"Scholars Invested Nuturing Greatness Teaching Excellence growing Artistry building Musicianship!"

2017-2018 Roster



Lecturer/ Applied Voice

Coordinator of Vocal Studies and Director of Opera

Marquita Lister has earned worldwide critical praise for the past two decades. Critics all over the world rave about soprano Marquita Lister's poignant, precise and intelligent technique. With an impressive repertoire that includes the masterworks of Verdi, Strauss, Puccini and Gershwin, her courage and a determination to dare the utmost in performance are her hallmark. Ms. Lister has sung with major opera companies such as the San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Montreal Opera, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg, La Scala, Semperoper Dresden, Staatstheater Stuttgart, Arena di Verona, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opera Bastille Paris, Michigan Opera Theater, to name a few. She has performed with world renowned artists, including Placido Domngo, Justino Diaz, Frederica Von Stade, Simon Estes, Sherrill Milnes and Marcello Giordani.

Her convincing performance as Bess in New York City Opera's Emmy nominated production of Porgy and Bess earned her the ''NYCO Diva Award 2002." Ms. Lister also received the "Artist of the Year Award," from the Pittsburgh Opera, and has appeared in television broadcast productions of An Evening with the Pops; Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops (PBS), A Christmas Celebration: Dallas Symphony Orchestra (KXAS- TV), and Live from Lincoln Center (PBS). In studio, Ms. Lister recorded George Gershwin's Blue Monday and Excerpts from Porgy and Bess for Telarc Records with Erich KunzeI and the Cincinnati Pops (Grammy nominated), Where the Sunsets Bleed: The Chamber Music of Edward Knight on Albany Records, and the critically acclaimed Porgy and Bess recording on the Decca label hailed by Opera News as one of the best recordings of 2006. In 2012, Ms. Lister recorded composer Michael Ching’s contribution to the Opera America Songbook commissioned for opening celebrations of the National Opera Center in New York.

Her renown spreading beyond the stage, Ms. Lister received the National Rehabilitation Hospital’s prestigious Victory Award in December of 2011, enshrining her achievements alongside those of fellow musician honorees Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles, actress Teri Garr and Senator Robert Dole. Her portrait now hangs in the hallways gallery of the Medstar National Rehabilitation Network. She is regularly featured on radio airwaves with hosts eager to learn more about her intriguing and multi-faceted persona. Of special note are her multi-segment talk show interviews with program host Doug Llewllyn on Close-Up Talk Radio and regular appearances on WAMU radio.

At the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Ms. Lister was host and soloist for Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s innovative Outreach and Educations program “America the Beautiful” – a musical tour of the American Landscape.

In collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony, Ms. Lister was the featured soloist in the debut of Mother’s Lament, an orchestral work created by composer James Lee and lyricist Vincent Stringer that addresses the violent tragedies of police violence and racial profiling.

A passionate advocate for education and the arts, Marquita Lister has spearheaded fundraising efforts and appeared in performance to benefit numerous charitable concerns, particularly scholarship programs of the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc., and The “Negro Spiritual” Scholarship Foundation where there is a scholarship in her name. In 2017, she established the Composer’s Prize for the distinguished George Shirley African-American Art Song and Operatic Competition.

Ms. Lister is presently collaborating with soprano Louise Toppin to pioneer The African American Art Song and Arranged Negro Spirituals for a New Generation Project. The project commissions original work from poets and composers that will comprise a new songbook affirming the importance and relevance of America’s art songs and spirituals in a contemporary milieu. Together, Ms. Lister and Ms. Toppin premiered many of these works in Havanna, Cuba.

Ms. Lister is enjoying a long list of master class credits in both the U.S. and Canada which includes the National Association of Teachers of Singing Southwest Regional Convention, Baltimore School for the Arts, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), Edmonton Opera, Calgary Opera and numerous universities and colleges. She will begin her spring master class schedule with the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC, followed by a workshop presentation at the 2018 Voice Foundation Symposium.

Ms. Lister received her Bachelor of Music degree from New England Conservatory of Music, where she graduated with distinction. She received her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Oklahoma City University. She is the Coordinator of the Vocal Studies Program and Director of Opera. She is a lifetime member of Sigma Alpha Iota.



Adjunct in Applied Voice

Carolyn Black-Sotir is a versatile artist performing in and directing opera, oratorio, recital, musical theatre, and cabaret. The Philadelphia Inquirer characterizes her as “brilliant, shining, expressive, and confident,” while the Baltimore Sun describes her as “a wonderful singer, with beautiful tone and excellent diction; her portrayal is spontaneous and superbly characterized.” 

