Celeste Church, D.M.A.
Dr. Celeste Church, lyric soprano, is Associate Professor of Voice at Howard Payne University. While applied lessons remain the focus of her teaching, Dr. Church teaches voice-related courses and serves as director of the Opera/Music Theatre workshop. During the eleven years that Dr. Church has been on the Howard Payne faculty, she has led students in producing fully staged productions including Into the Woods, The Pirates of Penzance, Bye Bye Birdie, Guys and Dolls, The Emperor’s Clothes, Junie B. Jones The Musical, and South Pacific. Dr. Church also directed the presentation of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica, while singing the title role in the latter. Additionally, she directed several scenes programs including John Davies’ Pinocchio and Little Red’s Most Unusual Day, and Douglas Moore’s Gallantry.
Dr. Church holds a Bachelor of Music from Baylor University, Master of Church Music from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from Texas Tech University. Dr. Church has served on the faculties of Hannibal-LaGrange University, Wayland Baptist University, and as graduate teaching assistant for Texas Tech University.
An active performer, Dr. Church appears as concert soloist, and on the musical stage, in addition to her recital schedule. Concert appearances include R. Vaughan-Williams’ Serenade to Music, Mozart’s Mass in F and Coronation Mass, and many others, as well as frequent engagements as soloist for Handel’s Messiah. Opera roles include Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Aurora in Massenet’s The Portrait of Manon, and both Mistress of the Novices and Suor Angelica in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. She has performed in several musical theatre roles, including Maria in The Sound of Music, Anne in Shenandoah, Denise in Smoke on the Mountain, Cinderella in Into the Woods, Abigail in 1776, and Luisa in The Fantastiks. She has repeatedly presented as a part of the Artist Series for the Texoma Regional Conference of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, most recently as a part of a collaborative performance with colleagues from this area in the one act concert opera, The True Story of Cinderella, in the title role.
Musical involvement in the church has always been an important part of Dr. Church’s life. She has performed in several states as a Christian soloist and produced her own recording in 1993. Currently, she assists the music ministry at First Baptist Church in Brownwood.