Page 42 - Classical Singer magazine 2019 Fall University Issue
P. 42

The Griffey Gospel
Gri ey is  ercely devoted to his students. “Teaching is much harder than performing,” he asserts, “because I’m always thinking about it. Teaching is 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even when I’m not in the studio, I’m constantly thinking of each student and wondering what is the best vocabulary to reach them and help them realize their full potential.”
He purposefully limits his schedule to four or  ve lessons a day in order
to give each voice student his full attention. When he describes his teaching approach, he hearkens back to his days as a student of Johnson. “She still comes into my studio and sits on my shoulder,” he says. “Sometimes when I don’t have the words to say, miraculously they come to me. I attribute that to Mrs. Johnson.”
In answering the question of whether teaching or singing receives the bigger portion of his attention,
Gri ey refutes the idea that he must choose one over the other. “My focus is a combination of both,” he says. “My students always come  rst to me, but
I wanted to come to teaching while I was still performing at a relatively high level. I didn’t want to be one of those teachers who was not connected to the professional world.”
And while performing informs his approach with his students, conversely he feels that his pursuit of healthy technique as a teacher has made him a stronger singer. Gri ey seems grateful to have found such an elusive balance in the unpredictable world of classical singing. “Now I combine both of my passions,” he says. “I love to teach and I love to perform. I have the best of both worlds.”
A clear testimonial of Gri ey’s generous heart is the encore he chooses for each of his recitals. He ends each performance with a tender rendition
of “This Little Light of Mine,” a tune Gri ey has loved since childhood. Gri ey titled his solo CD This Little Light, and all proceeds go directly to help feed the homeless in High Point. Gri ey’s message of service, love, and compassion continues to resonate with people around the world. Young singers and audiences are eager to follow each new chapter in the Gri ey Gospel.
Jonathan Blalock is a tenor specializing in 21st century repertoire, creating over
a dozen roles in world premieres with companies including the Dallas Opera, the Center for Contemporary Opera, Fort Worth Opera, the PROTOTYPE F estival, and UrbanArias. In 2019, he is featured in the new opera recordings of Paul’s Case (by Gregory Spears) and Fantastic Mr. Fox (by T obias Picker), and he will make his debut with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra.
42 Classical Singer | September/October 2019
Explore the PEABODY CONSERVATORY, a community of artists cultivating excellence, embracing new ideas,
and committed to the future of
music in our world.
Our world-class studio faculty includes:
Voice: Tony Arnold • Stanley Cornett • Carl Dupont Elizabeth Futral • Denyce Graves • Ah Young Hong Steven Rainbolt • Randall Scarlata • William Sharp Opera: Garnett Bruce • Eileen Cornett • JoAnn Kulesza Samuel Mungo, Managing Artistic Director
Vocal Coaching & Repertoire Studies: Vera Danchenko-Stern Ronald Gretz • Wolfgang Justen • Ernest Liotti
Robert Muckenfuss, Chair • Patrick O’Donnell
Claire Galloway Weber 667-208-6600
Peabody welcomes Carl Dupont and Randall Scarlata to the voice faculty.

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