Rice remembers voice professor, chair Barbara Clark

Barbara (Paver) Clark, associate professor and chair of voice at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, died Sept. 2.

Barbara (Paver) Clark

Barbara (Paver) Clark

Clark joined the Shepherd School in 2012, having taught previously for nine years at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). She was regarded as “one of the country’s rising vocal instructors” when she came to Rice, said Shepherd School Dean Robert Yekovich.

Her students sing with many young artist programs across the country, including the Merola Opera Program, Seattle Opera, St. Louis Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Arizona Opera, Chautauqua Opera Company and Tanglewood Music Festival and consistently place in the district and regional finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

“Barbara Clark was a teacher of enormous gifts and a model colleague,” Yekovich said. “She was also a kind, caring and generous spirit. Barbara was much loved by her students and the entire Shepherd School community. We truly lost someone special.”

In addition to her educational career, Clark had a successful performance career spanning a breadth of repertoire that includes opera, oratorio, art song and 20th-century compositions. Some of her notable performances included Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the Southern Illinois Symphony, Canteloube’s “Chants d’Auvergne” with the Cincinnati Concert Orchestra and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Rochester Symphony.

As a clinician, Clark served on a panel for the Cincinnati Voice Consortium, an interdisciplinary group uniting vocal pedagogues with voice science professionals. Internationally, Clark has taught at Opera Theater of Lucca in Italy, CCM’s Spoleto Festival in Italy and The Vianden Festival in Luxembourg.

A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., Clark received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Arizona and a master’s and doctorate from CCM.

Clark is survived by sisters Susan Clark Joul and Jill Meiburg, brother Rob Clark, and brother-in-law Kent Joul, in addition to her many current and former students.

A memorial service and concert will be held on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 3 p.m. in the Shepherd School’s Stude Concert Hall.

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.