Instructor of Voice, Interlochen Arts Academy; Director of Vocal Music, Interlochen Arts Camp
M.M., Performance and Literature, Eastman School of Music; B.A., Music Education, Michigan State University
Baritone Jeffery Norris began his professional career at the age of 19 singing with Fred Warings' Pennsylvanians. He has taught at Interlochen Arts Academy since 1986.
An active educator, Mr. Norris serves as Instructor of Voice at Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp, and founded the Advanced Vocal Program at Interlochen Arts Camp. His former students have attended the finest music schools in the United States, many proceeding to enjoy professional careers in both performance and education. Norris’s students perform in diverse genres ranging from musical theater to opera, and have appeared in many European opera houses and with companies such as the New York Metropolitan Opera and Chicago Lyric Opera.
In 2006, Mr. Norris was honored as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts Instructor and in 2007, the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts named Norris one of two Distinguished Teachers in the Arts.
Norris made his orchestral performance debut with the Omaha Symphony, singing Bach's Mass in B Minor. He has also performed the demanding baritone roles of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Handel's Messiah, and the Requiems of Verdi, Mozart, Faure, Durufle, and Brahms, as well as several Broadway revues.
A gifted actor, Norris is as much at home in straight dramatic plays as he is in operas. His stage experience ranges from operas such as The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, La Boheme, Tosca and La Traviata, to Kurt Weil’s Three Penny Opera.
During his master’s program at the Eastman School of Music, Mr. Norris was a student of John Maloy. He was a three-time fellowship recipient to the Aspen Music Festival, where he studied with Beverly Johnson, and was also a fellowship recipient to the Music Academy of the West, where he studied with Martial Singher. Additional studies have been with William McIver.
Along with his wife, harpist Sylvia Norris, Norris has given many concerts and recitals of songs from Bach to Broadway. They often produce gala concert evenings with other singers highlighting operatic, holiday, or Broadway themes. Together, they have been featured performers on the Regent Seven Seas ship Voyager, on both world and Christmas cruises.
Jeff and Sylvia are the proud parents of three great children and make their permanent home in Traverse City, Michigan.