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November 6, 2019

SVSU to host recital dedicated to late opera singer Jessye Norman

Saginaw Valley State University will continue its Rhea Miller Concert Series this week with a musical performance by LaToya Lain, a soprano singer familiar to the Great Lakes Bay Region, and Casey Robards, pianist. The performance is scheduled Saturday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in SVSU’s Rhea Miller Recital Hall. 

This event is free and open to the public.

This program is dedicated to the late Jessye Norman, who died in September. She was an American soprano singer who was an internationally recognized opera performer. She earned five Grammys as well as awards including the Kennedy Center Honor in 1997 and the National Medal of Arts in 2009. 

Born in New Orleans, Lain is a soprano singer who has traveled all over the U.S. to study voice and music. She recently toured abroad, visiting Germany, France, Zimbabwe, and Bolivia with performances and solo recitals; in 2018, she performed with the Saginaw Choral Society as a featured soloist. Lain also currently serves as an assistant professor of music at the University of North Carolina.  

Known for her adaptability and musical knowledge, Robards is a pianist and vocal coach. She has played across the globe with instrumentalists and singers. She also is a founding member of two musical groups: KO Trio and the Patterson Piano Duo.

Musical pieces planned for the SVSU performance include “Love, Let the Wind Cry. . . How I Adore Thee!” by Undine Smith Moore, “Wesendonck Lieder” by Richard Wagner, and “Cantata” by John Carter.

The Rhea Miller Concert Series is made possible by a generous gift from Rhea E. Miller, a longtime friend of SVSU. Her gift, administered by the Miller Trust for Music Education, has provided the university with the opportunity to offer outstanding performances by nationally and internationally acclaimed musical artists at no cost to the audience since 1993. 

For more information, call SVSU's Department of Music at (989) 964-4159 or email