Dr. Laurissa Backlin, soprano, is Assistant Professor of Music at Delta State University where she teaches studio voice, lyric diction, song literature, and aural skills. She received the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from University of North Texas where she studied with Dr. Lynn Eustis and was the recipient of a Master’s/Doctoral Fellowship. She received her Master’s degree in vocal performance from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and her Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Wheaton College (IL).
As soprano soloist, Dr. Backlin has sung in performances of Fauré's Requiem, Vivaldi's Gloria and Beatus Vir, Handel’s Messiah, Israel in Egypt, and Dixit Dominus, Bach’s Cantatas 93 and 140, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, Schubert’s Mass in G Major, Haydn’s St. Nicolai Mass, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, and Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien. She has premiered new works by composer Christopher Mills at Western Oregon University. As soloist, she has performed with the DSU Jazz Ensemble, and with UNT Collegium Singers at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Berkeley Early Music Festival, and at Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, TX. With the UNT opera, she performed the role of Esmerelda in the opera Prodaná Nevĕsta (The Bartered Bride) by Bedřich Smetana. As a professional chorister, she sings with The Choral Pickup in Atlanta, GA, the chamber ensemble Ictus in Southaven, MS, and with the Tennessee Chamber Chorus in Chattanooga, TN. She was a professional member of the Orpheus Chamber Singers in Dallas, with whom she has sung as soloist. She was also a professional member of The Philadelphia Singers. She recently performed in a guest recital at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and presented new works at Western Oregon University. She presented a lecture-recital in February 2016 focused on the pedagogical benefits of duets in the undergraduate voice studio at College Music Society Conference at Birmingham-Southern College.
Dr. Backlin has been a committed voice teacher for over fifteen years. Prior to coming to Delta State, she was an Adjunct Professor of Music at Dallas Christian College where she taught studio voice, voice class, music history, and sightsinging/eartraining. She has been a guest master class clinician at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR, Tarleton State University in Stephenville, TX, and Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS. She was on the music faculty at Csehy Summer School of Music in Houghton, NY in July 2016 and will return in July 2017. She was the class voice and musical theater instructor at the Mississippi Summer Arts Institute in June 2015. As a Teaching Fellow at University of North Texas, Dr. Backlin taught studio voice to music education, jazz and Bachelor of Arts majors, as well as class voice for music education instrumental majors. She was also a Teaching Assistant at Temple University, and she maintained private voice studios at the Conservatory of Musical Arts in Haddonfield, NJ and the Arts School at Prince of Peace in Carrollton, TX. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and College Music Society.