Name: Laura C. Atkinson
Major: Music Education
Graduate School: Yale University – School of Music & Institute of Sacred Music
Current Occupation: Professional Singer
What have you recently achieved in your career or life that you’re especially proud of?
I am very proud of my recent graduation from Yale University. I was awarded a Master of Music degree jointly from the Yale School of Music and from the Institute of Sacred Music. It was the culmination of two years in a very demanding, competitive program. At the point of graduation, two very exciting things happened for me that solidified my hard work at the school. First, I received the Institute’s inaugural award for Excellence in Performance of Sacred Music, an incredible honor. Secondly, during my last semester, I sang a lead role in an early baroque opera that is rarely performed, Francesco Cavalli’s Il Giasone. A very famous music critic, Alex Ross, came to our show and wrote a favorable review in The New Yorker for the opera and the program from which it was funded, the Yale Baroque Opera Project.
In what ways did your MC experience prepare you for grad school? For your current vocation?
A liberal arts education can sometimes be frustrating because you often feel like many different people are pulling you in many different directions. What this requires you to learn is how to best manage your time and your energy. This was a skill that was immensely helpful to me later in graduate school. Though the program itself was more focused on one type of study, there were even more demands placed on me as an individual – in a musical, scholarly, organizational and emotional way. I feel like Maryville really prepared me for these demands. This independence is also vital to my life now, as I am a freelance musician, and completely in charge of my own career. I was also supremely prepared for the scholarly coursework. All of the paper writing, most notably my senior thesis, definitely paid off! Perhaps most important, however, is that Maryville instilled a real love for learning, one that I believe will last for my entire life.
Favorite course(s) at MC:
I am a true student at heart and loved so many of my courses! My freshman seminar course with was incredibly helpful with making the transition from high school to college. The Twin Towers were attacked during the first few weeks of my freshman year, so to have such a network of support during such a scary, painful time when I was far away from home. All of Dr. [Terry] Simpson’s education courses changed my life. The World Music course opened my eyes to how much music exists in the world and was a major factor in my decision to work as a music teacher in India for a while after graduation.
One thing you’ll never forget about MC:
As a singer in the Concert Choir, we were often able to meet alumni, and one thing they always said was that Choir Tour was the thing they best remembered about college. Now, four years after my graduation, I think I am beginning to agree with them! Some of my best memories were formed on those tours under Stacey Wilner’s direction. I was also trained to be an educator, and I think Maryville College has a special understanding of how vital education is, and how valuable the teaching vocation is in this country. I hope to have a very long performing career, but I know that teaching will be a big part of my career, too. I look forward to sharing all I learned from Maryville throughout my career.
|Music||Vocal Performance||Yale Sacred Music Program|
|Carol Bailey Villaverde||Music||Choral||UTK|
|Music||Minister of Music||St. Mark’s Church/Independence,
|Music||Choral||East Carolina University|
|Music||Choral Director||Alcoa High School|
|Music||Vocal Performance||East Carolina University|
|Music||Vocal Performance||US Army Chorus|
|Music||Duke Graduate School|
Carpenter’s Middle School
2007 Choral Director,
Clinton High School
|Art||Print Maker||Hatch Show Print,
|Art History||Duke University|
|Music||Tenor and Voice Instructor||Salisbury University|
|Music||Opera Singer and Voice Instructor||Maryland|