The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance educates the artists, scholars, educators and entrepreneurs of the future. Students are prepared with expert skills, instilled with passionate enthusiasm, and emboldened to challenge and inspire the world through the power of the performing arts.
After spending their summers working for top performing arts organizations, four undergraduates help promote their host organization's performances in Ann Arbor.
SMTD has partnered with the Gershwin family to bring the music of George and Ira Gershwin to students, scholars, performers and audiences across campus and worldwide.
Associate Professor of Musical Theatre
Office: 2453 Walgreen
Catherine A. Walker received a bachelor of music education from Capital University Conservatory of Music, and a master of music in choral conducting from Western Michigan University School of Music. Walker has worked extensively as an educator, musical director and clinician throughout her career. In addition to the University of Michigan, her theatre credits include: The 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle; Derby Dinner Playhouse, Louisville; the Red Barn, Saugatuck, Michigan; Farmers Alley Theatre, Kalamazoo, Michigan; Island Center Productions, St. Croix, USVI; and Three-D Productions National Touring Company. Other special events include: Wicked Divas (pianist), Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra; Family Night at the Movies (pianist), Saginaw Symphony Orchestra; An Evening With Lauren Kennedy; An Evening with Scott Coulter; and Shenandoah, starring Robert Newman, formerly of TV's Guiding Light. Walker serves annually as a mentor and judge for the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Vocal Academy.
As a passionate educator, Walker has been the recipient of multiple Gilbert Whitaker Grants for the Improvement of Teaching through U-M. Two of these grants were used to explore new pedagogical strategies for contemporary vocal performance practices. Walker has completed the training to be a certified master teacher in the Estill Voice Training Model and continues to explore the Feldenkrais Method for Somatic Education and the Alexander Technique. Her passion for music education and literacy, has led to the creation of a new Musical Literacy Course, which is utilizing new technology as well as on-line video tutorials as part of a "flipped classroom" model.
Walker's excellence as a choral conductor has been recognized by, The Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) and the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Conducting honors include: MSVMA State Honors Choir, MSVMA Midwest Conference, ACDA Michigan Convention and Michigan Youth Arts Festival. In addition, her choirs have performed at Carnegie Hall and in Washington D.C., as well as tours in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Italy. Walker is also in demand as a clinician and has presented at the Midwest Conference, Michigan Music Conference, and MSVMA Summer Workshop & ACDA State Conference. Walker's conducting mentors include Dr. Craig S. Arnold, Dr. Rodney Eichenberger, and Dr. Joe Miller.
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