Associate Professor of Music
Coordinator of Music
Director, Bowie State University Choir
Soprano Marymal Holmes is a native of Varina, VA (near Richmond). A graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC and the Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, DC, Ms. Holmes completed bachelor and master of music degrees respectively and, in 1996, earned the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts from CUA. In addition to studying voice at La Accademica della Musica di Chigiana in Siena, Italy, her voice teachers include Mrs. Janice Harsanyi, Mrs. Katharine Hansel, Dr. Michael Cordovana, and Ms. Rosemary Dyer.
As a featured soloist, Ms. Holmes has performed with the Florida Symphony, the Richmond, Winston-Salem, Fairfax, and Greensboro Civic symphony orchestras, the Orchesta Filarmonica de Bogota in Columbia, Orchestra de la Ciudad de Mexico, the Manhattan Philharmonic Orchestra of New York, the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra. In the Concert Hall of the John F. Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts, she has appeared as soloist with the Paul Hill Chorale, the Washington Singers, and the Oratorio Society of Washington. In 1991, Ms. Holmes appeared as guest artist with the Washington Cathedral Choral Society and is featured on their 1992 compact disc recording "The Joy Of Christmas" (Cenatur label). In May 1988, she made her Carnegie Hall debut in a performance of Brahms' "Ein Deutches Requiem" and, in 1989, was soprano soloist in a performance of Handel's "Messiah" for former President and Mrs. George H. Bush.
Other concert performances have included Strauss' "Four Last Songs" with the Catholic University Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, and an appearance on the 10th Annual Premier's Concert in Hamilton, Bermuda. In 1993, Ms. Holmes sang the role of Donna Anna from Mozart's opera "Don Giovanni" and, in 1995, she sang the role of Georgetta from Puccini's opera "Il Tabarro," both at the Hartke Theater at CUA. In December 1995, Ms. Holmes performed on an operatic gala in Boston honoring "African American Trailblazers in Opera"-Robert McFerrin, Todd Duncan, Mattiwilda Dobbs, and Camilla Williams." The gala was co-sponsored by Harvard University's W.E.B. Dubois Institute of Afro-American Studies and featured other artists such as George Shirley and Shirley Verrett. In May 1997, Ms. Holmes returned from a successful engagement in Stockholm, Sweden, where she performed as soprano soloist and recorded a CD entitled "Spirituals" with the St. Jakob Chamber Choir (BIS "Northern Lights" Label). In November 1998, she was selected and appeared as guest soloist for the United Negro College Fund Gala. The annual event was sponsored by the Active Transportation Company of Louisville, KY.
Dr. Holmes travels the northeastern and southern United States as a lecture/recitalist. Her programs, "The African-American Spiritual" and "The Solo Vocal Music of Dr. Undine Smith Moore, An African-American Composer," have met with great success at universities and colleges including Framingham State College of Massachusetts, Winston-Salem State University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
Acknowledged as a distinguished educator in "Who's Who Among America's Teachers" for 2000, Dr. Holmes, a member of the Bowie State University faculty since 1984, currently holds the academic rank of associate professor of music. In August of 2003, by invitation, Dr. Holmes sang the National Anthem of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for the "40th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington." This historic event was televised nationally on C-SPAN and CNN. In addition to her full course load at the University, Dr. Holmes serves as director of the Bowie State University choir. In June 2001, the choir traveled to Innsbruck, Austria, to perform the Mozart "Requiem" and "American Songs" at the Innsbruck International Choral Festival.
Office: MLK Communication Arts Bldg. RM 233
"…soloist Marymal Holmes revealed a voice of extraordinary quality..." Washington Star's Theodore W. Libbey, Jr.
"...one of the evening's best items...performance of Mascagni's Salve Regina featuring soprano Marymal Holmes, former member of the Chorale, who has gone on to a distinguished career…" The Washington Post's Joseph McClellan
"...hers is a masterful voice, brilliant in color, vibrant in texture, delicate of nuance..." The Washington Post's Mark Adamo