fortunate to sing in Italy, China and throughout the U.S. Once I came to Houston, my teaching left little time for singing. Now, in addition to my responsibilities in Houston and L.A., I am on the artist faculty for Aspen Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival and the International Meistersinger Academy.

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Renee Eve Salick, Ed.D. is a retired management consultant with expertise in educational diagnositc assessments and marketing/communication. A life-long volunteer, Renee currently delights in volunteering in several capacities for OLLA.

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