Tenor William Hite enlivens the campus’s concert halls with everything from baroque on
The versatile, much-lauded tenor William Hite will celebrate his tenth anniversary on the faculty of UMass Amherst’s Department of Music and Dance with a Monday, October 17 concert. The event will highlight the two worlds Hite routinely and confidently straddles: the concert stage and the academy.
Beyond campus Hite sings with nationally and internationally known artists. He recently performed Handel’s Messiah with Musica Sacra at Carnegie Hall and Haydn’s Paukenmesse with the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center. He sang Fidelio, the St. Matthew Passion, and Shoenberg’s Moses und Aron with the Boston Symphony and Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ with the Dresdner Philarmonie, and has worked under such renowned conductors as Bernard Haitink, Seiji Ozawa, James Levine, Nicholas McGegan, and Christopher Hogwood.
Although his operatic credits include title roles in Handel’s Jephtha and Belshazzar, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, and Cavalli’s L’Ormindo, Hite also has expertise in baroque and pre-baroque repertoire and regularly performs with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and the Boston Early Music Festival.
At UMass, Hite coordinates the department’s voice area, teaching 16 to 18 students per semester and each year singing in several campus concerts. Before coming to the university he had taught often, but never full-time. Doing so, he notes, has helped him “learn to express my thoughts and ideas about singing and technique in a much more intensive way.”
Hite also finds that his two worlds happily meld. “I believe,” he says, “that my performances have a big impact on my teaching. I bring my experience and expertise back to my students, and the singer I am away from UMass and the collaborations I have with on- and off-campus colleagues come with me into my teaching studio.”