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Viola Dacus, mezzo-soprano, has performed regionally as a recitalist, as well as in opera and oratorio venues with such organizations as Baton Rouge Opera, Ohio Light Opera, Mississippi Opera, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Meridian Symphony Orchestra, members of the Louisiana Philharmonic, and the Manhattan Philharmonic in a performance of Verdi's Requiem at Carnegie Hall. She has sung concerts in Israel, Jordan, and Greece in addition to concerts throughout the Southeast. With the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra she has sung Mahler's Ruckert Lieder, Benjamin Britten's Phaedra, and Reflections in the Mirror of Childhood, a song cycle composed for her by award winning composer James Sclater. Recent engagements include multiple performances of In the Still of the Night: Songs of Cole Porter, mezzo-soprano solos for the New York premiere of Dan Forrest's Requiem for the Living at Carnegie Hall, the world premiere of James Sclater's Summer Solstice at Night on the James S. Sclater Chamber Music Series, and selections from Reflections in the Mirror of Childhood with the Metro Chamber Orchestra. Upcoming engagements include Cavalleria Rusticana with Mississippi Opera; Vivaldi's Gloria in Jackson, MS; Dan Forrest's Requiem for the Living in Brookhaven, MS; Songs of James Sclater in Hattiesburg, MS; Brahms's Two Songs for Alto and Viola with the Mississippi Chabre Music Guild; and a return to Carnegie Hall for Forrest's Requiem for the Living, presented by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY).
Dr. Dacus received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Mississippi and her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees (both in Vocal Performance) from Louisiana State University. The subject of her doctoral monograph was the songs of German born composer Felix Wolfes. She has promoted his lieder in both recital and lecture recital formats including presentations at both the Texoma and the Southern Regional Conferences of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She has served as Vice-president and President of the Mississippi Chapter of NATS. She is also listed on the Mississippi Arts Commission's Artist Roster.
Dr. Dacus has served on the faculties of Phillips University in Enid, OK and Oklahoma State University, as well as having held interim positions at Southeastern Louisiana University and Louisiana State University. She joined the Mississippi College faculty in 2001 and is currently Assistant Professor of Music.
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Mississippi College's physical address is 200 S. Capitol Street, Clinton, MS 39056.