Blair sends faculty, students to American Institute of Musical Studies
Jonathan Retzlaff, associate professor of voice, returned for his third summer of teaching on the faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria, last July and August. Jennifer McGuire, voice/opera coach at the Blair School, completed her second summer at AIMS as a staff pianist.
MacKenzie Florence, senior soprano from Parkersburg, W.V., participated in the Opera Studio, coached by Nico de Villiers from the London Conservatory. In her weeks at AIMS, she was chosen to sing on master classes with soprano Gabriele Lechner from the Viennese University of Music & Dramatic Arts and soprano Cató Brink from South Africa. She also sang with the AIMS orchestra in the Berühmte Opernchöre concert at the Graz Stefaniensaal and was a soloist on an Operettenabend at the Pfarrsaal of St. Leonhard Kirche.
Kathryn Heaton, junior soprano from Houston, participated in the Opera Studio, coached by Darryl Cooper from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She sang on master classes with Peter Brenner and Gabrielle Lechner from the Viennese University of Music and Dramatic Arts. She also sang on a Viennese Operettenabend and on the American Spirituals Concert.
Victor McMillan, senior baritone from Thomasville, Ga., participated in the Lieder Studio, coached by Betty Bullock of Washington National Opera, and studied German poetry with Wolfgang Lockemann of Austria. He sang on a master class with Metropolitan and Vienna State Opera baritone Bo Skovhus, and performed in several Lieder recitals for the Graz public including the Liederabend “Auf einer Wanderung,” for which he sang the title piece by Schubert.
Preston Orr, senior baritone from Henderson, Texas, participated in the Opera Studio, coached by Nico de Villiers from the London Conservatory. In his weeks at AIMS, he sang on master classes with soprano Gabriele Lechner from the Viennese University of Music and Dramatic Arts and with Metropolitan Opera baritone Bo Skovhus. He was also chosen to sing with the AIMS Orchestra in their “Eine Reise nach Sevilla” concerts at the Graz Stefaniensaal and Frohnleiten Hauptplatz, and he also performed in “Tell Me the Truth About Love” at the Stadtmuseum Graz with de Villiers and friends.
Jennifer McGuire, opera/voice coach at Blair, was selected as one of the accompanists for the annual AIMS Meistersinger Competition. In addition she played several auditions for European intendants (opera management) and performed on master classes for the European soprano Gabriele Lechner and the American soprano Barbara Bonney.