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A native of Meridian, MS and a Mississippi College alumna (2003), Dr. Kristen Johnson Gunn, soprano, graduated from the Florida State University with a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance. During her time as a student, Dr. Gunn was extremely involved in the opera program, both opera outreach and operatic performances with The Florida State Opera. Mainstage productions at Florida State that have featured Gunn include: Massenet’s Werther (Sophie, 2005), G.F. Handel’s Giulio Cesare (Cleopatra, 2006), Verdi’s Falstaff (Nannetta, 2006), and Puccini’s La bohème (Musetta, 2007). The Tallahassee Democrat reviewed Kristen's performance by saying, “Kristen Johnson [Gunn] was an attractive, flirtatious, and big-voiced Musetta.” Still an active participant in the arts for her hometown, Meridian, MS, Dr. Gunn has been a guest artist for the Meridian Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Conductor, Dr. Claire Fox Hillard. Gunn appeared during the 2006-2007 season as Micaela in MSO’s concert version of Bizet’s Carmen in May 2007, and returned to sing the role of Gabriel in the Meridian Symphony’s 2008 production of Haydn’s Creation. In July 2009, Gunn performed in Brugge, Belgium with the Intermezzo Opera Company in Maury Yeston's musical Nine in the lead role of Luisa Contini. Recent engagements have included a Lincoln Center debut in New York City (Jan 2012) where Gunn was the soprano soloist for the performance of John Rutter's Mass for the Children with DCINY, performances with Mississippi Opera as Fiordiligi in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte (April 2013) and as Santuzza in Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana (November 2015), and a performance in Soweto, Republic of South Africa as the soprano soloist in the Brahms Requiem (May 2014).
Dr. Kristen Johnson Gunn joined the music faculty at Mississippi College in the fall of 2008, and holds the title of Associate Professor of Voice and Coordinator of Musical Theatre and Opera productions. During her time at MC, Gunn's students have been successful at both the state, regional and national levels. Most students have been finalists/winners of both state and regional NATS competitions and are accepted into summer festivals/programs such as CLOC (College Light Opera Company), FAVA (Franco-American Vocal Academy), and Chicago Opera Theatre to name a few. Past students have been accepted into prestigious graduate programs upon completion of their degree (Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Manhattan School of Music, Oklahoma City University, University of Maryland) or have been chosen for Broadway tours and/or musical theatre programs such as AMDA (New York). While maintaining a large vocal studio (both collegiate and private), Gunn has remained an active performer in Mississippi and surrounding areas.
Dr. Kristen Johnson Gunn currently held the title of Mississippi and Southern Regional NATSAA winner for 2014. She represented the southern region at the NATS national conference in Boston, MA in July 2014, and was chosen as a national finalist in the bi-annual national NATSAA (National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards) competition. Gunn successfully competed as a national finalist, and was announced as winner of the sixth place, Louis T. Nicholas Award. She is a proud student of the world-renowned voice teacher, Patricia McCaffrey.
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Mississippi College's physical address is 200 S. Capitol Street, Clinton, MS 39056.