Dr. Wesley Lawrence joined the faculty of Sam Houston State University as an Assistant Professor of Voice in 2016. He comes from being the Director of Opera and an Instructor of Voice at the University of North Dakota (UND). A native of the Boston, MA area, he holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance from Gordon College, as well as a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in Cincinnati, OH. Dr. Lawrence is also the 2014 recipient of the UND Foundation’s Lydia & Arthur Saiki Faculty Award for Individual Excellence in Teaching.
As a performer Dr. Lawrence has sung both oratorio and opera throughout America and Europe. In the summer of 2018 he was a part of the Bulgarian National Premiere of Kurt Weill's Street Scene and sang Ruggero in Puccini's La Rondine in Varna, Bulgaria. Other highlights include Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohéme in Lucca, Italy, the solos in Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ in Salzburg, Vienna, and the States, in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra in Asheville, NC, and in Handel’s Messiah with several orchestras including the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra in Erie, PA. He has also sung Eisenstein in Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Giovanni in Daniel Catán’s La Hija di Rappaccini, and solos in Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Penderecki’s Credo, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennele and others in Cincinnati. In addition, he has worked with Cincinnati Opera as both an assistant stage director and as a Young Artist.
In addition to private voice, Dr. Lawrence is on the opera faculty at SHSU teaching Opera Workshop, a course in stagecraft and movement. He has won National Opera Awards as a director with the CCM Undergraduate Opera Project, taking second place for directing the production of Haydn’s La Canterina in 2010, and third place as associate director for the 2011 production of Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen..
Dr. Lawrence has also sung with several professional choirs, including the Grammy Award Winning choir The Crossing (Philadelphia, PA), as well as the Vocal Arts Ensemble (Cincinnati, OH), the Grand Forks Master Chorale (Grand Forks, ND), and the Cincinnati Opera Chorus. He appears with “The Crossing” on their recording It is Time (Navona Records, 2010) as well as on Harmony in Context by Miguel Roig-Francoli (McGraw-Hill, 2009).