Music teacher by day, opera singer at night
Kathy Manley has been passionate about music for as long as she can remember.
That passion led her to a successful career in both education and the performing arts. Manley attributes her love for music, in part, to growing up in a musically inclined family.
“I think I started singing in the womb,” she said. “I’m the baby of six, and we all sing and play instruments.”
After graduating from Stephen F. Austin State University with degrees in vocal performance and music education, Manley was selected for the Houston Grand Opera.
Twenty-two seasons later, Manley is still performing and can currently be seen in Giacomo Puccini’s “La Boheme,” which runs through Saturday, Nov. 10.
“I love being up on stage,” Manley says. “I’ve been with the Houston Grand Opera for 22 seasons. I’ve done right around 75 productions with them. It’s fun to get up there, get in costume and perform in front of a huge audience.”
Manley is also a music teacher for Houston’s Sacred Heart Schools. She teaches music to fourththrough-eighth-grade students at the Regis School for boys and is the upper school choir director at Duchesne Academy for girls. Manley engages her students in a variety of ways, such as teaching them to play the handbells and having them make their own music videos.
Although all that keeps her busy, Manley still finds time to give back. She and her family are longtime members of the National Charity League and volunteer with organizations such as Kids’ Meals, a Meals on Wheels service for children, and the Center, which aids adults with developmental disabilities.
“We enjoy giving back to the community,” Manley says. “We’ve been given so much.”
When she’s not teaching, performing or volunteering, Manley enjoys attending her children’s soccer and rugby games, exercising, being outdoors and keeping up with what her students are reading.
For information on the Houston Grand Opera, visit www.houstongrandopera.org. You can also connect with the Houston Grand Opera on Facebook and Twitter.
ABOUT KATHY MANLEY
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Hunters Creek Village resident
FAST FACT: Chinese-American author Lisa See is one of her favorite authors.
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