With more than two decades experience as a vocal coach, collaborative pianist, choral conductor, and organist, Kevin J. Bylsma is a musician of impressive depth and ability, well known for his work in opera, art song, and oratorio. A longtime member of the Toledo Opera staff, Mr. Bylsma is currently the Head of Music Preparation and Chorus Master, and was recently names Co-Artistic Director with the company. He was formerly Music Director of the Department of Community Programs for the Michigan Opera Theatre and vocal coach, accompanist, and chorus master for OPERA! Lenawee. In recitals and master classes he has collaborated with the great American singers Samuel Ramey, Diane Soviero, Marilyn Horne, Dawn Upshaw, Michelle De Young, Irina Mishura, Katherine Lewek, and Jennifer Rowley. He is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Ann Arbor Festival of Song, and, for the past twenty-eight years, he has served the historic Mariners’ Church of Detroit as Associate Organist and Choirmaster.
Dedicated to the education and training of the next generation of operatic talent, Mr. Bylsma is Coordinator of Opera and Repetiteur at Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts, responsible for vocal coaching and serving as a collaborative pianist for the school’s large body of young singers. Mr. Bylsma also served on the artistic staff of OperaWorks, an intensive opera training program, based in Los Angeles, CA.
A native of Grand Rapids, MI, Mr. Bylsma received his musical training at Calvin College, Bowling Green State University, and the University of Michigan—where he received the Robert Glasgow Organ Scholarship. He currently resides in Toledo, Ohio’s Old West End historic neighborhood with his cats: Rex and Dickens!