 As guest artist, locally she has sung with the Annapolis, Maryland, and Lancaster Symphonies. She is in demand on the university and concert circuits presenting programs ranging from the lieder of Alban Berg to the songs of Irving Berlin. Her hallmark is her innovative and collaborative programming.  As Founder and Artistic Director of American Music Theatre Artists, she has created and performed in numerous theatrical concerts focusing on such composers as Gershwin, Rodgers, Sondheim, Bernstein, and Weill, many of which have toured here and abroad.

 Carolyn works as a producer and director of opera and musical theatre. Recently, she produced a new work in collaboration with Center Stage: Shadowboxer, an American opera about boxing legend Joe Louis.  She is also in demand as a lecturer and clinician, conducting numerous master classes and workshops for young singers.

 Carolyn’s commitment to the arts is illustrated in numerous advocacy efforts. Currently, she serves as Chair of the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences. She hosts two arts television programs--Kaleidoscope and smARTs--as well as numerous PBS specials.  Recently, she wrote, co-edited, and co-produced a special on American opera composer Dominick Argento, which aired on Minnesota Public Television.  She co-founded The Steinway Series at Silo Hill, dedicated to reinventing the classical music experience while raising awareness and research funds for Parkinson’s [].

 Dr. Black-Sotir is a magna cum laude graduate of Eastman School of Music with Bachelor and Master Music degrees in Vocal Performance.  She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Voice Performance with a special concentration in Directing from University of Maryland.




Assistant Professor/Applied Voice and Aural Skills

Dr. Rebecca Bell Echols, pedagogue and Lyric Soprano, is a versatile singer whose repertoire ranges from early music to atonal 20th century works. Rebecca holds her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in vocal pedagogy and performance from the University of Maryland. She completed her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance and piano from Stetson University, and she holds her Master of Music in vocal performance from the Shenandoah Conservatory, and a Graduate Performance Diploma in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory. Rebecca served as the coordinator of the voice department at Carroll Community College for 9 years, where she taught Aural Skills, and held a full voice studio. She continues to direct their very select Vocal Jazz choir, which she began 8 years ago. She has also taught as adjunct faculty at the Shenandoah Conservatory, and held one of three teaching assistantships while at the University of Maryland, where she taught Beginning and Intermediate Class Voice, Vocal Pedagogy and Italian Diction.

Some of Rebecca's performance credits include Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Papagena in The Magic Flute, Michaela in Carmen, Blodwen in Blodwen, and Lisette in La Rondine. Scene credits include Susannah in Susannah, Mimi in La Bohème, Suor Angelica in Suor Angelica, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte and La Ciesca from Gianni Schicci.

Dr. Echols resides in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband Eric and their adorable son, Anderson.



Adjunct Faculty, Applied Voice

Taylor Armstrong, tenor, has been a member of the voice faculty at Morgan State since 2016. He has also taught voice at Rutgers University in New Jersey and Shepherd University in West Virginia. Mr. Armstrong has been active as a tenor vocalist, organist, conductor, and pianist in the Baltimore area since 1997. He has been heard as a soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Concert Artists of Baltimore, Baltimore’s Bach Concert Series, the Da Camera Singers, the Peabody Orchestra and Choir, Annapolis Opera, the Handel Choir and Baltimore Chamber Symphony, and the Susquehanna Valley Orchestra. He has performed as an apprentice artist for the Santa Fe Opera, and he was a fellowship recipient in vocal chamber music at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. In addition to his work as a vocal instructor and coach, Mr. Armstrong regularly performs as an organist and pianist. He has also served in the United States Air Force Band as a conductor, vocalist, and pianist since 2005. Mr. Armstrong earned a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania as a scholarship student of Nina Tober, and he earned a Master of Music and Graduate Performance Diploma at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, studying with John ShirleyQuirk.





Robert Cantrell, Bass-Baritone

Adjunct Faculty/ Applied Voice

Bass-Baritone, ROBERT CANTRELL has been described by the Baltimore Sun as “a deeply expressive, rich, plangent Bass-Baritone,” and the Washington Post critic, Joseph McLellan wrote that Cantrell “has a warm supple voice that brought out the lyrical intentions of the composers making them treasured moments.”

