Everett McCorvey

DMA University of Alabama 1989
MM University of Alabama 1981
BM University of Alabama 1979

At UK since: 1991

Everett McCorvey, tenor, is a native of Montgomery, Alabama.  He received his degrees from the University of Alabama, including a Doctorate of Musical Arts.  He has performed in many cities around the world and theaters across the country, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Kennedy Center, Aspen Music Festival, Radio City Music hall, Birmingham Opera Theater, Teatro Comunale in Florence, Italy, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, England, as well as performances throughout Spain, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Austria, Japan, China, Brazil, Ireland, Poland, Portugal and Hungary, Mexico, Peru and France.  He joined the Tony Award winning Sherwin Goldman Production of PORGY AND BESS at Radio City Music Hall in 1982 and was also part of the Metropolitan Opera’s Debut Production of Porgy and Bess in 1985. He recently made a debut in Taromina, Sicily conducting the Grand Finale Opera Gala at the Mythos Opera Festival 2018.  In December of 2019 he conducted the Dvořák Symphony #9 in Prague’s Smetana Hall with the North Czech Philharmonic. Upcoming concerts includes Musikverein Golden Hall in Vienna conducting the Boshualave Martinu Philharmonic and in Haydn Hall Vienna with the Euro sinfonietta. 

McCorvey’s career has spanned all areas of the performing arts business from performer to musical director, voice teacher, producer, impresario, conductor, union representative, administrator and mentor.

He has also appeared in television movies and feature films including The Long Walk Home.  Dr. McCorvey’s operatic roles include Don Jose in Carmen, Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Fenton in Falstaff, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, Puck in La Grande Duchess de Gerolstein, and many others.  Orchestra and Oratorio works include the Beethoven Symphony #9, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Bach’s Mass in B Minor and the St. Matthew Passion, among others. 

Vocal Excellence is a hallmark of Dr. McCorvey’s work.  As a teacher he has given masterclasses and vocal workshops throughout the United States, Europe, South America, China, Japan, and Poland.  Dr. McCorvey is the founder and Music Director of the American Spiritual Ensemble, a group of 24 professional singers performing spirituals and other compositions of African-American composers dedicated to keeping the American Negro Spiritual alive.  In its 25-year history, the group has presented over 500 concerts including 20 tours of the United States and 17 tours of Spain. Presently the American Spiritual Ensemble is the only professional ensemble of its kind dedicated solely to the American Negro Spiritual. The Ensemble has released twelve CD’s: On My Journey Now – The American Spiritual Ensemble on Tour, Ol' Time Religion, Lily of the Valley, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot; The Spirituals;  The Spirit of the Holidays; The Duke Returns; Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts; Mosaic, featuring Metropolitan Opera Star Angela Brown; Stand the Storm, Featuring American Soprano Jeryl Cunningham; Been in the Storm Too Long featuring American Baritone Kenneth Overton as well as two CD’s featuring the music of John Jacob Niles produced by McCorvey featuring American Soprano Hope Koehler.   McCorvey recently produced a CD Anchored in the Lord featuring singers from the Bay View Music Festival’s American Negro Spirituals Intensive program, where McCorvey serves as Director. 

The US Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) has produced six Documentaries featuring McCorvey’s work, including It’s a Grand Night for Singing 10th Anniversary (2002); Impresario (2002); A Tribute and a Toast to Opera (2005); The Spirituals (2007); The American Spiritual Ensemble in Concert (2017); and It’s a Grand Night for Singing 25th Anniversary (2017).

Dr. McCorvey is also in his sixth season as the Artistic Director of the National Chorale of New York City.  Celebrating over 50 years of great choral singing, the National Chorale is a symphonic choir which performs at Lincoln Center in New York City.  The National Chorale is well-known in New York and around the region for its performances of the great choral titans as well as for the popular New York Messiah Sing-In at Lincoln Center!  The Sing-In is one of the oldest sing-in’s in the country.

Dr. McCorvey has served on the faculty of the New York State Summer School of the Arts in Saratoga Springs, New York where he was Artist-in-Residence and Associate Conductor and is also a frequent advisory panelist and on-site reviewer for the National Endowment for the Arts Opera/Musical Theatre program in Washington, D.C.  He also served on the faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria.  He is currently on the summer faculty of the Bay View Music Festival in Petoskey, Michigan, and a frequent guest conductor with the Ocean Grove Choral Music Festival in Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

Dr. McCorvey is a teacher and vocal advisor to many singers in the profession. Dr. McCorvey has been the recipient of several awards highlighting his teaching, research and service. Recent awards include the UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement in 2018. This award is one of UK’s most prestigious awards given to a Kentuckian. It recognizes high intellectual achievement by a Kentuckian who has made a contribution of lasting value to the Commonwealth. The award also promotes education and creative thought.  Other awards include the Lexington Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award (2020); two Regional Emmy Awards for UK Opera Theatre’s summer production of “It’s A Grand Night for Singing” (2018);  the Notable African-Americans in Lexington Award given by the Lima Drive Seventh-Day Adventist Church (2018);  the Central Music Academy Lifetime Achievement Award (2015), the Alabama Governor’s Artists Award, the highest arts award given to an artist from Alabama (2015), the Salvation Army Community Service Award (2014) and the Camp Horsin’ Around Community Service Award (2014).  In 1998 he was the Acorn Award Recipient given by the Kentucky Advocates for Higher Education. This prestigious Award goes to only one Professor in the state of Kentucky who exemplifies excellence, innovation and creativity in teaching and research. Dr. McCorvey was also the recipient of an outstanding faculty award from the University of Kentucky Lyman T. Johnson Alumni Association for 1998 and was selected to receive the Outstanding Alumni Award in the Arts from the Society for the Fine Arts at the University of Alabama, his Alma Mater, in February of 1999. 

Dr. McCorvey produced only the second full-length recording of The Tender Land by Aaron Copland with the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre recorded in Zlin, Czech Republic and released January 2002, featuring singers from the University of Kentucky Opera Program with Kirk Trevor conducting the Boshuslave Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra. Two other CD’s released in 2008, were a world premiere of a new opera, The Hotel Casablanca, by Thomas Pasatieri, produced by Dr. McCorvey and performed by the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre and a collection of songs by John Jacob Niles, performed by soprano Hope Koehler and produced by McCorvey.  Both recording were released by Albany Records.  In the spring of 2010 UK Opera released a new CD of Die Fledermaus with Maestro John Nardolillo conducting and in December of 2010 a World Premiere CD of Thomas Pasatieri’s new opera God Bless Us Everyone which premiered in New York at DiCapo Opera with students from UK Opera and which received a rave New York Times Review. 

Dr. McCorvey is of the belief that every citizen in the country should find ways to give back to his or her community, city or country.  He has been very active in his volunteer activities working to keep the arts as a part of the civic conversation and currently serves on many local, regional and national boards. He holds an Endowed Chair in Opera Studies/Director of Opera and Professor of Voice at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. 

In September of 2010, Dr. McCorvey served as the Executive Producer of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Alltech 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games held in Lexington, Kentucky.  The Opening Ceremony was broadcasted on NBC Sports and was viewed by over 500 million people worldwide.  The Alltech 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games was the largest equestrian event to ever be held in the United States.   He is married to soprano Alicia Helm and they have three children.

Professor and Director of Opera
Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies


Schmidt Vocal Arts Center