Director of the Lawson Academy of the Arts, Associate Professor of Voice
DMA, University of South Carolina
MM, Florida State University
BA, The College of William and Mary
Soprano Valerie MacPhail has performed over 30 solo vocal recitals at colleges throughout the country. She frequently incorporates chamber pieces into her programs, collaborating with instrumental colleagues. She has enjoyed performing with clarinetist Karen Hill many times. Recent programs have included “Songs About Music”, “The Seasons in Song”, “Vocal Chamber Music”, and a multi-media, multi-performer exploration of songs on the poetry of Emily Dickinson. In recent years, 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 South Carolina Opera Theatre, The Spartanburg Repertory Company, and the Converse Opera Theatre. 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 College since 1995. She is currently the coordinator of the voice faculty, and also serves as Director of the Lawson Academy of the Arts. She teaches both
undergraduate and graduate voice majors at Converse, as well as some very talented younger students in the Lawson Academy. 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.
In the summer of 2017, Dr. MacPhail directed and taught at the Hub City Vocal Institute and at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. She will be on the voice faculty for the Vocal Intensive Program at
the Masterworks Festival as well as the 2nd annual Hub City Vocal Institute for the summer of 2018.
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.