Katherine Jolly

  • Associate Professor of Voice

Areas of Study


  • DMA, voice, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, 2015
  • MM, voice, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, 2001
  • BM, voice, Boston University College of Fine Arts, 1999


Soprano Katherine Jolly focuses on physical and mental wellness in her teaching, using yoga, dance, and mindfulness exercises to support solid vocal technique. She has presented workshops of coauthored research on yoga, singing, and performance anxiety at conferences of the International Congress of Voice Teachers, Voice Foundation, Performing Artists Medical Association, National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), and the College Music Society.

Jolly is a frequent judge and clinician with organizations including the National Opera Association, Schmidt Foundation, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Washington National Opera, NATS, Interlochen Summer Academy, and ArtsBridge.

A bright, accomplished singer on opera and concert stages, Jolly has appeared in leading coloratura and soubrette roles in multiple seasons with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Houston Grand Opera, Florida Grand Opera, New York City Opera, Virginia Opera, Amarillo Opera, Piedmont Opera, Union Avenue Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, American Lyric Theater, and others. In the concert arena, she has performed with the Virginia Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Lima Symphony, Bach Society of Saint Louis, Cleveland Composers Guild, Chamber Project STL, Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra, Northwest Florida Symphony, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, and Musica Sacra.

Jolly is a winner of the 2006 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Grand Finals, about which The New York Times wrote: "Katherine Jolly used her agile, bright lyric soprano to superb effect in showpieces from Mozart’s Entführung aus dem Serail and Ariadne auf Naxos.” Jolly returned to the Met in spring 2010 to workshop An Enchanted Island and was featured with City Opera’s VOX series for the new operas Acquanetta and Josephine, which was broadcast on NPR. The recording Preach Sister, Preach was released in 2019 on Navona records and earned rave reviews.

In addition to her Met Opera honors, Jolly has received awards from the George London Foundation, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and the McAllister Foundation.

Jolly earned Doctorate of Musical Arts (2015) and Master of Music (2001) degrees at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Barbara Honn and Thomas Baresel. She completed a Bachelor of Music (1999) at Boston University under the tutelage of Phyllis Hoffman.

She has been a member of the faculty at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where she received a New Frontiers Grant for Creative Activity, and at Saint Louis University, where she was awarded a Mellon Faculty Career Grant and was a 2016-17 finalist for the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Oberlin Conservatory Excellence in Teaching Award (2020-21)

Indiana University New Frontiers Grant for Creativity (2018)

Saint Louis University, College of Arts and Sciences, Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, Finalist (2017)

Saint Louis University, Mellon Career Grant (2016)

National Association of Teachers of Singing/SongFest, Outstanding Teacher/Performer (2016)

George London Foundation Competition, Finalist (2007)

Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Grand Finals Winner (2006)

Opera Theatre Saint Louis, William B. McMillan Award (2005)

McAllister Career Grant (2005)

National Association of Teachers of Singing

Voice Foundation

Opera America

National Opera Association

College Music Society

Performing Arts Medical Association

American Guild of Musical Artists

American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

International Congress of Voice Teachers International Conference: “Mindful Yoga to Reduce Performance Anxiety” (2022)

National Association of Teachers of Singing National Conference: “Expanding the Canon in Art Song Repertoire” (2022)

National Association of Teachers of Singing National Conference: “Nothing but Practical: Pre-Performance and In-Person Strategies to Minimize Performance Anxiety” (2022)

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis: “Trailblazers in Opera” (2022)

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis: "Preparing for College Auditions” (2021)

Performing Artists Medicine Association International Symposium: “Mindful Yoga to Reduce Performance Anxiety” (UCLA, 2019)

Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Mindfulness Institute: “Mindful Yoga”  (2018)

Schmidt Foundation Institute: “Mindful Yoga and Singing” (2018)

IU Jacobs School of Music, Know Your Voice Summer Seminar: “Mindful Yoga” (2018)

National Percussion Association, National Conference: “Mindful Yoga to Reduce MPA” (2018)

College Music Society, Midwest Regional Conference: “Mindful Yoga and Breathing” (2018)

Opera Reality Podcast, Invited Guest (2017)

National Association of Teachers of Singing Wellness Podcast, Guest Speaker (2016)

Voice Foundation and Symposium: “Mindful Yoga and Singing” (2016)

Preach Sister, Preach, Navona label, Parma Records (August 2019)

Spring 2024

Principal Private Study - Voice — PVST 002
Secondary Private Study - Voice — PVST 052

Fall 2024

Principal Private Study - Voice — PVST 002
Secondary Private Study - Voice — PVST 052


Katherine Jolly accepted into Higher Education Leadership Institute cohort

December 9, 2020

Associate Professor of Voice Katherine Jolly has been accepted into the 2021 cohort for the Higher Education Leadership institute (HERS/HLI). She is one of 20 women in academia throughout the nation who will engage in an intensive four-month program, beginning in January 2021, designed to challenge and train the next generation of higher education leadership. Jolly’s work in HERS will culminate in a self-designed capstone project involving the conservatory.


Semester Ends with a Packed Performance Calendar

December 8, 2023

Oberlin Conservatory’s student and faculty performers have been filling most concert venues throughout the campus over the last week. During these final five bustling days before students head into reading period and then exams, this explosion of activity feels something akin to the thrilling finale of a fireworks display on New Year's Eve. So, join in—even from a distance. All of these concerts are free and open to the public, and all but one of them can be streamed live at concert time at oberlin.edu/livestream .

Beyond Her Years

October 4, 2022

Kylie Kreucher reflects on the confidence she gained this summer.