Keynote Speakers

John Holiday and Liz Blumberg: Reflections on a career after Meadows

Speaker Bios

John Holiday

Photo by Fay Fox

John Holiday

Countertenor John Holiday, winner of the 2017 Marian Anderson Award, has quickly established himself as a singer to watch, with his voice that has been praised as “a thing of astonishing beauty” (New Yorker).

Holiday’s 2018-19 season includes Handel’s Israel in Egypt with MasterVoices at Carnegie Hall and his debut at the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts in Taiwan in Paradise Interrupted. Other recent highlights include the world premiere of We Shall Not Be Moved with Opera Philadelphia, his Kennedy Center Recital debut, and a tour with the LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel. Recently chosen as a 2018 Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 100 honoree, John studied at SMU, CCM, and The Juilliard School.

Liz Blumberg

Liz Blumberg ’14 earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies, with a minor in sports management. While a student at SMU, she was involved with SMU PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America), Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, the SMU Undergraduate Admissions Tour Guide and Ambassador Program, Relay for Life of SMU, Student Foundation, the University Honors Program, and the Mustang Corral Orientation Program. Liz has held four positions at Southwest in Operational Communications, Social Media Care, Executive Office Customer Relations, and Media Relations, as well as two internships in summer 2013 and summer 2014. Her current title is Flight Operations Communication & Engagement Specialist, in which she supports communication and engagement efforts for over 9,000 Southwest pilots nationwide.

Alecia Lawyer

One of Musical America’s Top 30 Influencers, Juilliard and SMU alum, Alecia Lawyer, is the Founder, Artistic Director, and Principal Oboist of ROCO, a professional music ensemble that flexes from 1 to 40 musicians from around the world. With over 75 commissioned world premieres, ROCO is regularly broadcast on APM’s Performance Today, live-streamed to the world and known as “The most fun you can have with serious music!”. Ms. Lawyer was a finalist for Texas Musician of the Year (along with Willie Nelson), one of Houston’s Top 50 Most Influential Women and is on the Diversity Composer’s Database Executive Council. 

Breakout Sessions Topics 

John Holiday

Breakout Session: Who do you think you are?: “The session is about my journey and the things that helped me to navigate this path: how I created my own way.  My hope is that it’ll help others to see that no matter the environment from which they come, they too have the power to be whatever they choose to be.”

Liz Blumberg

Breakout Session: Being Social Media Savvy: Personal usage and branding, making smart decisions, social media in the work place

Afternoon Session Topic

Alecia Lawyer

Afternoon Keynote: Wildcatting in the Arts! :  Community specific, economically-viable, arts building.  How to succeed in the arts without waiting for someone to retire.

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