Commended as “a tremendous musician, a voice of exceptional beauty [and her] particularly notable gift as a communicator,” soprano Emily Yocum Black has found success in multiple genres of vocal music, including oratorio, choral, opera, and musical theatre.
Emily has enjoyed recent success in oratorio, winning Grand Prize in the Kentucky Bach Choir Audrey Rooney Vocal Competition in 2016 where she competed against vocalists from across the country. Emily is an alumni of the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute and the American Bach Soloists Academy where she performed the roles of Cupid in John Blow's Venus and Adonis (TBSI), and Iris in Handel's Semele (ABS) to critical acclaim . She is also an alumni of the Bach Cantata Institute under the direction of John Harbison. Emily performs annually as a soloist in Handel's Messiah with several regional ensembles including the Louisville-based early music orchestra, Bourbon Baroque, Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington, KY, and Broadway United Methodist Church in Paducah, KY.
Emily attended the prestigious SongFest Summer Institute at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, CA as a Professional Fellow in 2017. While there she collaborated with John Musto in a performance of his song cycle Penelope, and was featured in the final American Songbook concert. Emily attended SongFest in 2014 as a Young Artist and Schubert Scholar and she performed in master classes given by Sanford Sylvan, Lisa Saffer and Jake Heggie and coached privately with Jake Heggie. She was also chosen to perform in “Songs in the Key of L.A.”, a concert series that featured songs about the city performed in various Los Angeles venues.
Emily has been a member of numerous successful choral ensembles. She was a three-year member of the Louisville Chamber Choir and is a featured soloist on their album, Songs of Christmas Night released in 2017. In 2015, Emily was a featured as a soloist under the baton of Teddy Abrams when the Louisville Chamber Choir performed as the Street Singer choir in the Louisville Orchestra’s performances of Bernstein’s Mass. She was a five-year member of the award-winning University of Louisville Cardinal Singers and traveled to South Korea (2013, 2015), Vietnam (2013), Singapore (2015), Taiwan (2015), China (2016), and Germany (2017) during her tenure, performing numerous solos with the ensemble. Emily was also a soloist at Carnegie Hall with the Cardinal Singers (2017) and the Paducah Tilghman Chorale (2009). She is the co-founder of a chamber choral ensemble, The Paducah Singers, in her hometown of Paducah, Kentucky.
In the operatic realm, Emily has performed the roles of Laurie in The Tender Land, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief and Silverpeal in The Impresario. She was the 2016-2017 Apprentice Studio Artist for Kentucky Opera where she performed as a chorus member and worked with their educational outreach program. Emily was a semi-finalist in the American Tradition Vocal Competition in 2018 and won the Sherrill Milnes Opera Award for best opera aria of the competition. In addition to success in various competitions for the National Association of Teachers of Singing, she is also the First Prize Winner of the 2016 University of Louisville Aria Competition.
Emily’s performance career began in musical theatre at the Market House Theatre, an award-winning community theatre in Paducah, KY, at the age of four. She performed in numerous productions playing roles such as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (2009) and Sharpay Evans in High School Musical (2008). Emily was a teaching assistant for Footlights, an education program teaching youth from pre-school to high school skills in acting, improv and musical theatre. Recently, she has returned to Market House Theatre as music director for their popular summer camps: Broadway Bootcamp (2018, 2017, 2016), Annie KIDS! (2018), Seussical! The Musical (2017), Music Man, Jr. (2016), and Dinosaurs After Dark (2015). This fall she will be seen on the Market House Theatre stage as Sophie Sheradan in their production of Mamma Mia. She also maintains a private voice studio, Atomic City Voice Studio, and teaches voice in public schools.
Photographer: Brad Rankin Studio