Gunther becomes newest GKSOM Assistant Professor of Music in Voice
calendar icon07 Apr 2021 user iconBy Brian G Reetz
Dr. Suna Gunther is the newly-appointed Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Glenn Korff School of Music.
"It is a joy and honor to join the Glenn Korff School of Music, a program for which I've long had great respect,” Gunther said. “I very much look forward to making music with my new students and colleagues."
She currently serves as Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Voice at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, where her teaching responsibilities include Applied Voice instruction, Vocal Diction (French, German, Italian, English, Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, and Russian), Vocal Pedagogy, Performance Repertoire class, and Vocal Literature. Her ensembles have included scenes programs in Opera Workshop and Musical Theatre Workshop, Mixed Vocal & Instrumental Chamber Ensemble, Motown Ensemble, and a Beyonce cover band (“Sasha Fierce”), in addition to directing, conducting, and producing numerous staged productions of musicals and operas.
Dr. Gunther received her Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University as a double major in Voice & Opera Performance and Instrumental Music Education with an emphasis in alto saxophone. She received her Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in Vocal Performance, with minors in Music History & Literature. In her doctoral research, she explored the ways in which composer Kurt Weill targeted specific audiences for propaganda pieces during World War II by conscientiously drawing from his past compositional styles. At IU, she also spent four years as an instructor for the Music Theory department, first as a teaching assistant for graduate and undergraduate aural skills courses, then as coordinator and lecturer for her own courses.
Dr. Gunther began her applied voice teaching career at Berea College in Kentucky while simultaneously serving as coach and pianist at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. She led 100 performances of children’s opera across the state of Kentucky as pianist, narrator, and assistant music director through UK’s outreach program, worked for the UK-affiliated Academy for Creative Excellence teaching K-12 Musical Theatre lessons and classes, and taught at the nonprofit Central Music Academy. Dr. Gunther then moved to the University of North Dakota as their Instructor of Musical Theatre-Voice. In that position, she worked with BFA students in the private studio, music directed all productions, and created specialized core curriculum classes catering to contemporary styles.
“I am thrilled to have Suna Gunther join the Glenn Korff School of Music faculty and the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts,” said Chuck O’Connor, endowed dean of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts. “She is a diverse performer and educator and brings a wealth of experience in music, recruiting, curriculum development and as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department. She is an exciting addition to the talented faculty of our Glenn Korff School of Music.”
Dr. Gunther is a strong advocate for inclusive music pedagogy that spans a breadth of backgrounds, representation, and genres. She is and an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and is honored to be in the 2019 class of NATS Interns. She is certified in the first level of Somatic Voicework training for contemporary vocal technique.
Director of the Glenn Korff School of Music Dr. Sergio H. Ruiz said, “We are excited to welcome Dr. Gunther to the team. She brings a world-class wealth of talent, knowledge and experience to the world-class faculty at the Glenn Korff School of Music.”
As a performer, Dr. Gunther has spent the past decade as a “cultural ambassador” of the U.S. State Department, a role that has taken her to Saudi Arabia, Chile, Kuwait, Micronesia, Peru, Cambodia, Singapore, the Marshall Islands, Turkey, South Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia. On the behalf of embassies and consulates, she has performed concerts representing the past century of American music and given workshops to local musicians. She is a fifteen-year member of Chicago’s Grant Park Chorus and an active recitalist of solo and chamber music. Upcoming performances include the role of Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte with the Schenectady Symphony, Flora in La Traviata in Sault St. Marie, Michigan, and a concert entitled “Nature, The Gentlest Mother” at the Sembrich Opera Museum in Saratoga, NY.