Amelia Lufkin came to MU to earn a Master’s in choral conducting but once here, decided to add a voice performance MM on top of that. In Spring of 22, she sang the lead role (Susanna) in the opera, The Marriage of Figaro. She is off to Turkey this summer continue her study of opera after being selected to participate as a Young Artist in the Vocal Opera Academy in Turkey.
Why did you decide to get your graduate degree at MU?
- While Studying Voice Performance at MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) I was wanting to broaden my education as well as my marketability in the world of music. I have my choral professor Mrs. Angela Tipps, to thank for guiding me toward Mizzou's Choral Conducting degree program. The Choral TA position is highly competitive, and I am so grateful that the staff found me worthy of the education and responsibility. While studying conducting I also fell in love with the voice department at Mizzou, so naturally, I decided to double major in Choral Conducting and Voice Performance. It was the best decision of my life.
What does it mean to you to be selected for the Vocal Opera Academy in Turkey?
- It means so much! This is the next step towards a professional career for an aspiring opera singer. I honestly did not think I would be able to enter a Young Artist Program for another year or so, let alone one that was ABROAD! I have my voice teacher Dr. Steven Jepson to thank for helping me get in. I am so excited to experience everything; the culture, new teachers, new voices, and I am even looking forward to the travel.
What will you be doing at the Academy?
- I was selected to sing the role of Micaela in the opera Carmen! After singing the role of Susanna this past Spring in Mizzou's very own Le nozze de Figaro, I feel very well prepared to take on this role.
- Along with this opera, I will be taking language/diction classes, movement/acting courses, and will also be a part of a scenes program. Currently, the only confirmed scene I will be performing is from La Traviata and I'll be singing Violetta's aria "Sempre Libera". There is talk about some other duets, but nothing finalized...yet.
Do you have a favorite memory from your experience at MU?
- Both from my Choral TA days and the more recent days as a Voice Grad, I always love those post-rehearsal/class get-togethers my colleagues and I enjoy. There were so many late-night study/music prep sessions that were filled with laughter. Those are the memories I will have forever.
Tell me how your professors have helped you throughout your degree?
- Dr. Crabb and grad TA Emily Edgington-Andrews really made me who I am as a music educator. They teach everything at such a high level and hold high expectations for their students. I learned so much from them, especially since I did not come from a music education background. Dr. Crabb and I had a shared love of performing and using your voice to its fullest potential, which does not mean LOUD, but being versatile and well-rounded. Emily Edgington-Andrews is an amazing example of what a woman on the podium looks like and I am so grateful that I got to work with her and look up to her during my time here at Mizzou.
- While coming to Mizzou for Choral Conducting, I couldn't help but keep singing. One of the things I loved most about the Conducting degree plan was that they encouraged you to take voice lessons. I have had the pleasure and honor to study with Dr. Steven Jepson. Dr. Jepson is truly one of the best teachers at Mizzou. As a college student, grad student especially, there are times when you feel your lowest, but Dr. Jepson kept me going and gave me purpose. He was a cheerleader when I needed him to be, my agent (thank you Turkey, MTNA, Emerging Artist, etc...), and my guide. So many students, peers, teachers, and colleagues have raved about my progress since studying with him. I am so lucky to have had Dr. Jepson as my teacher.
"L. Amelia Lufkin is an excellent conductor and gifted singer. We took great pleasure in watching her develop her conducting, singing, and musicianship during her time at Mizzou. We can't wait to see where this leads her in the near future!" - R. Paul Crabb