Founding Artistic Director
Virginia Kerwin is the founding director of Voca Lyrica, a womenâ€™s choir based in Big Rapids. Known for its innovative and collaborative programming, Voca Lyrica has performed in iconic venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, National Cathedral, Grace Cathedral and Sydney Opera House as well as in Austria, the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Wales. Enjoying its 21st season, Voca Lyrica sponsors a 45-voice childrenâ€™s choir TrebleMakers and provides an endowed scholarship to an area middle or high school student annually. Virginia enjoyed a robust and diverse career in music education. She taught elementary general music for 7 years (Ridgewood Public Schools, St. Peter's Lutheran School, St. Maryâ€™s Catholic School), secondary vocal music for 15 years (Big Rapids Public Schools) and served as adjunct professor at Central Michigan University and Grand Valley State University. Additional teacher/conductor experiences include 3 honor choirs with MSVMA, 5 summers with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, 5 summers with the University of Michigan All-State Camp at Interlochen and 3 European tours with Michigan Ambassadors of Music. Performance honors include the Midwest Music Conference, Michigan Youth Arts Festival and the ACDA Michigan and Central Division Conferences. Notable recognitions include MSVMA Teacher of the Year (1998) and MMEA Administrator of the Year (2006). She recently retired as Executive Director of the Michigan School Vocal Music Association. During her 20-year tenure with MSVMA, Virginia was instrumental in developing MSVMAâ€™s current adjudication system. She contributed significantly to the growth and development of the Michigan Music Conference and the Michigan Youth Arts Festival including serving as Board chair for these premier learning activities. Virginia served on the ACDA Michigan Board as Area Representative and Womenâ€™s Repertoire Chair. A frequently sought clinician and consultant in the areas of vocal music and fine arts education, she participated in the development of the fine arts graduation requirements for the Michigan Department of Education. Additionally, Virginia participated in international music experiences including choral and cultural exchanges in Cuba in 2016, the World Choir Games in Riga Latvia in 2014 and a People to People music educator delegation to South Africa in 2010. Virginiaâ€™s professional affiliations include the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association for Music Educators and the Michigan School Vocal Music Association. She holds degrees in Music Education from the University of Delaware and Calvin University. Virginia enjoys traveling, reading, playing bridge, and spending time with her husband Bill, her 4 children and 11 grandchildren.