By Mia DeJong, Manager of Education & Community Engagement
Several Monsanto Artists-in-Training students participated in a master class with Dr. Kerry Jennings of DePauw University on November 16, 2018.
Students worked with Dr. Jennings on technique, releasing tension, interpretation, musicality, and the nuances of performances. Following the master class, Dr. Jennings spoke with the students about music program offerings at DePauw University and answered questions about the application process, life at DePauw, and how to select and prepare for undergraduate study programs.
AIT alumna Christina Goetz joined Dr. Jennings for this trip to give her unique perspective as a graduate of the AIT program and near-graduate of DePauw’s vocal music program, and as a special treat, she performed “Se come voi piccina” from Verdi’s Le Villi.
Tenor Kerry Lee Jennings enjoys a career that encompasses opera, oratorio, recital, and chamber works. On the operatic stage, performance highlights include over 40 lead and supporting roles comprised of early, standard and contemporary repertoire, recently singing the role of Ernesto in Sankt Anton, Austria. His recording with pianist Amanda Hopson, In My Memory: American Songs and Song Cycles, was released by Centaur Records in 2013 and has been met with acclaim from both the composers and critics alike. The recording features works by Libby Larsen, Tom Cipullo, Lori Laitman, and Richard Pearson Thomas. Libby Larsen has called Jennings's recording of her cycle My Àntonia “the definitive reference performance for future performances.”
Jennings was also a District Winner and Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. His students are regularly winners at the state and regional levels of the Student NATS Auditions. They have also won awards from the Metropolitan National Council, Classical Singer, the Orpheus Competition and others. Jennings is also a respected clinician and adjudicator, having judged competitions such as Classical Singer and NATSAA.
In addition to weekly voice training, public performances, and scholarship opportunities, the Monsanto Artists-in-Training Program connects young singers with master performers, teachers, and clinicians like Dr. Jennings to provide guidance as they consider their futures as young artists and individuals. The program seeks to supply students with the skills and information for successful undergraduate and graduate level study through guest master classes, college-visit tours through the US, and administrative support for families and studies in the application process.