The Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music is delighted to announce mezzo-soprano Paulina Villarreal as assistant professor of voice beginning fall 2020. “We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Villarreal to the Rudi Scheidt School of Music this fall,” said Dr. Kevin Sanders, director of the School. “She is a deeply gifted vocalist, a passionate teacher and possesses an extraordinary range of influences, styles, and genres. She will present a powerful model for the young vocalists she teaches.”
Villarreal is a prominent recitalist, cabaret, operatic and musical singer theater throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Although she was trained as a classical vocalist she is also in demand for her singing versatility in musical theater and commercial music genres. She has been recognized for many performance credits, including being named a winner at the prestigious international Lotte Lenya Competition in New York and at the Comic Opera Guild Competition in Michigan.
Prior to her appointment, Villarreal was an assistant professor of voice and as opera and musical theater director at Centenary College of Louisiana. Recently, she was performing as a Young Artist at Cincinnati Opera. “Miss Villareal performed with authority and sobriety, changing vocal colors as needed,” said Rafael de Acha in a recital review of From Latin America, With Love. “Once more she opened up her voice to full capacity at climatic moments and pulled it back to a most effective mezza-voce.”
Villarreal considers her Latino heritage to be a fundamental factor to her growth in the musical world. The challenges she faced as a young singer in a town without formal music education drove her to teach herself. “Growing up and building a career as an underserved member of the Latino community also played a big role on who I am as an artist today,” she said. “I didn’t grow up with the opportunity to learn musical concepts until I started my undergraduate career. Because of the very limited opportunities that my hometown in Mexico offered at the time, I had to become my own mentor from a very young age.”
Villarreal’s instruction will include the new commercial music concentration, applied lessons in voice for vocal performance students and song literature at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students of the School of Music are certain to gain a unique appreciation of song styles from Villarreal “I can’t wait to work with the faculty and students at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music,” she said. “It is an absolute pleasure to be a part of this very special place.”
Growing up with a very musical family, Villarreal was exposed to popular music from a very young age, which sparked her love for singing. “I don’t consider myself a religious person, but music and song in particular make me be certain of the existence of a higher power,” she said. “This type of creation is truly a miracle, as it connects people from every day and age even through language, geographic, and social barriers.”