University of South Carolina

Opera singer Voigt to address graduates Aug. 8

Internationally known opera singer Deborah Joy Voigt will speak at summer commencement exercises for baccalaureate, master’s and professional degree recipients at all eight campuses at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, in the Colonial Center. Voigt also will receive an honorary doctor of Music degree.

Deborah Joy Voigt
Deborah Joy Voigt

Commencement exercises for doctoral candidates will be held at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 8 in the Koger Center. The speaker there will be Dr. Katherine E. Chaddock, an associate professor in the department of educational leadership and policies in the College of Education.

The university expects to award 1,000 degrees from the Columbia campus, including three associate’s degrees, 502 baccalaureate degrees, five law degrees, 10 graduate certificates, 400 master’s degrees, 19 specialist’s degrees and 61 doctoral degrees.

Also receiving degrees will be the graduates of the university’s regional and four-year campuses: Aiken – 66 baccalaureate and 11 master’s degrees; Beaufort – four associate’s degrees and 35 baccalaureate degrees; Lancaster – 10 associate’s degrees; Salkehatchie – 10 associate’s degrees; Sumter – seven associate’s degrees; and Upstate – 230 baccalaureate degree and two master’s degrees.

Voigt has participated in dozens of productions at major opera houses around the world while assuming some of opera’s most challenging roles. She has recorded extensively on several labels, has been a featured performer in a variety of television productions and has given acclaimed concerts of Broadway tunes and popular American songs. In 2000, she performed Strauss and Wagner with the USC Symphony Orchestra at the Koger Center.

A graduate of the California State University-Fullerton voice program, Voigt established the Deborah Voigt/Vero Beach Opera Foundation’s Protégé Mentoring Program for voice and acting training to help aspiring performers. She is a strong advocate for music education, visiting elementary schools to introduce music concepts to children and taking part in master classes and other programs for music students. She also has given numerous benefit performances, including concerts for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the New York Theater Workshop.

Among her numerous awards are the Voci Verdiane Award and a shared 1996 Best Opera Recording Award. In 2002, she was honored as a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for her significant contributions to the cultural life of France. She was Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year in 2003, and in 2007, she won an Opera News Award for Distinguished Achievement.

Summer Commencement 2009

  • When: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9
  • Where: Colonial Life Arena
  • Who: Summer graduates from all eight university campuses will receive their degrees. Doctoral candidates will have a separate ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in the Koger Center.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 07/30/09 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 08/08/09 @ 1:56 PM | Permalink