Chapman University’s College of Performing Arts (CoPA) extends a warm welcome to Dr. Rebecca Sherburn, the new Director of Vocal Studies and Associate Professor of Voice in the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music! This position was previously held by Professor Margaret Dehning who retired in May after her 20-year tenure at Chapman.
Dr. Sherburn brings a wealth of academic and professional experience to Chapman and CoPA. She served on the conservatory faculty of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) where she was honored with the Muriel McBrien Kaufmann Excellence in Teaching Award. During her 15-year tenure at UMKC, her scholarly work was published in professional journals of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the American Choral Directors Association, and the College Music Society. A native Californian, she received her undergraduate degree from California State University, Los Angeles and her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Southern California.
A soprano, Sherburn has performed operatic roles in venues of both national and international renown, including Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Concert Opera, William Hall Chorale, Santa Barbara Light Opera, New York New Music Ensemble, newEar of Kansas City, South Florida Master Chorale, Opera Grand Rapids, Virginia Opera, Flagstaff Symphony, NewWest Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, and Kansas City Ballet; Zürich Opera, Berliner Festwochen, and the Neue Flora Theater Hamburg as well as other German State Theaters in Oberhausen, Gütersloh, Osnabrück and Aachen.
“We are absolutely thrilled about Rebecca joining our college,” said Dale A. Merrill, Chapman’s Dean of CoPA. “She brings an incredible range of knowledge and depth of musical experience as both a performer and teacher.”
Dr. Sherburn has won at many vocal competitions including the regional Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, Annual Aspen Voice Competition, American Opera Awards, and the Viktor Fuchs Awards. She has also received grants and awards from a number of national and international foundations for scholarly and creative work. These include two Faculty Research Grants from UMKC in the area of chamber music and performance grants from the Figtree Foundation, Blount Foundation, Opera Buffs of Southern California, and the Astral Foundation. During her years of training, she was an apprentice at the Zürich Opera in Switzerland and Virginia Opera, a scholarship student at the Music Academy of the West, and a Chamber Music Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival.
She is in frequent demand as a guest presenter and voice teacher and is particularly well known for her vocal master classes she gives throughout the nation. Her current and former students have won national and regional competitions, apprenticed at regional and national opera companies and taught voice on many levels, ranging from private studios and public schools to colleges and universities.
In addition to performing a vast amount of standard vocal repertoire, Dr. Sherburn has distinguished herself as a champion of contemporary music. As a concert artist, she has premiered several works that were written specifically for her voice, and she has built a reputation for performing rarely heard contemporary chamber works. In July of 2014 her CD album “Paul Creston Songs” was released by Albany Records. Creston was an important and influential American composer in the mid-20th century; however the majority of his songs remain unpublished. Sherburn’s comprehensive recording of Creston’s vocal opus is the first of its kind. The CD will be featured in Albany Records’ full-page ad in the September/ October issue of Fanfare Magazine.
“Introducing the legacy of Paul Creston to the Chapman vocal program is just one of the many wonderful resources Rebecca brings to us,” said Dean Merrill. “With her tremendous experience, we will continue to expand and enrich our vocal program and performances here at the university.”
Chapman University music fans can look forward to Sherburn’s Faculty Recital in the Salmon Recital Hall on February 27, 2015. The 7:30 p.m. program will feature songs and arias by Mozart, Haydn, Wolf, Thomas, Paul Creston, and cabaret songs by Arnold Schoenberg.