Manhattan School of Music Names Dr. Carleen Graham as the Inaugural Associate Dean and Director of Vocal Arts

By Chris Ruel

The Manhattan School of Music (MSM) has named educator, director, and arts ambassador Dr. Carleen Graham as its inaugural Associate Dean and Director of Vocal Arts. Graham assumes her new role beginning on June 1, 2021.

Graham currently serves as the director of Houston Grand Opera’s HGOco, a celebrated initiative that connects the company to its community through learning and community programs serving over 80,000 Houstonians annually. She is also a Distinguished Teaching Professor Emerita of the State University of New York at Potsdam.

As MSM’s Associate Dean and Director of Vocal Arts, Graham will oversee all aspects of the MSM Vocal Arts student experience, shaping the four areas of the division: voice, vocal related studies, choral, and opera into one cohesive learning environment. Graham will work with the Chair of Vocal Arts Maitland Peters, Director of Opera Studies Tazewell Thompson, and Director of Choral Activities Kent Tritle, among others to advance decisions related to academic and artistic programming.

A central focus of Graham’s work will be the building of a program that responds to the challenges of today, fosters inclusion, and promotes a high level of collaboration among students, faculty, and staff. Along with her faculty colleagues, Graham will develop a curriculum for classical singers that sharpens their artistic preparation and readiness to enter a rapidly evolving profession.

“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,” Graham said in a statement released by MSM.