“Pocket-Mezzo” and “Fun-sized” are just a couple of nicknames she’s acquired by those who love her. But if you’ve ever heard the phrase, “big things come in small packages” then you have an idea of what you’ll get once you meet— and hear— Taylor Hillary Boykins. Taylor made her Kennedy Center debut in 2014 as Mrs. Roché in Tony Small’s eco-conscious musical, RUKA. Later that year, she returned to The Kennedy Center as Alexis in the world premiere of Tony Small’s operetta Qadar, with opera luminary Denyce Graves as Artistic Director.
Taylor can be found sharing her talents all over the greater Baltimore area. She began the 2018-2019 season in recital with Thrive Music Live, followed by an appearance with St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church as alto soloist for their performance of Duruflé’s Requiem. She began 2019 with a bang— in collaboration with local chamber favorites Bedlam Brass, Mind on Fire, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for the Dan Deacon Pulse show at the Meyerhoff. In the springtime, she was featured for a second time with the Maryland Choral Society, she was a national finalist in The American Prize Competition for the Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award in Voice: Women in Opera and she’ll be serving as an ambassador for Maryland Opera’s Opera-To-Go program for a third season. During the 2017-2018 season, Taylor made her West Coast debut as alto soloist with the Gonzaga University University Concert Choir, performing Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time in Spokane, WA. A month later in May, she was a finalist for the 2018 Chicago Oratorio Award. For the 2016-2017 season, Taylor was commissioned to perform An Evening of Opera; a lecture recital covering opera, art song, and a history of black opera singers, held at the University of Toledo in March of 2017. In fall of 2016, she made her debut as alto soloist in Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, with one of Baltimore's innovative chamber orchestras, Symphony Number One. The year before that, she had a taste of contemporary opera, performing in the world premiere of Frances Pollock’s opera STINNEY. Later that year, Taylor performed in a recital at the Waterford Foundation in Virginia. In 2014, she sang the role of Soeur Mathilde in Dialogues des Carmelites, produced by the Peabody Opera Theatre at the Modell Lyric Opera House in Baltimore. Throughout her time in the Charm City, Taylor has given volunteer performances at Basilica Place Senior Living and she’s performed with Concert Artists of Baltimore and The Walters Art Museum.
Taylor earned her Master of Music degree in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where she was a protégé of Denyce Graves. A native of Michigan, she received her Bachelor of Music degree from Oakland University in Rochester, MI as a student of contralto, Nadine Washington.
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