B.M. (Vanderbilt); M.M. (Westminster Choir College)
Mary Hewlett Elder
Adjunct Artist Teacher of Voice
Mezzo-soprano Mary Hewlett Elder has enjoyed a versatile performance career with highlights on the concert and recital stage. As part of the world renowned Westminster Symphonic Choir, Elder has enjoyed performances at Avery Fischer Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the Kimmel center under the batons of Maestros Peter Schreier, Daniel Barenboim and Yannick Nezet-Seguin. Under the direction of Joe Miller, Elder sang with the Westminster Choir on regional tours and was a choral fellow at the Spoleto Festival USA, where she performed in the U.S. premieres of Philip Glass’s Kepler and Toshio Hosokawa’s Matsukaze. Elder was also in the New York premiere of Matsukaze at the Lincoln Center Festival with conductor John Kennedy and the Talea Ensemble.
As a professional choral singer, Elder has sung with The Thirteen, Collegium, Music City Baroque, the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and Portara Ensemble.
Elder is a founding member of the Hillsboro Opera Ensemble, based in Nashville, and performs regularly. She is also a member of Nashville’s new chapter of Opera on Tap. She has prepared recitals with repertoire ranging from the music of J.S. Bach to the works of George Crumb, to the standards of Cole Porter. In addition to solo recitals, Elder has had the pleasure of participating in the new art form of staged art song at the Vancouver International Song Institute. She premiered two new pieces of art song theater while at VISI in 2009 and 2011.
A native of California, Elder earned her Masters in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance with a pedagogy emphasis from Westminster Choir College, studying voice with Nova Thomas and vocal pedagogy with Christopher Arneson. She earned her Bachelor of Music at Vanderbilt University, studying voice with Gayle Shay. Elder is currently the voice teacher in residence at Pope John Paul II High School in Hendersonville and teaches privately in Nashville.