Cantrell is often praised for his rich, powerful sound and lyrical musical interpretations delivering an engaging dynamic performance with great vocal control and sensitivity.  He is one of the most sought after bass-baritones in the Baltimore-Washington area who has performed throughout the United States, Italy, Austria, France and Japan.  His 2016-2017 performance appearances included Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (debut), guest artist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (debut), a solo recital on the Community Concerts at Second Presbyterian Church recital series, Mother’s Lament (premiere) at Morgan State University by James Lee, Mozart Requiem with the Bay Atlantic Symphony, Brahms Requiem with the Baltimore School for the Arts at Shriver Hall, leading role cover of Emile Griffith in Terrence Blanchard’s Champion with Washington National Opera, Champion Preview performance at the Washington National Cathedral, Music on the Corner Recital Series at First Baptist Church in Winchester, VA., solo recital at Atholon Seventh Day Adventist, a solo recital at Music at Grace Recital Series, Music by Copland with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass at Church of the Redeemer, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, and  the role of Bluebeard in Bela Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra. 

Recent performance highlights include Kapilow’s The Polar Express with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the U.S. Naval Academy, Arias by Verdi, Mozart and Gounod with the Prince George’s Philharmonic, a solo recital of African American Art Songs and Spirituals at Gettysburg College, and The Music of Gershwin on the Roth Concert Series at the Church of the Annunciation in Washington, DC.

Other notable career highlights include his Washington National Opera debut in the role of the Moorish Envoy in Massenet’s Le Cid starring legendary tenor, Placido Domingo on PBS, Gubetta in Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia opposite Renee Fleming, the First Nazarene in Strauss’ Salome with Deborah Voight, his Carnegie Hall debut in the Mozart Requiem, Bass soloist on the Baltimore Choral Arts France Tour in the Mozart Requiem, his debut in Italy at the Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi  in Handel’s Semele as the Priest and Somnus, role of the Jailer in Puccini’s Tosca on Washington National Opera’s Japan Tour, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess at the Bregenz Festspielhaus in Austria and appearances with the Metropolitan Opera Chorus in New York.

On the concert stage, Cantrell has sung Mendelssohn’s Elijah, the Verdi Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth and Choral Fantasy, Handel’s Messiah and Israel in Egypt, Menotti’s Death of the Bishop of Brindisi, Duruflé Requiem, Fauré Requiem, Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs, Copland’s Old American Songs, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass.  He has also appeared numerous times at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Fourth of July Spectacular, and the Reading Symphony Orchestra’s 4th of July Star Spangled Spectacular where the Reading Eagle wrote, “Extraordinary Bass-Baritone Robert Cantrell’s sumptuous voice, endless breath control and moving delivery swept everyone away.”

In addition, Cantrell has performed with the Baltimore Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Delaware, Sarasota Opera, Opera Vivente, Municipal Opera of Baltimore, Washington Summer Opera and Opera Ebony.  He has appeared as soloist with the Prince George’s Philharmonic, Concert Artists of Baltimore,  Reading Symphony Orchestra, Loudon Symphony, York Symphony, Columbia Pro Cantare, Deer Creek Chorale, Central Maryland Chorale, Easton Choral Arts, Baltimore Masterworks Chorale, Mid-Atlantic Symphony, and the Handel Choir of Baltimore. 


Mr. Cantrell is on the voice faculty at the Baltimore School for the Arts and the Washington National Opera Summer Opera Institute at American University.




Adjunct Faculty/ Applied Voice

Eduardo Castro,Peruvian Baritone,  has performed in companies such as The Washington National Opera, The Baltimore Opera and The Virginia Opera. Studied voice in Rome, Italy and in the University of Oklahoma where he received his degree in musical studies in Vocal performance. There he studied voice under the world renown Baritone Kim Josephson. Has been teaching at Morgan State university since 2016.  Mr Castro has participated in Master clases in the US, Lima Peru, and Italy.








KEVIN SHORT, Bass-Baritone

Adjunct Faculty/ Applied Voice

Versatile American bass-baritone Kevin Short is thrilling audiences around the globe in a wide range of repertoire ranging from the depths of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Monteverdi’s L’Coronazione di Poppea to Verdi’s Attila, Carmen’s Escamillo and Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer. 

A sampling of his North America appearances include performances with the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Pacific, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Sarasota Opera Company, Spoleto Opera Festival, Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera, Edmonton Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Opera de las Americas.

