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APSU uses Geier funds to establish distinguished visiting professor post; famed tenor is first occupant

10/7/2002
October 8, 2002

“One of the biggest hits of the evening was Taylor…who sang with magnificent eclat the bravura piece ‘It Ain't Necessarily So.' His…agility won him the instant affection of the audience.”

This review of Dr. Darryl Taylor's performance in “Porgy and Bess,” published in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Mich., newspaper, bodes well for his upcoming visiting professorship in music at Austin Peay State University.

An educator and internationally renowned tenor, Taylor has been named APSU's Distinguished Visiting Professor in Music for 2002-03.
According to Dr. Sherry Hoppe, president of APSU, the purpose of the state-funded Distinguished Visiting Professor is to increase diversity in underrepresented departments. The University will receive money to fund the position for six years, and the title of the visiting professorship will change annually to reflect the discipline of the visiting professor.

Associate professor of voice and chair of the voice department in the School of Music, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Taylor will be in residence at APSU for five weeks: Nov. 4-8, 2002 and Jan. 7-14, Feb. 9-14, and March 17-21 in 2003, plus a fifth week yet to be decided.

Within the music department, Taylor will teach vocal classes and master classes, give lectures, conduct faculty seminars and perform guest recitals. He also will lecture in history and literature classes, speak to various student groups and meet with African American leaders in Clarksville to schedule a series of community events.

Taylor earned his doctorate and master of music degree in voice performance from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He has authored and been awarded numerous prestigious grants. He also has judged many musical competitions and is in high demand as a guest lecturer and teacher. During 1995-2000, he lectured, taught master classes and gave guest recitals at more than 20 schools, including the Juilliard School in New York City, as well as at the International Convention of the International Alliance for Women in Music and the National Convention of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

As a performer, Taylor garners praise for his compelling artistry and authority. His career is highlighted by performances of art song, opera and oratorio. He has appeared with orchestras in the United States and Europe, including the Johann Strauss Sinfonietta of Vienna, Mozart Philharmonic of Romania, Camerata Mediterania of Barcelona and the Aspen Music Festival.

His operatic credits include lead roles in “The Magic Flute,” “Albert Herring,” “Cosi fan Tutte,” “H.M.S. Pinafore,” “Highway One,” “Porgy and Bess” and “Falstaff.”

Taylor's international itinerary includes more than 19 tours of Spain, performing before capacity audiences. Of special note, he sang the Evangelist in Bach's “Passion According to Saint Matthew,” a first in the 500-year history in the basilica of the famous Montserrat monastery. A music critic wrote: “The tenor from Detroit offered an uncommonly splendid and spiritual evening…Taylor delighted us with a truly exciting recital.” The performance was broadcast over national television and radio in Spain.

From 1986 through 1995, Taylor was the lead tenor soloist for the national touring company of the famed Los Angeles Jubilee Singers. He also performed as the lead tenor soloist for the Jubilee Singers' 1995 international tour of Germany, Austria, France and Monte Carlo and the group's tours of Italy, Spain and Tel Aviv, Israel in 1986-89.

Recent career highlights include a successful recital at the famed Liszt Music Academy in Budapest, a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., and his New York City debut recital in Carnegie Hall.

Founder of the online African American Art Song Alliance, Taylor has debuted many works. His recording, “Love Rejoices: Songs of H. Leslie Adams” was released on Albany Records and was named a No. 1 Critics Choice for "American Record Guide" in 2001.

In January 2002, Taylor launched a new year by performing “I, Too, Sing America” in New York City's Merkin Hall, where he sang the world premiere of “Dreamer” by Erik Santos. Then in February, he gave a recital at the 2002 Iowa Arts Awards and Gala Concert, Des Moines.

Naxos Records recently released Taylor's recording of “Dreamer: A Portrait of Langston Hughes” in 2002—the centennial year of the poet's birth.

Dr. Bruce Speck, APSU vice president for academic affairs, said, “I am delighted that Dr. Taylor will be coming to APSU. His credentials are impressive, and he is an excellent role model for African Americans, especially students who aspire to careers in music or higher education.”

For more information about Taylor's APSU residency, telephone Dr. Allen Henderson, chair of the music department, at 7810.