Lila D. Noonkester
Associate Professor of Music
Voice, Theory, Opera Workshop
A native Mississippian, soprano LILA NOONKESTER is Associate Professor of Music/Voice and Chair of the Department of Music. She holds the Music Bachelor's (1982) in Applied Voice from the Oberlin College Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio, where she was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, and the Master's (1984) and Doctorate (1988) in Voice from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where she was awarded Performer's Certificates in Voice and Opera. Noonkester has performed leading roles in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi Fan Tutte, and La Finta Giardiniera, Smetana's The Bartered Bride, Rossini's La Cambiale di Matrimonio, and Cimarosa's The Secret Marriage. She has appeared in master classes with Eleanor Steber, Joan Dornemann, Sherrill Milnes, and John Wustman, and her teachers include Irene Gubrud, Gerald Crawford, and John Maloy.
A Lander faculty member since 1988, Dr. Noonkester teaches Applied Voice, Freshman Theory, Introduction to Music, and directs the Opera Workshop scenes program. Her voice students have gone on to pursue graduate degrees at top music schools across the country, including Indiana State University, the University of Southern California, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Noonkester has acted as Co-Chairman of the Lander Choral Festival and is advisor to Lander's student chapter of the National Association for Music Education. She has participated in the German language program at the Goethe-Institut in Prien, Germany, and has been Co-Leader of Lander University Fine Arts Study Tours to London, Germany, New York, Vienna, Budapest, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam.
An active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Noonkester served on the Greenwood-Lander Performing Arts Series Board for nearly two decades. Her efforts on behalf of GLPA proved instrumental in bringing to the Lander stage such outstanding vocal artists as Dawn Upshaw, Susan Graham, and Chanticleer. Noonkester currently serves as cantor and soloist at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Greenwood and acts as Vice President for the Greenwood Music Festival.