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Bachelor of Music, Idaho State University
Master of Music, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
Master’s Minor in Music Composition, Indiana University Jacob’s School of Music
Doctoral Studies, Indiana University Jacob’s School of Music
Tenor John M. Punt began his musical studies on the piano at the age of 6. He went on to study classical voice at Idaho State University, where he received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance under Dr. Diana Livingston-Friedley.
His choral work and solo studies have given him a combined repertoire of several hundred works in 37 languages. At Idaho State University, John toured with the choirs and was a featured soloist in performances in Innsbruck, Austria; the Cathedrals in Lisbon and in Faro, Portugal; and at the main altar of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican; among others.
Other achievements include singing as the tenor soloist of Vaughan Williams’s Hodie with the Idaho State-Civic Symphony, as a finalist in the NATS Winston Rabb Vocal Competition, and as a recipient of two Metropolitan Opera District Encouragement Awards.
In the 2016-2017 Season alone, John could be seen at Utah Festival Opera, singing Tinca and performing his cover role of Rinuccio in Il Trittico, as well as numerous roles in Ragtime!, Showboat, and in concert performances with the company. He also sang the role of Uriel in Haydn’s Creation with the Bloomington Chamber Singers, and presented two recitals of vocal chamber music.
John’s advocation of new and rarely-heard works has brought him to performing numerous premieres. In 2018, he presented a lecture at the Indiana University SNATS New Voice Educator’s Symposium on the necessity of chamber vocal music in the university singer’s curriculum and solicited the works of lesser-known contemporary composers as testament to their educational advantages. His performances in world premier operas with New Voices Opera and his interest in new works has also helped further the mission of New Voices Opera, where he has since served as Artistic Director and Executive Director.
John’s composition studies with the late Sven-David Sanström, Claude Baker, and P.Q. Phan have shaped his compositional style, which places a heavy emphasis on attentive writing for the voice. His works include dozens of art songs comprising numerous song cycles, vocal chamber music, and a commissioned opera based on the life of Lady Jane Grey.
John began his Doctor of Music in Vocal Performance at Indiana University, where he also received his Master’s degree, studying with Distinguished Professor Timothy Noble. There, he presented a recital of British chamber music, was commissioned to write his chamber song cycle "Sonetos de Amor" (based on texts by Pablo Neruda), and numerous recitals of classic song.
Why do I teach?
I love to teach because I love to share. I love to share in learning, in knowledge, and in experiences with others; teaching is one of the few things that celebrates all of these. One of the greatest gifts I receive from my education is what I see every day now: students opening their eyes to a wealth of knowledge they didn't have before and that now allows them to live differently: to live better.