Cole McIlquham is earning a master’s degree in Opera Performance at Wichita State University where he studies with Alan Held. While at Wichita, Cole has performed the roles of Podestà in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera and Arthur Dimmesdale in Lori Laitman’s The Scarlet Letter. In 2022 after being a finalist in the Washington, DC chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters, he received outstanding recognition at the national level of the Wiston Classical Voice Competition. Recently, he made his professional debut with Wichita Grand Opera as Sam Polk in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, in honor of Sam Ramey’s 80th birthday.
"As a Music Academy fellow at the Lehrer Vocal Institute, I am looking forward to working with the teaching artists and being surrounded by like-minded musicians as myself. I think this is going to be a very formative summer in my vocal and artistic journey, and I can’t wait to spend it in Santa Barbara, California with the other fellows!”