A new faculty member, Matthew
Markham, was featured as a baritone soloist in this year’s first Symphony
Orchestra concert at the University of Wsiconsin-Stevens Point last Wednesday,
The concert was conducted by
Patrick Miles, who has been the Orchestra Conductor at UWSP for 23 years.
“I like to feature new faculty
as soloists so the audience can hear them perform,” Miles said.
This was Markham’s first vocal
performance. He performed two songs by Beethoven, both sung in German, which is
one of his favorite languages.
“I really like the sound of
it,” Markham said.
Markham, originally from North
Carolina, is the new Assistant Professor of Voice. He transferred here from New
York, where he was teaching at New York University. He received an email about
the Symphony Orchestra performance when he got the job offer in May.
Markham has always had a love
for music and has been singing for as long as he can remember.
“I never remember not singing.
My mom tells me I developed my lungs because I cried all the time as a baby,”
When Markham was three or four
years old, he was already singing his first solo.
“I did my first solo in
preschool. I told my mom I was going to teach the class a song,” Markham said.
Everyone always told Markham
that he could carry a tune, although he never thought it would be classical
“I didn’t grow up listening to
opera. I listened to the radio and hymns in church,” Markham said.
When Markham was fourteen
years old, he started taking voice lessons.
“My teacher and I are still
friends, and I still go to him for advice,” Markham said.
Markham also enjoys writing
“I consider myself to be as
much of a poet as a musician. It’s equal to me,” Markham said.
Markham loves to be able to
sing songs that he’s lived through. For him, it’s a completely artistic kind of
“Music has the ability to
transcend us and take us to a better place. Voice is the only instrument that
has the ability to sing words,” Markham said.
Markham loves being able to
meet interesting people and engage in one-on-one voice training.
“Each voice is so different.
It’s like mining for gold. The journey with a student is fun to discover their
natural, free voice,” Markham said.
Markham and Miles both like
being able to open up doors for other people. They learn just as much from
their students as their students do from them.
with the students is the best part, without a doubt. There’s never been a day
where I’ve said, ‘I wish I didn’t have rehearsal today.’ I love working with
them,” Miles said.