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Dr. Mei Zhong, soprano, currently serves Ball State University as Professor of Voice. She earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a Master of Fine Arts in Vocal Performance and Practices from the University of California at Los Angeles, a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance from Hunan Teachers University and a vocal performance diploma for advanced study from Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Previously, Zhong taught at Idaho State University and Hunan Teachers University. Since 1999, she has served as an Honorary Professor and a Guest Professor at many universities in China.
Besides teaching Voice, Zhong has taught courses in Vocal Pedagogy, Vocal Literature, Theatrical Makeup - Basic, and Introduction to Piano. At Ball State University, Zhong teaches Applied Voice for doctoral, masters and undergraduate students. Her students have placed in many vocal competitions. Several of her students are engaged in teaching positions at universities in the U.S. and China.
As an opera singer and concert soloist, Zhong has performed extensively in both China and the United States. For seven years, she was an opera singer and accordionist at Henyang Baihua Theater, an Opera and Dance Theater in Hunan, China, and gave frequent performances in different cities and on local television and radio stations. While studying at UCLA, she was one of the subjects of a documentary by the Chinese Central Documentary Film Company, Beijing. In 2015, Dr. Zhong performed in Shanghai East Art Center Music Hall, as the soloist in the seventh movement of the symphonic and chorus work, Ode to Peace.
Dr. Zhong has performed several lead roles in opera productions, such as Butterfly in Madama Butterfly, Sister Angelica in Suor Angelica, Micaëla in Carmen and Dido in Dido and Aeneas at Illinois Opera Theater, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in the United States, as well as Haixia in The Militia Woman of the Island, and Hanying in Honghu Guerrilla at Baihua Opera Dance Theater in China.
In addition to performing as a soloist in the UCLA Choral and Symphony Orchestra production of Dvorák's Te Deum, conducted by Donald Neuen, Zhong performed in television productions for KSCI in Los Angeles and Idaho's Public Access Television in Pocatello, and appeared on WFIU Public Radio of Indiana University. Coached vocally for four years by John Wustman at the University of Illinois, she was a soloist in his highly acclaimed series, The Complete Songs of Schubert.
In 2014, Dr. Zhong appeared as a vocal soloist in the Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, with Muncie Symphony Orchestra and chorale unions. In 2012 and 2015, Dr. Zhong was a soloist in symphonic chorus works Toward the Future (fourth movement) and Ode to Peace (seventh movement), world premiere performances with Washington International Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Zhang, held in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, College Park of University of Maryland. In Indiana, Dr. Zhong sang as a soloist with Earlham Symphony Orchestra and Muncie Symphony Orchestra in Carl Orff's Carmina Burana (2011) and Ralph Vaughan Williams's Dona Nobis Pacem (2008). Her numerous concert performances and over one hundred solo recitals have taken her to professional performance venues in Alabama, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington. Local newspapers reviewed several of her performances.
A number of her articles, books and recordings have been published, several of which have been reviewed by NATS Journal of Singing in various years. An active teacher, singer and scholar, Dr. Zhong has given many master classes, lecture recitals and presentations at institutions, conferences and festivals internationally, such as in Australia, Costa Rica, Canada, China, Finland, France, Spain, Ireland, Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Sweden and the United States. In 2009, she presented a lecture-recital at the International Congress of Voice Teachers in Paris, France. In 2013, she presented a lecture-recital at the International Congress of Voice Teachers in Brisband, QLD, Australia. In 2014, she presented her paper at The Ninth International Conference on The Arts in Society, in Rome, Italy. In 2015, she gave a lecture-recital at the International Conference of College Music Society held in Sweden and Finland. Dr. Zhong has presented over 50 conferences worldwide.
In 2007, Dr. Zhong was invited to California to be one of four master teachers for the National Association of Teachers of Singing Winter Workshop, Around the World--Art Song from the Four Corners, where she presented three sessions of Chinese Diction, Repertoire and master class. She was one of the adjudicators for the China Higher Education in Music-National Vocal Competition of Vocal Instructors and Graduate Students held in Nanjing. Dr. Zhong is a member of the Committee on International Initiatives of The College Music Society.
Dr. Zhong was the recipient of many awards and grants. She received the top faculty honor of Outstanding Creative Endeavor Award from Ball State University in 2007, and was honored with the Master Teacher award from Idaho State University in 2002. She was selected for studying in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Intern Program and received first prize in the national vocal competition for The Alice Abel National Vocal and Instrumental Awards in 2000.
Dr. Zhong was a recipient of the Outstanding Instructor Award at 2016 Peacock National Vocal Competition of Higher Arts Education in China.