African American Adjunct Professor Wins a Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance

givens-storyMelissa Givens, an adjunct professor at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and Texas Southern University in Houston, won the Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance as a member of the vocal group Conspirare, based in Austin, Texas.

A native of Buffalo, New York, Givens entered Davidson College in North Carolina determined to follow a pre-med curriculum. But at Davidson she joined the choir and started taking voice lessons in the department of music. After graduating from Davidson in 1989, Givens remained on campus as an assistant to the president. She then took a fellowship in vocal performance at Rice University in Houston and earned a master’s degree.

Givens has toured the world performing in musical, dance, and theatrical productions. She is currently studying for a doctor of musical arts degree at the Moores School of Music of the University of Houston.


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