J. Taylor Hightower, baritone, is an associate professor of music at The University of Southern Mississippi where he is the chair of the Choral/Vocal Division and teaches applied voice and vocal literature. Dr. Hightower, who is originally from Knoxville, Tenn., joined the Southern Miss faculty in 2004. He received his BM in Voice Performance from Furman University and his MM and DM from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. During his graduate studies Dr. Hightower studied voice primarily with Dr. James McDonald, but he also had the pleasure of coaching and studying voice with world-renowned bass Giorgio Tozzi, Distinguished Professor Timothy Noble, and Chancellor’s Professor Costanza Cuccaro.
Dr. Hightower’s numerous major roles include Reverend Olin Blitch inSusannah, Balstrode in Peter Grimes, Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare, Dr. Dulcamara in L’Eliser D’amore, Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, and the title roles in Jeppe (as part of its American premiere), Don Pasquale, and Gianni Schicchi. As a concert soloist Dr. Hightower has performed Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, Duruflé’s Requiem, as well as Bach’s Weihnachts Oratorium, St. Matthew Passion, and Magnificat.