Keynote Speaker

Dr. T. Jackson Lears

Keynote Speaker Dr. Lears

Dr. Lears is Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers University. His work focuses on American cultural and intellectual history, investigating the role of advertising, industrialization, and myth in the modernization of the U.S. Dr. Lears’ work reveals both the costs and benefits that these attributes of society lend to transformative moments in our nation’s history.


Participant Biographies


Cancryn & Carlisle

Dina Cancryn, soprano and Kris Carlisle, pianist initially collaborated in June 1999 as participants in the Rome Festival in Italy.  Following concerts in Nashville and Los Angeles, they realized that there is an untapped potential for performing song repertoire of unique origin in addition to standard song literature.  The duo is passionately committed to the advancement of American/African American art song, cabaret song, and songs written by women composers. They combine in their repertoire classics of the 18th thru 20th centuries with new and varied works for voice and piano.  Cancryn & Carlisle continue an active performing schedule while teaching at their prospective universities. Their collaboration includes a series of concerts performed as artists in residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada.  They are now collaborating on a compact disc recording of cabaret songs while continuing to perform.


Dina Cancryn

Dina CancrynOriginally from Long Island, New York, Dina Cancryn holds a Bachelor of Music degree from The Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music degree from Indiana University.  She is a former district winner and regional finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions and was the recipient of the Elizabeth Stansel Goza Award.

Cancryn served as Artist in Residence for the Banff Centre for the Arts in Banff, Canada, where she performed several concerts of diverse repertoire.  Opera credits include the role of Susanna in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro with Italy’s Rome Festival, the title role in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, with the Nashville Opera; Madame Goldentrill in Mozart's The Impresario, and Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto, with the Aspen Opera Theatre.  She has worked under the batons of Claudio Scimone, John Demain, Lawrence Foster, and Christopher Larkin.  Productions include Mozart's The Magic Flute, Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave, and Puccini's Madame Butterfly.

She has been featured with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra in performances of Mozart's Requiem; Handel's Messiah, Poulenc's Gloria, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and the Brahms Requiem  She recently made her European debut as In addition to oratorio and opera, Dina Cancryn enjoys an active performing schedule as a recitalist, celebrating the contributions of various composers of art song literature. Her compact disc recording entitled Remembrance-African American Songs received rave reviews from Judith Ann Still, daughter and owner of William Grant Still publishing company.

Currently, Dina Cancryn enjoys an active performing schedule while continuing to teach.  In addition to art song recitals, and concert appearances, her latest endeavor is as author, producer, and cast member of touring musical theatre production entitled PORTRAITS, The First Black American Divas of Song and Opera.  She will be presenting PORTRAITS in the summer of 2011 at the Conference for Fine and Performing Arts in Athens, Greece.


Kris Carlisle

Chris CarlisleKris Carlisle received training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Claremont Graduate University.  He has studied with such noted artists as Louanne Long, Mack McCray, Lita Guerra, and Susan Svrcek.  He has been the winner of many competitions and the recipient of various awards including: the Martha Fischer-Tye Foundation Award; a Special Achievement in Musicology Award from the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC; and a Georgia Music Teachers Steinway Piano Galleries Educator Grant.

Along with Dina Cancryn, Dr. Carlisle has served as Artist in Residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Banff, Canada exposing audiences to the works of contemporary African American composers.  His recording project, the-American Evolution- explores the ways in which contemporary American composers have used traditional compositional genres while incorporating contemporary musical language.  The first phase, The American Evolution; Piano Variations, includes works by Aaron Copland, Vincent Persichetti, and Benjamin Lees, as well works by new, up and coming composers; Paul Siskind, and Mark Zanter.  Phase two, The American Evolution: Piano Sonatas includes Norman Dello Joio’s Piano Sonata #3 and works by Jackson Hill, G. Theodore Wiprud, Andrew Kinney, Charles Bestor, and Amy Dunker.  Dr. Carlisle has been a guest artist at many colleges and universities around the country.  He has presented at conferences and has been an adjudicator for many organizations.  He has served as director of the Leslie Mackett Chamber Series, a board member for the Music Teachers Association, and founder of a branch of the National Federation of Music Clubs.  He is a founding member of Southern California’s Inland Chamber Players and northern Georgia’s Blue Mountain Chamber Players.  He is currently Associate Professor of Piano at Berry College and concertizes as both a soloist and collaborative artist.