Valerie MacPhail

Associate Professor of Voice and Assistant Director of the Petrie School of Music


Soprano Valerie MacPhail has performed over 30 solo vocal recitals throughout the country. She frequently incorporates chamber pieces into her programs, collaborating with instrumental colleagues. Recent programs have included “Heartbreak, Humor, and Hope,” “The Seasons in Song”, “Vocal Chamber Music”, and a multi-media, multi-performer exploration of songs on the poetry of Emily Dickinsen. She has traveled to Cuba and to China, where she gave several performances and presented vocal masterclasses to students and young professionals.

She has appeared with the Spartanburg Philharmonic, most recently as soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Opera roles include the Countess in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Sister Constance in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, Lucy in Menotti’s The Telephone, and Donna Ximena in Gazzaniga’s Don Giovanni. She created the role of Beatrix Trenholm in the world premiere of To Him Who Waits, by Dr. S. David Berry, Petrie School of Music faculty member and composer, and recently appeared in the world premiere of Troiades, also by Dr. Berry. Favorite musical theatre credits are the role of The Witch in Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods and Mrs. Nordstrom in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music.

Dr. MacPhail has taught on the faculty of the Petrie School of Music at Converse since 1994. She is the coordinator of the voice faculty, and also serves as Assistant Director of the School of Music. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate voice majors at Converse, as well as some very talented younger students in the Lawson Academy of the Arts. Her students have competed successfully on the national and local level, winning the Hal Leonard Art Song Competition, and advancing to the national semi-finals in the National Student Auditions of the NATS organization (National Association of Teachers of Singing). Others have been accepted at prestigious music schools, including the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the New England Conservatory, and the Manhattan School of Music.

Dr. MacPhail directed and taught at the Hub City Vocal Institute in 2017 and 2018, and has served on the summer faculty for the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.

Dr. MacPhail received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in vocal performance from the University of South Carolina, where she studied and coached with Walter Cuttino and John Keene. She holds a Master of Music degree in voice performance from Florida State University, and the BA from The College of William and Mary.


  • DMA in Vocal Performance - University of South Carolina
  • MM in Voice Performance - Florida State University
  • BA - The College of William and Mary