Featured Students

Featured Student: Emma Whitt

Emma, main photo

  • Name: Emma Whitt
  • Year: Junior
  • Major: Vocal Performance
  • Hometown: Knoxville, TN
  • Quirky Fact: I’m allergic to camels.
  • Favorite thing to get (food/drink) on campus: Mashed Potato Bowls
  • Best movie you’ve seen recently: La La Land
  • Favorite movie: Sister Act 2
  • Best book you’ve read recently: Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow
  • Favorite book: Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
  • What you like to do on campus: Hang out with my sisters in the SAI chapter room, practice, and spend time outside in the quad when the weather is nice.



Tell us about yourself:

Hi! I’m Emma and I’m a junior vocal performance major from Knoxville, Tennessee. I’m a member of the MSU Concert Choir, EQ Blu, and Sigma Alpha Iota women’s music fraternity. My favorite things in life are dogs and flowers.

What made you come to Murray State?

When I first visited Murray State, I had never heard of it before. I came down for an audition during my senior year of high school and I was greeted by Dr. Almquist and Dr. Black as soon as I stepped off the elevator onto the fifth floor of Fine Arts. I could tell immediately that Murray wasn’t going to be like every other school I had visited. They made my experience personal right from the beginning, and that is why I decided to come here.

Who have you enjoyed working with?

Literally everyone. I really enjoy working with the entire music faculty. They are so supportive, and there is no better place that I could be to get the music education that I’m getting. Studying music is not easy by any means, but all of my professors do such a wonderful job of creating both a challenging and helpful classroom environment. My peers are extremely fun to work with as well. There’s really not a lot competition with one another. We all want to see everyone succeed and it’s so exciting to be able to watch the growth that happens during our time here.

Who inspires you in life?

My parents. They inspire me the most because they are so hard working and provide the best example for me in everything that they do. They want nothing more than for me to have the best life, and to see me succeed. The love and support that they show me every day is what keeps me working toward my goals.

What made you choose the major you did?

I have always wanted to dedicate my life to music. I had really great musical experiences and influences from an early age, whether it be from watching my dad direct our church choir to singing in my second grade Christmas musical. There has never been anything else that I would rather do.

Work/projects related to your major?

I’m a member of the MSU Concert Choir, and we are performing a lot this semester. We have the privilege of performing Bach cantata 4, Faure Requiem, and Brahms Requiem. It’s such a unique opportunity that we get here, to be able to sing so many major works in one semester. It’s a very exciting time for all of us! Aside from my choir endeavors, I’m also preparing for my junior voice recital on April 2nd. It’s a very busy time of the year, but I’m enjoying every minute!


(Campus Lights production of “Sister Act,” where I played Sister Mary Patrick)

Recent awards/ honors?

I recently competed in my first year of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (also known as NATS) student auditions. In the spring, I participated in the Mid-South regional competition and won my category. From there, I was able to go on to the national preliminary round. I was lucky enough to be selected as a national semifinalist, and I was one of fourteen girls in the country to be invited to Chicago for the national convention to compete for a place in the finals. Though I did not move on from there, it was an incredibly rewarding experience that I hope to do again! I also participated in Kentucky state NATS this past semester, and am looking forward to traveling to Nashville in April for this year’s regional competition!


(National NATS convention in Chicago from this past summer, where I met the world-famous soprano, Renee Fleming)

Future plans:

After I finish my undergraduate degree, I plan to go to grad school to pursue a master of music in vocal performance. I don’t really know where I’ll go for that yet, because there are a lot of great options. Eventually, I hope to earn a Doctoral degree so that I can be a professor of voice.


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