Angelique Clay, a coloratura soprano, is assistant professor of voice at the University of Kentucky school of music, a position she has held since 2007. Prior to this appointment Clay taught at Oakwood College, now University, beginning in 1999.
A 1995 graduate of OC, she earned a master's degree in 1996 and a D.M.A. in 1999 at the University of Kentucky. While a student at UK, Clay won first place in the district Metropolitan Opera auditions in 1997. In 1998 she was featured in a program series called "In Performance at the Governor's Mansion," that showcased former students of the Governor's School for the Arts, which she had attended while a student at a high school in Louisville, Kentucky.
In 1999 she was chosen to sing in the third of a series of concerts held at the UK to commemorate the 100th year of Edward Kennedy (Duke) Ellington's birth. Clay was one of six who sang in this program featuring his sacred music.
Clay is a member of the American Spiritual Ensemble, a highly select group of sixteen to 22 singers, all soloists in their own right, who seek to preserve the legacy of the American Spiritual. They also perform jazz and other music of the black experience. Founded in 1995 by Everett McCorvey, a professor at the University of Kentucky, the group has enjoyed phenomenal success in its programs at opera houses and concert halls in the U.S., South America, Europe, and Japan.
Clay started singing with the group while a doctoral student at UK. On occasion, she has acted, in jest, as a diva, seemingly offended when a taller singer would be placed in front of her, or supposedly complaining to the director about the lack of solos for her. In reality, in spite of the members' individual reputations as acclaimed singers, none of them seek to be prima donnas but work well together.
Clay has performed extensively on her own as a recitalist and soloist, having sung in both opera and oratorio productions. She was Fiordligi in Cosi fan Tutti; Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus; Susannah in Floyd's American drama, Susannah; the mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors; and Lily and Bess in Porgy and Bess. She has been a soloist in productions of the Messiah, Elijah, and the Lord Nelson Mass.
Sources: Biographies at the Oakwood University and the University of Kentucky websites; Online information about the American Spiritual Ensemble (2006); Other Online Sources.