Dr. Susan Hurley, associate professor of voice at Mississippi University for Women, presented a lecture recital at the International Congress of Voice Teachers earlier this month in Vienna, Austria.

Dr. Susan Hurley

Hurley, the founding artistic director of an annual ”AIDS Quilt Songbook”benefit concert in Phoenix, Arizona, presented a lecture on the origins and literature comprising the “AIDS Quilt Songbook”and performed a recital of representative works. She was joined in the performance by two colleagues, Dr. Marcy McKee of Northwestern State University in Los Angeles and Dr. Deborah Popham of Sam Houston State University in Texas.  Dr. William Reber, staff pianist and director of choirs at The W, collaborated at the piano in the performance.

“The ‘AIDS Quilt Songbook’is at its core a collaborative endeavor. Community lies at the heart of the project. Both Dr. McKee and Dr. Popham have performed with us in previous years on the benefit concerts that I produce for the Joshua Tree Feeding Programin Arizona. It was a wonderful opportunity to take the songbook‘on the road,’ so to speak, to share this outstanding contemporary classical song literature with international colleagues,” Hurley remarked.

The recital featured five songs, including one duet for two sopranos which Hurley sang with McKee. The lecture and performance were held in the orchestra studio of the Universitat fur Musik und darstellende Kunst (University for Music and Performing Arts) in Vienna. 

The “AIDS Quilt Songbook”is an ongoing classical music parallel to the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.While the first 18 songs, premiered at NYC’s Lincoln Center in 1992, have been collected and published, no second collection of works from the songbookhas yet been published.

“It can be difficult and time-consuming to locate scores for the unpublished works. And because many singers are unaware that so many songs have been written for this project, the songs aren’t being performed as often as they should be,“ Hurley continued. “My presentation centered around introducing singers and voice teachers to a representative sample of the uncollected songs and directing colleagues toward where they can obtain the scores in order to perform and teach this repertoire themselves.”

The International Congress of Voice Teachers is a conference attended by hundreds of delegates from around the world. ICVT normally takes place once every four years, organized by a voice-related professional association in the host country. The event in Vienna this month was the 10th iteration of ICVT since its inception in 1987.

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

Be Bold. Tower with Blue.