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Mark Calkins
Professor Mark Calkins
Associate Professor of Music and Voice; Director of Bel Canto Treble Singers; Instructor in Applied Lessons, Voice|Music
Prof. Mark Calkins
Office Location
Presser Hall, 230
Office Hours
  • Mon/Wed/Fri: 11:30 – 12:01 p.m., 3 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Tue: noon – 1 p.m.
  • Thur: 2 – 3 p.m.
Class Schedules
  • MUS 103 (Tue/Thur: 1:01 pm – 1:50 pm)
  • MUS 130C (Mon/Wed/Fri: 12:00 pm – 12:50 pm)
  • MUS 342V (Mon/Wed/Fri: 9:20 am – 10:30 am)
  • MUA 105-400: Applied Lessons in Voice
  • MUS 103 : Class Voice
  • MUS 130C : Women’s Choir
  • MUS/THR 128: The Complete Performer
  • MUS 342: Vocal Pedagogy and Lyric Diction

Mark Calkins was born and raised in Cottage Grove, Minnesota. He is a recipient of the Ted & Roberta Mann and Berneking Fellowships from the University of Minnesota. Associate Professor Calkins joined the faculty of Berea College, Berea, KY in 2009. He also teaches voice at the Kentucky Conservatory Theatre. He was named Thursday Musical’s “Teacher of the Year” in 2009.

Associate Professor Calkins recently returned from sabbatical during which he studied vocal cross-training for 21st century singers. While on sabbatical Mark performed in recital and in concert in Illinois, New Mexico, and Chongqing, China. He also taught 21 Master Classes in classical singing throughout the United States and in Beijing and Chongqing, China. Mark teaches a master class in Broadway Performing each year at the renowned Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts and in classical vocal technique for the Kentucky ACDA Summer Choral Conservatory.

Mark maintains a private studio of young professional singers. He teaches master classes in music theatre and classical voice performance at the university and pre-professional levels across the nation, in Italy, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, China, and Mexico.

In January 2009, Mark and his wife, Cynthia Lawrence, appeared in recital at the 4th International Conference on the Physiology and Acoustics of Singing at the University of Texas, San Antonio. Professor Calkins is currently the President of the Kentucky Chapter of the National Association of Teachers Singing and served as KY NATS Auditions Coordinator. In 2011, he served as Mid-South NATS Regional Coordinator.

Mark is a former member of the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists. This is the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s young artist development program.

He was featured as Cassio in Otello on A&E’s nationwide production of Spotlight Colorado. He also starred in a National PBS Television broadcast and World Premiere of Robert Greenleafs’ Under the Arbor.

Calkins has appeared in leading roles with opera companies throughout North America and Europe. He has performed, to critical acclaim:

  • Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia,
  • Lindoro in L’Italiana in Algeri,
  • The Prince in La Cenerentola,
  • The Count in Le Comte Ory, and
  • Oreste in Ermione

Calkins has performed in many Opera houses, such as:

  • Opera De Nantes, France
  • Dublin Grand Opera, Ireland
  • Cologne Opera, Germany
  • The Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • Birmingham Opera
  • Chautauqua Opera
  • Chicago Opera Theater
  • Castleward Opera, Northern Ireland
  • Kentucky Opera
  • Cincinnati Opera
  • Toledo Opera
  • Minnesota Opera
  • Opera Omaha
  • Mobile Opera
  • Central City Opera
  • Dayton Opera

Concert engagements include appearances in Europe’s Music festivals. He performed Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Roger Norrington. Norrington conducted the London Classical Players. These engagements took place in:

  • Salzburg, Bregenz, Villach, Austria
  • Merano, Italy
  • Bremen, Germany

He has appeared throughout the U.S. in Broadway touring productions of Phantom of the Opera.

His recent collegiate students include:

  • Many statewide Kentucky and Minnesota NATS competition winners
  • 2009 Thursday Musical competition and 2009 MTNA winners
  • Performers in leading roles in the College operas/shows
  • Soloists and section leaders in the College choirs
  • Metropolitan Opera National Council District and Regional Winners

Some of his students have been awarded Graduate Assistantships in prominent programs such as:

  • The University of Kentucky, Lexington
  • I.U. Bloomington
  • SIU Carbondale
  • Denver University
  • University of Colorado, Boulder

Recent performances include:

  • In Concert at Chongqing University, 2019
  • Presenting a Recital and Master Class at University of New Mexico, Las Vegas 2019
  • Presenting a Recital and Master Class in July 2011 for the Ky Governor’s School for the Arts
  • Nadir in Bizet’s Les Pecheurs de Perles with FM Opera
  • Camille in the Operafestival di Roma production of La vedova allegra (The Merry Widow, Lehar) in Rome, Italy
  • Count Almaviva in productions of Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Acadiana Orchestra, Louisiana
  • Opera Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Don Ottavio in Rome, Italy in the Operafestival di Roma production of Don Giovanni.
  • B.M. K-12 Music Education, Concordia College , 1983
  • M.M. Voice Performance and Pedagogy , University of Colorado, 1987
Publications & Works
  • Honors and Awards

    • President, Kentucky Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing
    • National Scholars Honor Society, 2007
    • 2009 Thursday Musical Teacher of the Year
    • Who’s Who Among American Teachers
    • Recipient of the Ted & Roberta Mann and Berneking Fellowships from the University of Minnesota where he is near completion of his DMA.
    • Ensemble Artist, Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, Chicago, IL, 1988-90
  • Affiliations

    • American Guild of Musical Artists
    • Actors Equity and Canadian Equity
    • NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing)
    • Mu Phi Epsilon, Phi Iota Chapter, 1980
    • Pi Kappa Lambda, 1985
    • Phi Kappa Phi, 2007
    • American Choral Directors Association member since 2012