2011 Governor's Arts Awards Spotlight: Sylvia McNair

A two-time Grammy Award winner and regional Emmy winner, Sylvia McNair lays claim to a stellar, 30 year career in the musical realms of opera, oratorio, cabaret and musical theater. That career has taken her from the Metropolitan Opera to the Salzburg Festival, from the New York Philharmonic to the Rainbow Room. She has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the London Times.

She has more than 70 recordings from Mozart arias to selections of music by Jerome Kern and Harold Arlen.  McNair accepted an invitation to sing  the Bach B-minor Mass with the Vienna Philharmonic for Pope John  

Paul II at the Vatican, to sing for Hillary Clinton, and to perform at the U.S. Supreme Court by special invitation from Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

"I can hardly believe my great, good fortune to be receiving this award in my adopted home state," McNair said. "Maybe there's been a mistake? In a state full of so many great artists and musicians, this is a huge surprise and an enormous honor."

McNair earned a Masters degree with Distinction from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, honorary doctorates from Westminster College and Indiana University, and the Ohio Governor's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Entertainment. She joined the prestigious faculty of the Jacobs School of Music in 2006.

If touring, recording, and teaching were not enough, McNair has made journeys to Africa volunteering with the IU Medical Center in Kenya. She has shared her gift of music with the orphaned and vulnerable children who reside at the center.

The other 2011 recipients of the Indiana Governor's Arts Awards are:

June Edwards, South Bend, IN
Alexander Toradze, South Bend, IN
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
Mark Fauser, Marion, IN
Susann McDonald, Bloomington, IN

The recipients will be honored during an awards ceremony and dinner Thursday, April 26, 2012 at the Ernestine M. Raclin School for the Arts on the campus of Indiana University South Bend.