Obituary: Eastman School of Music Professor Carol Webber Passes

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester)

Vocal Professor Carol Webber has died.

A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, Webber was a member of Bach Aria Group from 1986 to 1991. She went on to record on Musical Heritage and had a 24-year career performing with companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Miami, and numerous regional opera companies.

Webber was also a Soloist with Houston, Miami, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Oregon, and Oakland symphonies among others and opened the 50th anniversary Tanglewood season with Boston Symphony Chamber Players. She also appeared at Merkin Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and 92nd St. Y.

Throughout her career Webber served as a former artist-in-residence at University of Washington and SUNY-Stony Brook and held Master classes in Munich, Boston, Nova Scotia, Seattle, San Francisco, Atlanta, North Carolina, the Mannes School, and on WQXR radio in New York City.

Webber was a Faculty member at the Oberlin Conservatory from 1986 to 1991 and later at Eastman where she began in 1991.

One of her students Erin Morley remembered Webber in a post noting, “The world has just lost an incredible soul. Carol Webber was my voice teacher during my undergrad at the Eastman School of Music, and an extremely influential figure for me. She gave me the building blocks of my technique. She guided me through the transition from pianist to singer, and was very patient and loving with me through some of the most confusing and awkward years of my life.”

Morley added, “She helped me understand the purpose of singing. She taught me what it meant to love your audience. She pushed me far outside of my comfort zone, every week. She helped me find my reason to breathe, my reason to share. She told me to sing every day. She taught me that technique was useless without purpose. She fueled my love for poetry and storytelling. She was tough on me, but I had tough lessons to learn. Her studio class was an enlightening and truly spiritual experience for me, every week. She celebrated the journey for all of us. Most of all, her joy and passion for singing were palpable and contagious.”