Pianist Shannon McGinnis has been recognized for her partnerships with some of the brightest stars in the classical vocal music world. Her playing has been described as “excellent” (Opera News), “strong and supportive” (Chicago Tribune), and “boldly projected, characterful, and delicately nuanced” (Chicago Classical Review). Recent season highlights include a recital with soprano Nicole Heaston and members of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, recorded at the Ravinia Festival's Bennett Gordon Hall and broadcast on WFMT; a recital with mezzo-soprano Amanda Lynn Bottoms, as part of the 2020 Collaborative Works Festival; and recitals with baritone Michael Kelly and soprano Melody Moore. 2019-2020 brought a series of concerts and three world premieres with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s “Emerging Voices” series, featuring sopranos Joélle Harvey and Sarah Shafer, mezzo-sopranos Jennifer Johnson-Cano and Corinne Winters, tenor Nicholas Phan, and baritones Douglas Williams and Roderick Williams. In 2022 McGinnis made her debut with San Francisco Performances in a salon concert curated by tenor Nicholas Phan.
McGinnis joined the CCPA faculty in 2015 as Assistant Teaching Professor of Diction and Vocal Coaching. In 2022, following a national search, McGinnis was appointed Associate Professor of Opera (tenure-track) and Director of Opera; in those capacities, she oversees CCPA's undergraduate and graduate opera curricula, the Language Skills sequence, and the Professional Diploma in Opera, presented in partnership with Chicago Opera Theatre's Young Artist program. McGinnis has held internships and appointments with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, DePaul University Opera Theater, DuPage Opera, and Kentucky Opera. In 2015 she served as vocal coach and ensemble pianist for the world-premiere performances of Matthew AuCoin’s Second Nature, presented by Lyric Opera of Chicago and “Lyric Unlimited”, and has served as an official pianist for the Joyce DiDonato Master Classes at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute.
A passionate educator and mentor to young artists, McGinnis serves as head vocal coach for “Prague Summer Nights”, a four-week opera and orchestra festival based in the Czech Republic and comprised of young artists from across the globe, culminating in performances at the historic Estates Theatre. In addition, McGinnis is a co-creator of RISE (Resound: Immersive Song Experience), a tuition-free program for emerging artist-entrepreneurs, which celebrated its inaugural season, remotely, in summer 2020. An avid recitalist and champion of art song repertoire, McGinnis is a founder of Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, where, as Director of Education, she curates an annual series of master classes and workshops for singers and pianists, and is the principal administrator and coach for the Vocal Chamber Music Fellowship.
Prior to moving to Chicago in 2006, McGinnis held the position of Assistant Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Accompanying at Truman State University. She was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts in Accompanying and Chamber Music from the University of Michigan, as a student of Martin Katz, and is a recipient of the 2017 Emerging Artist Award in Music, given by the School of Music Theatre and Dance Alumni Society Board of Governors.
In addition to her teaching and Program Director responsibilities, McGinnis serves as an inaugural Co-Chair of the newly formed Interdisciplinary Conservatory, managing programs in Composition, Core Studies, Jazz & Contemporary Performance, and Music Education.
- DMA Accompanying and Chamber Music — University of Michigan
- MM Vocal Coaching and Accompanying — The Florida State University
- BM, cum laude Piano Performance — Meredith College