February 1, 2016
Topic: Arts & Culture
The Women of Color in the Academy Project is presenting the 2016 Shirley Verrett Award to George Shirley, the Joseph Edgar Maddy Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Music and professor of voice.
The award ceremony will be from 5-6:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at Stamps Auditorium on North Campus. The award recognizes a U-M faculty member whose teaching, performance, scholarship or service supports the success of female students or faculty in the arts who come from diverse cultural and racial backgrounds.
With a career that spans 56 years, Shirley is in demand as a performer, teacher and lecturer. He has won international acclaim for his performances in the world’s greatest opera houses and has performed more than 80 operatic roles for the world’s most renowned conductors.
Shirley received a Grammy Award in 1968 for his role of Ferrando in the RCA recording of Mozart’s "Cosi fan tutte." In 2015, he received the nation’s highest public artistic honor, the National Medal of Arts, given to those who have “demonstrated a lifetime of creative excellence."
The awards ceremony will feature a performance by the opera singer Marcia Porter, a cousin and former student of Verrett. A reception will follow in the lobby. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is requested (tinyurl.com/ShirleyVerrett2016). A shuttle from Central Campus will leave at 4:30 p.m. from the front of Hill Auditorium and return at 6:30 p.m.
The Shirley Verrett Award was established in 2011 by the Office of the Senior Vice Provost. It is in honor of Verrett, the late James Earl Jones Distinguished University Professor of Voice. An internationally acclaimed opera singer who performed more than 40 roles around the world during her career, Verrett was a pioneer in the generation of black singers after Marian Anderson's historical Metropolitan Opera debut in 1955.
The award is administered by the Women of Color in the Academy Project at the Center for the Education of Women. WOCAP was founded by a group of female faculty of color at the university in 1994. It is funded by the Office of the Provost and administered through CEW.