B.M.E. (voice), The Ohio State University; M.M. in Vocal performance, Kent State University; D.M.A.(conducting), University of Illinois
Dr. Linda J. Farquharson (Dr. F) is the first woman in the history of the School of Music at Illinois Wesleyan to achieve the rank of Professor of Music. Long before it became fashionable for a woman to serve as conductor, Dr. F's passion was, and still is to teach singers the "astonishing art of the score" in the classroom and from the "Pit." Certainly, Dr. F brings through her extraordinary examinations an invigorating synthesis of expectation and edification that both challenges and uplifts advanced undergraduate students who have a passion for opera performance. A small sampling of Dr. F's Illinois Wesleyan opera resumé includes: Le Nozze Di Figaro, Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflote, Die Fledermaus, Merry Widow, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Carmen, The Tender Land, Gianni Schicchi, Dido and Aeneas, and all the major Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas.
Dr. F's conducting credits include the following domestic and international venues: Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra, McLean Choral Arts Society (founding conductor), The Ohio Light Opera Company, Peoria Civic Opera, National Light Opera Company, Kennedy Center, Opera Illinois, and Operafestival di Roma. Dr. F has also produced Broadway in Italy segments for the RAI television (Italy's version of "Good Morning, America"); and has been interviewed (simultaneous broadcast throughout Europe) by Vatican Radio.
Dr. F's career began as a singer (mezzo-soprano) for the National Light Opera and the Ohio Light Opera Companies. She performed in recital and oratorio and with orchestras throughout Mexico, Canada, and the USA (Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, Virginia, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia). Her vocal students have been awarded graduate assistantships/ scholarships/ fellowships at The Manhattan School of Music, Yale, Harvard, San Francisco Conservatory, Eastman, Southern Methodist University, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
For the last decade, Dr. F's teaching and conducting energies have been directed to more globally diverse vistas. One of her favorite courses occurs during May Term when selected Illinois Wesleyan students participate in a travel course abroad. During the immersion experience, students investigate the musical arts by engaging in performances and discussions with performers in inspirational and historical venues.
May Term 1997: "Performing American Music" in New York City & London
May Term 1999: "Walking in the Steps of Music Giants" Travel Course to Germany and Austria
May Term 2003: "Cathedrals, Canals, and Concert Halls" Travel Course to Italy and Austria
May Term 2004: "Cathedrals, Museums, and Concert Halls" Travel Course to Italy and Austria
May Term 2005: "Cathedrals, Museums, and Concert Halls" Travel Course to Italy and Austria
May Term 2006: Italy and Austria
In addition to having achieved the rank of Full Professor, Dr. Farquharson is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi (National Honorary Society), Pi Kappa Lambda (National Honorary Music Society), Pi Delta Phi (French Honor Society, Honorary Member), Sigma Alpha Iota (Woman's Music Fraternity, Friend of the Arts, and Faculty Advisor), and Mu Phi Epsilon (Music Fraternity; Honorary member). In 2003, Dr. F. was awarded the Distinguished Alumni of Kent State University (School of Music) and keynote speaker for the KSU Honor's Week, guest of Pi Kappa Lambda.