New voice instructor joins WU faculty with opera background

New voice instructor joins WU faculty with opera background

Annastasia Glover

New Voice Instructor Andrea Garritano joins WU faculty

Lecturer in Voice and Director of the Washburn University Opera Studio Andrea Garritano joined our college’s staff this past summer. Prior to her commitment here at Washburn, Garritano earned her B.M. (Bachelor of Music degree) in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York, and her M.M. (Master of Music degree) from the University of Oregon.

In terms of performances, Garritano has recently performed with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City as the First Lady in last season’s production of the Magic Flute, as well as with Rimrock Opera of Billings, MT in the title role of Verdi’s Aida. Other groups she’s worked with include, but are not limited to, the Oregon Mozart Players chamber orchestra, the Music Today festival of Eugene OR, the Hudson Opera Theatre, the Delaware Valley Opera, the Eugene Opera, and the Kansas Concert Opera.

Garritano has also featured as soloist with orchestras in the Lied Center for the Performing Arts in Lawrence and at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts’ Helzberg Hall. Currently, however, Garritano is in the final stages of completing her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Voice Performance from the University of Kansas.

When asked what inspired her to apply for the teaching position here at Washburn University, Garritano answered, “I have lived in Kansas for eleven years, and what attracted me to Washburn when I learned of the open position here was a knowledge of how well respected the Washburn music program is, and of the high standard the program sets for its graduates. The level of student talent drawn to the Washburn music department is very high and it is a pleasure to join the faculty here in shaping these young people.”

Garritano went on to say that in addition to her latter statement, she was also very drawn to the opportunity to direct the Washburn University Opera Studio. “For classically trained singers, Opera is an ultimate culmination of passions,” said Garritano. “Singing, acting, design…all are important elements within the opera genre.”

In addition to serving as the Director of the WU Opera Studio, Andrea Garritano now teaches a general education music course entitled Enjoyment of Music and individual voice lessons. Garritano listed her goal concerning these responsibilities as being “interested in creating an engaging and multi-disciplinary approach to the enjoyment of singing and opera for my students, Washburn University as a whole, and our partners in the community. I want to make our art form a welcoming one, because it really is compatible to just about every type of interest a person could have.”

In conclusion, Andrea Garritano is the loving mother of a four-year old daughter, the proud owner of a very fat cat, and the newest voice instructor at Washburn University.  When asked how she would describe the effect music had upon her life, she had only this to say. “Music has gone long past effect for me; it has become a large part of why I am. I love the power it has over all of us, to change our mood, to create an atmosphere we desire, both literally and figuratively in our lives. We wake to it, drive to it, sleep with it.

For some it is ubiquitous and gratuitous and that is an important function of the human musical experience. For those of us who endeavor to make it our mode of communication professionally however, either as performers or educators, music becomes synonymous with ourselves as people; not ubiquitous, but purposeful in a conscious, mindful, heartfelt way.”