Suna GuntherAssistant Professor of Music in Voice
Area of Focus: Voice
Dr. Suna Gunther (she/her/hers) is joining the faculty of the Glenn Korff School of Music in Fall 2021 as Assistant Professor of Voice. Her responsibilities this year include Vocal Diction courses and Applied Voice lessons.
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. Her most recent role was Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Voice at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, where her teaching responsibilities included 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 included Opera and Musical Theatre Workshops, 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 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.
As a performer, Dr. Gunther 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. Other recent 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.