College:Dean of Vocal Arts
Carleen Graham is the Inaugural Dean of the Vocal Division at Manhattan School of Music where she oversees classical voice and related studies, opera theatre and choral departments.
Previously, she was Director of HGOco, Houston Grand Opera’s celebrated initiative that connects the company to the community through numerous learning and community programs serving over 80,000 Houstonians annually. During her tenure at HGO she led the commissioning of new works for the Song of Houston and Opera To Go! touring programs as well as innovative programming for Seeking the Human Spirit, a six-year multi-disciplinary initiative that develops partnerships with community and service organizations reflective of the universal themes derived opera. In addition, she was responsible for robust learning programs including the Bauer Family High School Voice Studio, Teen Opera Club, numerous school and community residencies, professional development workshops, summer camp and student performances of mainstage operas.
Deeply committed to equity, inclusion and justice in the arts, she was a member the artEquity Houston anti-racist facilitator training cohort, Houston Coalition Against Hate, and served on the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee at HGO.
Dr. Graham is Distinguished Teaching Professor Emerita of the State University of New York – Potsdam where she was director of the award-winning Crane Opera Ensemble for 24 years. Her productions of both traditional and new works received awards from the National Opera Association, The American Prize and the American College Theater Festival.
She was recently appointed to OPERA America’s Learning & Leadership Council after serving on the steering committee for the Education and Community Forum. She is a board member of the Fritz & Lavinia Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition.
Dr. Graham was born and raised in the beautiful Hocking Hills region of southeastern Ohio and holds degrees from Teachers College Columbia University, New England Conservatory of Music, and Ohio University.