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Alum Orchestrates a Lyrical Future

Nicole Eubanks is the individual giving director at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
Student & Alumni Stories
Nicole Eubanks is the individual giving director at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

“I definitely feel called to work in music administration,” she states. “It’s where my heart and my passion lie."

Music has always spoken to the heart of Nicole (Ferguson) Eubanks. It was her love of music and her drive to achieve the career she always wanted that kept her laser-focused as a student at MNU.

Nicole graduated in 2012 with a degree in music and interdisciplinary studies in music and business. She also has a conversational certificate in Spanish. 

It is the close-knit nature of the music department and the willingness of the staff to guide and mentor that Nicole appreciated the most about MNU. Professors, especially former Heritage Choir Director Dr. John Leavitt and Dr. Mary Jan Wilder, she says, were very influential. 

“My professors really helped me to think outside the box when it came to my major,” Nicole explains. “And it was with Dr. Wilder that I really developed a love of opera.” 

With her passion for opera and her degrees in music and business, Nicole was perfectly positioned for a career in administration with the Lyric Opera, first in Chicago and now in Kansas City where she is the individual giving director. She currently oversees the annual fund which includes telefunding campaigns, donor events and the monthly giving program. 

Nicole’s hard work paid off this fall when she was chosen as one of three administrators for the prestigious Hart Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera. According to The Dallas Opera press release concerning the Hart Institute, Nicole was chosen “on the basis of her potential to become a leader of one of America’s top opera companies at a later point in her career.”

While at the Hart Institute Residency this fall, she had access to orchestra rehearsals, master classes for the conductors and multiple conversations from experts in the field. She also learned more about leadership development, personal branding, media and public relations. 

“It was like boot camp for what to expect if you were to become the general director of an opera company,” Nicole says. 

The sessions emphasized the importance of being a life-long learner and Nicole was particularly interested in different leadership styles. She quickly realized a major goal of music administration is “getting all types of personalities onboard to work together to achieve the highest artistic product.”

And Nicole, with her drive for personal success and professional growth, will have no trouble progressing in her role as an opera administrator.

“I definitely feel called to work in music administration,” she states. “It’s where my heart and my passion lie. When we [the Lyric] put something amazing on the stage, I frequently get the chance to chat with donors at intermission and hear how it made them feel. These conversations are why I work in opera. I love the way the music makes me feel, and I love the power of the human voice. When I get to share that special emotion with other people, it is a moment I truly enjoy.”

Called and dedicated, Nicole feels prepared to face the bright and musical future that is sure to come her way. 
 

Winter 2019 Accent Cover image
This Issue

Winter 2019

Being Called. Read about the many ways one can be called in this Winter 2019 issue of Accent.

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