Hilda Harris

BA, Doctor of Humane Letters, North Carolina Central University. Recipient of the President’s Medal for Distinguished Faculty Service from the Manhattan School of Music. Taught voice at The Chautauqua Institute and at Howard University. Well-known for her portrayal of trouser roles—the first African-American to perform trouser roles at the Metropolitan Opera. Established herself as a singing actress and has earned critical acclaim in opera, on the concert stage, and in recital in America and in Europe. Made her Metropolitan Opera debut as The Student in Lulu and also sang Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), The Child (L’Enfant et les Sortileges), Siebel (Faust), Stephano (Romeo et Juliette), Hansel (Hansel & Gretel), and Sesto (Giulio Cesare). Her accomplishments have been documented in And So I Sing by Rosalyn M. Story; Black Women in America, An Historical Encyclopedia; edited by Darlene Clark Hines; The Music of Black Americans by Eileen Southern, and African-American Singers by Patricia Turner. Discography includes: “Hilda Harris,” solo album; “The Valley Wind,” songs of Hale Smith; “Art Songs by Black American Composers,” album; “X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X,” CD; “From the South Land,” songs and Spirituals by Harry T. Burleigh, CD; and “Witness,” Volume II, compositions by William Grant Still, CD. Manhattan School of Music, 1991 -  present, Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Faculty 2005 - present, SLC, 1992–

Undergraduate Courses 2019-2020


Studio Class


Placement audition required.

The Studio Class is a beginning course in basic vocal technique. Each student's vocal needs are met within the structure and content of the class.


Previous Courses

Seminar in Vocal Performance


During the course of their studies and with permission of their instructor, all Music Thirds in voice are required to take Seminar in Vocal Performance for two semesters.

Voice students will gain performance experience by singing repertoire selected in cooperation with the studio instructors. Students will become acquainted with a broader vocal literature perspective through singing in several languages and exploring several historical music periods. Interpretation, diction, and stage deportment will be stressed.