Soprano Melody Rich joins the voice faculty at Sam Houston State University in Fall 2019, having previously served as Professor of Voice at Hardin-Simmons University School of Music where she taught studio voice, diction, and vocal pedagogy. Prior appointments include the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of the Incarnate Word, and Judson High School.
She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Applied Voice from the University of Texas at Austin, and has additional training with the Austin Lyric Opera Young Artist Program, the AIMS program in Graz, Austria, and various musical theatre workshops. Her major influences include teachers Linda Poetschke, Gilda Cruz-Romo, Rose Taylor, Herald Stark, David Brock, Shirlee Emmons, Joyce Farwell, Mary Saunders Barton, and coaches David Garvey, Terry Lusk, Dottie Randall and Kristin Roach.
On the stage, her versatility has allowed her to perform operatic and musical theatre roles in Don Giovanni, La Cenerentola, Gianni Schicchi, Trial by Jury, Fiddler on the Roof, Beauty and the Beast, The Music Man. She has been engaged extensively as a concert soloist in works that include the Brahms Requiem, Rossini Stabat Mater, Mozart Requiem, Mass in C, Vespers, Poulenc Gloria, Handel Messiah, Haydn Creation, Mass in Time of War, Bruckner Mass in D, Raminsh Mass in C, and numerous chamber collaborations performed with distinguished organizations that include the Austin Lyric Opera, the San Antonio Symphony, the Laredo Philharmonic, the San Antonio Choral Society, the Texas Chamber Consort, the Abilene Opera Association, Chorus Abilene, and the AIMS Orchestra in Graz, Austria. Additionally, she has appeared in both CD and televised Contemporary Christian release concerts produced by Good for the Soul Music with David Kauffman. A consummate recitalist, she has been a featured performer on the Artist Series of the Texoma Region NATS Conference, the Music at St. Marks Artist Series, the Heavenly Rest Chamber Music Concert Series, and the UTSA Distinguished Alumni Recital Series.
She is equally comfortable as a choral conductor, having served as the music director for the HSU Musical Theatre productions (Anything Goes, The Wedding Singer, The Addams Family, Quilters, and Willy Wonka) as well as Interim Director at First Central Presbyterian Church (Abilene), Associate Minister of Music at Christ Episcopal Church (San Antonio), and as Assistant Conductor of the San Antonio Choral Society. While at UTSA, she was the conductor of the University Chorus and the UTSA Women’s Choir.
Dr. Rich’s students have enjoyed success in the National YoungArts Competitions, the Arts Talent Search of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, the NATS Student Auditions, Classical Singer auditions, the Texas Music Educators Association All-State Choir, Straw Hat auditions, the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) Auditions, the Open Jar Institute, the Schmidt Vocal Competition, and in professional companies and academic settings.
Her academic research includes poster session presentations at the International Conference on the Physiology and Acoustics of Singing and at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting in Las Vegas. In 2018, Dr. Rich was one of two voice teachers appointed in the state of Texas to revise the UIL Vocal Prescribed Music List. She is a frequent guest adjudicator for various solo competitions and is the creator of pronunciation charts of the TMEA All-State Choir Music that circulate every year across the entire state of Texas to high school and university programs.
An award-winning educator, she was the recipient of the HSU Provost’s Award for Outstanding Service to the University in 2015 for her work as the Chair of the Teaching Effectiveness Committee, and she was named the 2017 UTSA Department of Music Outstanding Alumna. Her entry appears in numerous editions of Who’s Who: -among America’s Teachers, -of American Women, -in Fine Arts Higher Education, -in America, and -in the World.
Dr. Rich’s professional memberships include the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), the Musical Theatre Educators’ Alliance (MTEA), and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), for which she has served at the chapter level as president, auditions chair, and treasurer for both the South Texas Chapter and the Great Plains Chapter. Additionally, Dr. Rich is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Alpha Chi National Honor Society, Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity, and Pi Kappa Lambda Honor Society.