Judges for MONC-AZ District
November 2, 2019, at the Musical Instrument Museum



Erie Mills


Erie Mills
Opera Theater of St. Louis
English Diction Coach and Singer

Soprano Erie Mills has received critical and popular acclaim throughout the world. She has performed in the world’s major opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Vienna Staatsoper, English National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and New York City Opera. Ms. Mills has appeared with the orchestras of Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Cleveland, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. She is currently the Artistic Director of the Livermore Valley Opera in California. From 1998-2008 she was on the voice faculty at San José State University. Since 2004 she has worked as the English diction specialist for Opera Theatre of St. Louis. In 2004 she became the first singer to join the board of directors of Opera America.

Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor
Minnesota Opera
President and General Director

Ryan Taylor was named President and General Director of Minnesota Opera in May 2016, coming full circle to the company where he was a member of its Resident Artist Program in 2000. Taylor previously served as General Director of Arizona Opera since April 2013, where he undertook a turnaround to stabilize the company's operations. Under his leadership Arizona Opera saw record-breaking increases in community giving and improved the quality of its artistic product, while reaching new audiences through productions that appealed to the rich diversity of that region. A native of Atlanta, Taylor earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Music History from the University of the South. He has a Master's degree in Vocal Performance from San Francisco Conservatory of Music.



Craig Terry


Craig Terry
Chicago Lyric Opera
Music Director Ryan Center Young Artist Program

Lauded for his “sensitive and stylish” (The New York Times) and “superb” (Opera News) playing, pianist Craig Terry enjoys an international career regularly performing with the world’s leading singers and instrumentalists. Currently Mr. Terry serves as Music Director of The Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago after eleven seasons at Lyric as Assistant Conductor. Previously, he served as Assistant Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera.

Mr. Terry’s 2019-2020 season recital performance schedule includes more than forty concerts in North America and Europe. He is Artistic Director of “Beyond the Aria,” a highly acclaimed recital series, presented by the Harris Theater in collaboration with the Ryan Opera Center and Lyric Unlimited.

Dr. Robert Mills
Official MONC Audition Accompanist

Dr. Robert Mills is an assistant clinical professor of Music and the vocal coach/accompanist for Arizona State University's Lyric Opera. Dr. Mills holds a BA in music from the University of Maryland as well as a MM and a DMA in Collaborative Piano from Arizona State University. Additionally, Dr. Mills holds both a Juris Doctor and a MLIS from Brigham Young University.

For nearly three years, Dr. Mills served as an assistant vocal coach and accompanist for the Opera Institute at Boston University. Currently, he is on faculty at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) summer program in Graz, Austria as a repetitor/coach. Dr. Mills concertizes regularly throughout the United States promoting American art song and has just completed a recording on the Summit label of the song cycles of Judith Cloud. He has collaborated with vocal artists and technicians such as Ingo Titze, Phyllis Curtain, Andrea Lechner and Ariel Bybee in concert, workshop and master class settings. Dr. Mills has taught throughout the world including invitations to the Conservatorio Nacional de Música de México as well as the Big Bear Lake Song Festival. Dr. Mills has performed with the Baltimore Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Johns Hopkins Symphony, and the Mesa Symphony as well as with the Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Chorale and the Three Tenors of Mexico. Dr. Mills can be heard on the Canyon Record label.