FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 22, 2021) — Gov. Andy Beshear named Everett McCorvey, D.M.A., professor of voice in the University of Kentucky School of Music and director of UK Opera Theatre, the new chair of the Kentucky Arts Council at his Team Kentucky news conference Nov. 18. McCorvey is the first person of color named chair of the council.
McCorvey shared his excitement for the new position at last Thursday's announcement. “Thank you Gov. Beshear for this wonderful honor. It was the arts that got me up every day to go to school as a child in Alabama, so that I could participate in the band. When I came to Kentucky, I realized this state has a very rich history in the arts. With all of the economic development, with people coming into the Commonwealth, they’re going to want to have a place to go and visit the arts, to see all the wonderful places in Kentucky where the arts are happening. I am looking forward to serving on Team Kentucky.”
The Kentucky Arts Council is the state arts agency and is responsible for developing and promoting support for the arts in Kentucky. Strategically placed in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Arts Council is publicly funded by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, an independent agency of the federal government.
A highly accomplished tenor, McCorvey has performed in iconic venues both nationally and internationally, including the Metropolitan Opera, Kennedy Center and Radio City Music Hall in the U.S., the Teatro Comunale in Florence, Italy, and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Vocal excellence is the hallmark of his work with choirs and singers in concerts, master classes and workshops around the world. McCorvey has received the UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement Award and a 2020 SEC Faculty Achievement Award. He also founded the American Spiritual Ensemble, a group of singers who perform spirituals and compositions of African American composers, and serves as artistic director of the National Chorale of New York City.
In addition to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Alabama, McCorvey studied Italian with Centro Linguistico Sperimentale, in Florence, Italy, and French diction at the Juilliard School in New York City. He joined the University of Kentucky faculty in 1991 and has been the director and executive producer for the highly acclaimed University of Kentucky Opera Theatre program since 1997. Read more about McCorvey here.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.