Jeremiah Sanders poses in front of a music-themed mural. Sanders graduated from Manchester in 2014 and has joined the faculty as a voice instructor.  
Photo provided by MU

MU Alum Jeremiah Sanders Joins Music Dept for the Semester

Najma El

Jeremiah M. Sanders, Manchester class of 2014, is joining the Manchester faculty for this fall semester only, working in the music department as an applied voice instructor. He is looking forward to teaching students, with his goal being to “support” and “give them hope” as they begin their music careers, just like he was supported when he studied here.

Sanders has spent his life surrounded by and interested in the arts. When he was a toddler, he sang with his grandmother in church. Then he was in orchestra growing up, and in high school, he enjoyed show choir and theatre, which are a mix of singing and dancing, both of which he loves. He enjoyed learning about other cultures as well, so he took language classes such as German.

He was told that he was born to sing opera way before he was interested. Connecting with “La Traviata” started his love for opera. He appreciates how opera takes every individual, from singers to stagehands, and brings them together to perform a story. He also likes that operas incorporate language and dance into the performances.

While working to receive his Performer’s Diploma from Indiana University in Bloomington, Sanders started performing all over the United States, sometimes even having to leave the country. He recalls that his last––and favorite-––international concert was in a small Italian town, where he performed “Falstaff ” by Verdi, an Italian composer. He said it was “nontraditional but traditional,” as the performance took place in an alley as opposed to a theatre or stage, but they were in Italy performing an Italian opera in Italian. By singing opera and traveling the world, he’s learned to sing in roughly ten languages.

Within the past two years Sanders has performed in dozens of productions as well as in a few voice competitions. He won first place in the Opera Ebony Benjamin Matthews Voice Competition and the Lima Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition. He has also won second place in an Indianapolis voice competition. He’s been a soloist or lead in several performances including “Falstaff.”

Sanders currently doesn’t have any events scheduled at Manchester; however, there’s a chance he will be performing while he is here. Even so, he has some events planned outside of Manchester. Once he leaves the university, he plans to continue to create, share and teach the arts, though COVID has raised a few concerns.

Is his goal to be one of the greats? Sanders responded that his goal was improving his skills no matter the outcome. “Self-improvement never ends,” he said.