His European and Asian credits include appearances with multiple opera companies, orchestras, and festivals. A few of which include Paris’ Opera Comique, Welsh National Opera, Kazan State Theater-Russia, Theatre Caen, Grand Theatre du Luxembourg, Oper der Stadt Köln, Stadttheater Stuttgart, Theater Aachen, Theater Basel, Theater Bern, Theater St. Gallen, Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos, Savonlinna Festival-Finland; Bregenzer Festspiele-Austria, Baden-Baden Festspiele-Germany, Festival Aix-en-Provence-France, Festival Montpellier-France, Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, Japan and festivals in Beijing, China; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Granada, Valencia, and Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Kevin also enjoys an active concert and recital schedule and has worked with the Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, National Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Handel and Haydn Orchestra-Boston, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Marseille Philharmonic, Gulbenkian Orchestra Netherlands Filharmonisch Orkest, Swiss and Italian RAI Orchestra, Radio France Orchestra, Parma Reggio Emilia Orchestra, Malta Philharmonic, Moscow Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Symphony, Russia, Omsk Philharmonic-Russia, New Japan Philharmonic, Hiroshima Symphony, the Kazan Symphony for the opening of the Universiade Games in Kazan, Russia, and the Winter Olympics Festival Orchestra for the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

Kevin received his training at Morgan State University, B.S., the Curtis Institute of Music, M.M., and the Juilliard School of Music’s American Opera Center.  While attending these institutions he was a prize winner in numerous competitions and garnered many awards. A few highlights include the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Internazionale Concorso per Voce Verdiane, the Rosa Ponselle International Vocal Competition, the Bruce Yarnell Competition for Basses and Baritones, the Liederkranz Competition, and awards from the Sullivan Foundation, Opera Index, Shoshana Foundation, and the George London Foundation.

Kevin can be heard on Pentatone’s latest recording of Otello and has also recorded a Grammy nominated CD of Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortileges under the Naxos label as well as Amahl and the Night visitors with the Nashville Symphony also with Naxos. Other releases include a critically acclaimed recording of The Death of Webern on the Albany label, Don Carlo with the Metropolitan Opera, and a soon to be released recording of opera villains with the Marseille Philharmonic under the Pentatone label.




Adjunct Faculty- Collaborative Piano

Marvin Mills a vocal coach, collaborative pianist, organist, and conductor is a member of the SINGTEAM Faculty (Scholars Invested, Nurturing Greatness, Teaching Excellence, growing Artistry and building Musicianship) as staff collaborative pianist in the Morgan State University Department of Fine and Performing Arts and serves as the assistant music director for the Opera at Morgan.

Mr. Mills made his theatrical conducting debut with the Washington Savoyards in its production of Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha. Active as a vocal coach/accompanist, he has served as vocal coach for the famed Sweet Honey in the Rock; the acclaimed soprano, Marquita Lister and can be heard as arranger and accompanist on a disc of spirituals with mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, Angels Watching Over Me.

Mr. Mills has performed throughout the United States in such places as The Academy of Music, Philadelphia, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Barns, Wolf Trap Farm Park as well as historic churches in Krakow, Poland. He has appeared as guest artist with numerous choral groups including the Concert Artists of Baltimore, the Washington Bach Consort, the Cathedral Choral Society, the Folger Consort, Fairfax Choral Society, MasterSingers of Wilmington (DE), and Eastern Michigan University Chamber Choir. In the spring of 1992 Mr. Mills performed the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach in a weekly series of fourteen programs on the 96 rank Rieger organ at All Souls Church, Unitarian. He made his west coast debut in July 1992 at the Spreckles Organ Pavilion International Organ Summer Concert Series in Balboa Park, San Diego and his New York City recital debut in July 1993 at the Riverside Church; returning in 2003. Concerto appearances include the Pittsburgh Symphony with conductor Isaiah Jackson (Rheinberger g minor), the Johns Hopkins Symphony (Rheinberger F major) and the Peabody Symphony (Rheinberger g minor). He has also performed with the Jacksonville Symphony in concertos by Handel, Rheinberger and Jongen as well as Hindemith’s Concerto for Organ and Orchestra. During the inaugural festival of the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ, Dobson organ Op. 76, in Verizon Hall of the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, he was the first of five recitalists for the Saturday marathon.

For several years Mr. Mills has been a featured artist at the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival as recitalist, chamber musician and choral conductor - preparing the Festival Chorus for major works such as: Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and Handel’s Samson. Mills is organist at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Kensington, Maryland. He is also music director of the acclaimed National Spiritual Ensemble, and guest artist with the Ritz Chamber Players, based in Jacksonville, Florida. Previous positions include Associate Minister of Music at National City Christian Church, Director of Music at All Souls Church, Unitarian, and University Organist at Howard University, all in Washington, DC. He earned a B.M. in organ from Westminster Choir College and a Graduate Performance Diploma in Organ from Peabody Conservatory of Music.