In the course of earning his Bachelor of Arts in Music at IU South Bend, Lawrence Mitchell-Matthews has performed in front of audiences on campus, in South Bend, across the country, and around the world. He will continue his path toward becoming a professional classical vocal musician at graduate school at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. His personality and voice constantly puts him in the spotlight. In fact, on the way to Dallas, the flight attendant heard that he was going to his interview with the graduate music program at SMU and asked him to sing to the passengers. Needless to say, he created an onboard sensation.
A Vocal Sensation
Mitchell-Matthews came to Indiana University South Bend from the Detroit School of the Arts at the invitation of Dean of the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts Marvin Curtis. “Dean Curtis was the missing link in my life,” he said. “He helped me every step of the way.” Mitchell-Matthews came from a musical family. His mother and grandfather encouraged him to sing and as a child he was constantly listening to and trying to imitate Sam Cooke and Nat King Cole. As a teenager he got a job as an extra at the Detroit Opera House. The lead performer said to him, “You should be singing. You have the voice. You have the talent. Go to school.” Dean Curtis made that school IU South Bend.
Once he arrived on campus Mitchell-Matthews was everywhere. He got a job in the School of the Arts office, he became a resident assistant in student housing, he attended the Ezio Pinza Council for the American Singers of Opera program in Italy, and honed his singing with assistant professor of Voice Jessica McCormack. Then he got his big break. He was offered the lead in the South Bend Symphony’s concert production of “Porgy and Bess”. “I always loved opera,” he said. “It was the perfect role for me.” After rave reviews, he performed with the Singapore China Orchestra and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra before a crowd of more than 3,000 at the prestigious Chautauqua Institute in Upstate New York. On campus he sang at three commencements (including his own this May) and at the installation of Chancellor Allison in 2013.
“IU South Bend has been my second home,” he said. Now it is on to graduate school in Texas and big stages around the world.