Music

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Music students have performance opportunities from the first semester onward.

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Stellar faculty includes 19 members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Grammy winners and performing and recording artists, augmented by guests such as acclaimed DSO conductor Jaap van Zweden.

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Numerous ensembles and programs, including the Meadows Opera Theatre, provide multiple opportunities for performing on and off campus.

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Multiple degrees are offered in performance, composition, music therapy, education and more at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Hank Hammett

Director of Opera, Senior Lecturer, Chair of Ensemble Department

American lyric baritone Hank Hammett is an award-winning performer, director, teacher and coach who has sung and trained singing actors in the organic fields of music, voice, theater arts, acting technique, opera and strategic performance skills for over two and a half decades.

As an acting coach for singers, Mr. Hammett has worked on Broadway and Off-Broadway, in television and film (including Steven Spielberg's Lincoln), and at the world's most prestigious opera houses, including The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, The Glimmerglass Festival, Boston Lyric Opera, Los Angeles Opera, The Dallas Opera, Portland Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Connecticut Opera, Bilbao Opera, L’Opéra de Montréal, Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona) and De Nederlandse Opera (Amsterdam).

Hammett is the recipient of numerous awards and grants for singing, including First Prize in the Liederkranz Competition in New York and the Grand Prix in the Concours International d’Oratorio et de Lied in France. He made his professional operatic debut as Mercutio in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette with the San Antonio Festival (Boris Goldovsky, director and conductor), and his professional recital debut in at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, with pianist Dale Dietert. He has since received critical acclaim on opera and concert stages throughout North America, Mexico and Europe.

While living in New York City for twelve years, in addition to maintaining a highly successful private studio, Hammett served as artistic director/stage director for the series “Supper & Song” and “Summer Sunday Sundown Concerts,” as well as for “Voices of Spring” and “Beautiful Music in a Sacred Place.” He served as music director/vocal coach for the acclaimed theatrical dance troupe Jane Comfort & Company and was the vocal diction coach for Off-Broadway productions of Our Town, The Heidi Chronicles, and Dancing at Lughnasa. Hammett also worked with The American Theatre Wing to produce and direct outreach concerts bringing theatrical music into schools, hospitals and retirement homes throughout the boroughs of New York.

Hammett has served as a consultant for The Dallas Opera's Education/Community Outreach department, where he was commissioned to write and direct Opera in a Box: Follow Your Dreams for The Dallas Opera-SMU Emerging Artist Program.He continues his work with The Dallas Opera as featured speaker for the Joy and Ronald Mankoff Opera Overture Series.

Hammett received his Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music degrees from The University of Texas at Austin and did further study at The University of California-Santa Barbara, The Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies in Aldeburgh, England, and The Music Academy of the West. He studied acting technique at T. Schreiber Studio and MTB Studio in New York. In addition to his work at SMU, Hammett frequently gives master classes at universities and professional opera training programs including the Houston Grand Opera Studio and The Dallas Opera.

Education

B.M. and M.M., University of Texas at Austin; further studies at Music Academy of the West, Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies, and New York's MTB Studio

Teaching

Meadows Opera Workshop, Meadows Opera Ensemble, Advanced Acting for Singers

Publications

“Opera in a Box: Follow Your Dreams”

Areas of Study

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Music

Welcome to the Division of Music

About the Division of Music

Undergraduate Studies

Graduate Studies

Departments

Ensembles

Classes

Facilities

Faculty and Staff

Dallas Resources

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SMU Meadows Licensed Music Rights

Workshops and Special Programs

Theatre