Nashville Opera today announced that Chandra McKern has joined its 14-person staff as Director of Education and Outreach. A highly-regarded educator and performer, McKern will oversee Nashville Opera’s popular seven-week education tour throughout Middle Tennessee, manage the Mary Ragland Young Artist Program for apprentice opera singers and develop educational programming in the community. McKern served as Pensacola Opera’s education and outreach director since 2010.
Prior to her work at Pensacola Opera, McKern spent four years working for Goldman Sachs and two years at Rockefeller University in New York. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master of Music from Indiana University. McKern has participated in young artist programs with Central City Opera and Chicago Opera Theater.
“We’re very excited to welcome Chandra McKern to our staff as our new Director of Education and Outreach,” says John Hoomes, General and Artistic Director of Nashville Opera. “Chandra’s operatic performance background, as well as her expertise in opera education, will allow Nashville Opera On-Tour, and our Mary Ragland Young Artist Program to continue to stand among the finest opera education programs in the country.”
Nashville Opera On Tour, Nashville Opera’s largest outreach program, celebrates its 18th anniversary in 2013 with a touring production of John Davies’ Little Red’s Most Unusual Day. Director McKern and members of the Mary Ragland Young Artist Program will present the children’s opera to elementary schools, and at free public performances throughout Middle Tennessee over seven weeks this winter. The opera will be performed in English and is designed to be a self-contained production with three-dimensional sets, costumes, and features a talented cast of young artists. Little Red’s Most Unusual Day will be presented to more than 25,000 students, teachers, and parents in 18 counties.
McKern replaces Stuart Holt, who left Nashville Opera for a position with the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
*Photo courtesy Nashville Opera.