Teaching Artist of Voice
Office Location: FAC 235
Contralto Gloria Olson, from Duluth, Minnesota, is a Teaching Artist in Voice. She teaches studio voice as well Music Theory Essentials at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Graduating from the University of Minnesota with degrees in both Vocal Performance and Choral Education, Gloria has been teaching for 25+ years.
Gloria has sung professionally in opera, oratorio and concert works including Baba (The Medium), Third Lady (Die Zauberflote), Mama Lucia (Cavalleria Rusticana), Marcellina (Le Nozze di Figaro), Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Mass in b minor, Verdi’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria. She has directed productions of Die Zauberflote, Cavalleria Rusticana, Gianni Schicchi, Lucia di Lammermoor, L’eliser d’amore, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, and The Wizard of Oz.
Gloria is founder and Artistic Director of The Opera Project Des Moines, an educational community project bridging together professional musicians and local Iowa students presenting free opera performances to the public. Three operas have been produced Suor Angelica, Cavalleria Rusticana and Carmen.
In demand as a clinician, lecturer and guest teacher, Gloria has presented Master Classes internationally and in the Mid-West. She was a guest at the Conservatory of Music in Moscow, Russia and Volgograd, Russia. She has been a faculty member of the International Lyric Academy in Viterbo, Italy for many years.
A member of NATS for 30 years, her students have consistently placed at the state, regional and national levels. Students under her guidance have attended top conservatories and universities and are now having success as professional singers in classical and musical theater genres.
Gloria was choral director at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa (1996-1999) and at Alliance High School in Alliance, Nebraska (1993-1996). Under her direction both programs consistently earned top honors at the state, regional and national level in all areas including large ensemble, chamber ensemble, show choir, and jazz choir.
In addition to teaching at Drake, Gloria maintains a full private voice studio in her home and owns and operates Glorious Desserts, a custom cake company. In her free-time, Gloria enjoys spending time with her husband and beloved horses.