Dr. Sonya G. Baker

Associate Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and Professor of Music at James Madison University

Previously, Baker spent twelve years at Murray State University as Associate Dean of the College of Humanities & Fine Arts and Professor of Music. There, she taught applied voice and introduced classes new to the curriculum such as Introduction to Music Business and Professional Engagement. Additionally, she was appointed by Governor Beshear to serve two terms as board member for the Kentucky Arts Council and completed two terms as Kentucky Governor for the National Association of Teachers of Singing.  During the 2012-2013 academic year, Baker was a member of the American Council on Education’s prestigious Fellow’s Program with Rhodes College in Memphis, TN serving as her host institution. With a dedication to educating young people in the arts, Baker is a former faculty member for the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts and the Virginia Governor’s School for Arts & Humanities, both programs for high school students.  Baker’s debut recording, SHE SAYS, featuring art songs of American Women composers, was released in 2004, a year after she made her Carnegie Hall debut with renowned conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, and appeared as soloist on the Yale Alumni Chorus tour to Moscow singing at the Kremlin.  Noted for performances of American music, Baker regularly appears with the American Spiritual Ensemble and her lecture recital on Marian Anderson’s historic 1939 Easter Concert has been presented nationwide.  Baker is an alumna of Leadership Kentucky.  She holds a B.A. degree in American Studies from Yale University, an M.M. in voice performance from Indiana University and a D.M. in voice with opera concentration from Florida State University.