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About

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Candace Johnson is an inspirational soprano who captivates audiences with her dynamic vocal artistry and her moving dramatic interpretation.  Candace is on the music faculty at the University of California-Berkeley, where she teaches applied voice and a musicology course she designed on Black classical composers and their works. She earned her doctorate in voice performance from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Shirley Verrett and George Shirley.  Prior to her current appointment, she was a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the music department. As a teaching artist, Candace performs opera, recital, and concert works, and specializes in the research and performance of classical works by Black American composers.

Her singing has drawn the praise of composers such as Adolphus Hailstork, who says hers is “the best interpretation of my songs I’ve ever encountered,” and Olly Wilson who raves about her shimmering high notes and captivating musical interpretation. Candace is a soloist on the CD recording The New Anthology of African-American Art Songs, and as a lyric coloratura has sung leading and supporting roles in operas by Mozart, Puccini, and Menotti. She has concertized in select cities across the country. Recent notable performances include guest appearances at Carnegie Hall and The Manhattan Center. This summer (2014), Candace will release a digital music project, Spirituals ReBorn, that fuses her poetry and story telling with contemporized arrangements of the Negro Spiritual. As a classical singer and worship leader, Candace blends vocal improvisation, jazz, Broadway show tunes, and spoken word in her unique expression. She is also an actress and a fitness enthusiast.

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