Jeremy Gregg Vencil Irland
Jeremy Irland, a bass, is director of the band and choir at Walla Walla Valley Academy in Washington, and handbell choir at Milton Stateline SDA School in Oregon. He is also an adjunct voice and Introduction to Music teacher at nearby Walla Walla University.
Born in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, one of four children born of Gregg and Debbie Kiselbach Irland, Jeremy grew up in a family where music was an important activity. Aside from singing publicly with his siblings, starting when he was in first grade, he started lessons on piano at a very early age and guitar at age eight.
Following graduation from WWVA in 1999, where Dean Kravig had inspired him to be a music teacher, Irland enrolled at WWU, where he initially registered as a guitar major. After injuring his hand, he began serious study in voice under Matthew James, chair of the music program and a former opera singer. He completed a B.Mus. Ed. with a vocal/choral emphasis at WWU in 2005 and then continued study in voice at the University of Washington, where he completed an M.Mus. in vocal performance in 2008.
Irland was a district winner in 2005 Metropolitan Opera competitions and a Seattle Opera Young Artist alternate in 2006. He has played key roles in numerous opera and other vocal/choral productions. A partial listing of roles and operas would include Nardo in La Finta Giardinera and Doctor Bartola in Le Nozza di Figaro, by Mozart; the Mother in Seven Deadly Sins and Bobby in Mahagonny by Kurt Weill; Pirate King in Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance; and the Doctor in Verdi's La Traviata; and others. His orchestral work includes the bass solos in Schubert's Mass in C, Rossini's Stabat Mater, Handel's Messiah, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and others.
Irland spent two seasons with NOISE (Northwest Opera in Schools, Etcetera) where he sang roles in the Barber of Seville and The Daughter of the Regiment.
Sources: Information provided by Jeremy Irland, February 2009; Personal Knowledge.