Where talent meets passion

By Luke Humphrey

A self-professed hometown girl — born and raised in Searcy — Dr. Alice-Anne Murray Light (’07) credits her roots at Harding for her ongoing love of performing. She is currently an assistant professor of voice at Texas Tech University, but her talents have taken her around the world. Her mezzo-soprano voice has been lauded within the competitive world of vocal performance, earning her honorable distinctions.

While at Harding, Light had an impressive career in the music department. From participating in Chamber Singers to winning the “Outstanding Student” award her senior year, Light’s involvement around campus was noticeable to her peers. She considers herself fortunate to have built relationships with her professors as well, many of whom she maintains close relations with today. “I loved traveling nationally and internationally with the Har-ding Chorus under Dr. Cliff Ganus III, and I realized in my senior year I had a passion for both teaching and stage performance,” she said. “Dr. Kelly Neill was instrumental in my development and is a big part of the way that I teach today.”

After graduating, Light earned her master’s from the University of Mississippi and her doctorate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. Well established in vocal performance, she taught at Harding for one year, Northwest Mississippi Community College for two years, William Jewell College for five years, and has been teaching at TTU since 2018. In addition to teaching, she performs opera and concert professionally around the globe. She traveled as far as Romania and China, taught masterclasses, performed in recitals, and even sang the National Anthem for the Tuscan-American Association in Italy — all in 2019 alone.

Light’s talents have been noticed within the competitive world of vocal performance. She was named an honorable mention for the American Prize in Art Song in 2019 and a finalist for The American Prize: The Ernst Bacon Award for Excellence in the Performance of American Music in 2020. Most recently, she is a semifinalist for the American Prize in Virtual Performance as of February; winners will be announced later this year.

Light continues to have a successful, meaningful career using her talents and passions cultivated from her beginnings at the University. “My education at Harding gave me such a holistic worldview that has allowed me to travel all over the country and interact with many kinds of people and feel at home in every situation,” she said. 

She is looking forward to the April premiere of “Hours,” a song cycle by Cecil Price Walden that she commissioned and co-created over the last four years.


Jo March in Mark Adamo’s Opera Little Women

“It was musically and physically challenging, and Jo March has always been one of my favorite characters.” —Alice-Anne Murray Light

American Prize in Virtual Performance

As mentioned above, Alice-Anne is a semifinalist for the American Prize in Virtual Performance for the recital that she recorded for the Cummer Family Recital Series in Jacksonville, Florida.

Categories: Alumni Profiles.

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