Candace Burgess

  • Graduate Student, Musicology

Candace Burgess is a versatile vocal artist, researcher, and educator. Academically, she has a Bachelor and Masters of Music in Performance Voice from Duquesne University and is currently pursuing her PhD in Musicology at the University of Pittsburgh’s Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. 


Her research focuses on investigating the lives and legacies of Black classical composers, singers historical Black Classical music communities as seen in  Brazil, and New Orleans, Louisiana. 


Candace specializes in the styles of opera, classical, jazz, and musical theater. An accomplished artist, Candace has shared the stage with Esperanza Spalding, Ysaye Barnwell, Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Peter Yarrow. Candace has participated in Chicago Summer Opera’s 2018 production of “Die Zauberflöte” as Third knaben and most recently Demaskus Theater collective’s May 2020 rendition of the opera “Song of the Uproar”. Candace was also the lead vocalist in The Associates of the Boston Public Library’s 2020 production of Giving Voice to the Abolitionists.


In addition to her academic and vocal pursuits, Candace developed and moderated a host of programming for organizations such as the Creative Learning Network, Black Opera Alliance, Pittsburgh’s National Opera House, and  I, Too, Sing, her personal endeavor. I, Too, Sing is a project focused on celebrating the lives and works of composers of African descent through educational workshops and performances. As a part of I, Too, Sing, Candace created and moderated a panel created for the Pittsburgh Festival Opera: “I, Too, Sing: A Conversation About the Black Experience in Opera”. Candace was selected to join the University of Pittsburgh and Remake Learning’s Shifting Power in Educational Research and Development 2020-2021 cohort wherein she developed her own educational program called Temples for Tomorrow as well as created and presented a lecture-recital called “5 Creole Songs as arranged by Camille Nickerson” for Carnegie Mellon University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.