About Rebecca Muniz

Singing and playing the piano from as early as she could remember, Rebecca Muñiz has been crafting her talent ever since her parents exposed her to ballets and musicals in Chicago, from The Nutcracker to CATS.

“My sister and I would dress in cat leotards and dance around in our basement. I lost the leotard, but my love of the performing arts has only deepened.”

By age 14, her parents acknowledged her enthusiasm by signing her up for private voice lessons. By way of the “Four Catholic Corners” intersection in Lisle, IL, with each corner rooted in the Benedictine Order, from St Procopius Abbey, Sacred Heart Monastery and their educational apostolates Benedictine University and Benet Academy, she became immersed in music ministry.

There she dove head first in classical and choral music, so fervently that, within a year, she was selected to sing at the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions for dignitaries including Joseph Cardinal Bernadin and the Dalai Lama.

At Benet Academy, the singer, thirsty for more experience, co-directed the student-organized choir and served on the Worship Committee, assembling musicians for masses and school events.

While still in high school, Muñiz sang solo recitals at Benedictine University and was hired for private events before further studying her craft at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.  There she enjoyed a grant, the Verna K. Townsend Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Performance in Music.

Muñiz immediately began singing professionally with the New Classic Singers, a 40-voice ensemble in Glen Ellyn, IL.

From there, she transitioned to downtown Chicago to audition for the Grammy-winning Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus where she served as a resident chorus member, performing at Symphony Hall and Ravinia Festival under conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Sir Georg Solti, Christoph Eschenbach, Mstislav Rostoprovich, Pierre Boulez and Zubin Mehta.  The audition was very challenging, “Two memorized pieces of contrasting styles and languages, tonal memory exercises, vocalizing, an excerpt from Handel’s ‘And He Shall Purify’, and a sight-reading exercise with plenty of notation.  They covered all the bases, ensuring vocal range, agility and accuracy.”

A prize of joining the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus was performing at Ravinia Festival, North America’s oldest outdoor music festival and a staple for Midwestern music junkies. “It was my favorite place to perform. It has not only such an esteemed history with legendary performers, but with audiences as well. You can sit in the main pavilion, but the best place is on the lawn. When I was young, my family would take a picnic and music would emanate from hidden speakers at night to create an enchanting soundscape. It was magical. Performing there years later with the CSO…priceless.”

Transitioning to Texas in 2002, Muñiz performed with the Austin Lyric Opera Chorus and found roots with Conspirare, the 5-time Grammy-nominated choir. “Describing Conspirare is like classifying a new species. They are so truly unique and inspiring.”

“A huge reason is the acclaimed director, Craig Hella Johnson.  He demands more of singers than just technical excellence and guides us deep into the heart of the music.  What is created goes beyond the score, and is at the heart of why I do what I do.”

“Another unique element of Conspirare is that audiences are often hearing world-premiere compositions, so the programs are always fresh and exciting.”

While remaining committed to this acclaimed consortium, the singer has also broadened her horizons with other ensembles including Texas Choral Consort, Texas Early Music Project, San Antonio Chamber Choir, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Ensemble Settecento and the Spire Chamber Ensemble.

With the Texas Early Music Project, Muñiz finds a forum to finesse a different kind of singing.

“What I love about this homage to early music is that they use period instruments – they want to replicate the original sound and feel of the age.  This specialization and attention to historical eras is a concentration in the restrained, the delicate, and the acoustic.”

Rebecca also recently recorded with the Austin-based band Balmorhea and is featured on their limited-edition LP titled Candor/Clamor.

Via her involvement with these professional ensembles, Rebecca became the Soprano Section Leader at St. Louis King of France Catholic Church, one of the largest churches in the Austin Diocese and recognized for its outstanding music program.  From 2006 – 2016, she sang biweekly liturgies as well as weddings, funerals and special events. In 2014, Rebecca served as Group Leader for a tour of Prague, Vienna, Salzburg and Munich.

Rebecca enjoyed her Carnegie Hall debut in 2013 where sang A Great and Glorious Victory, written and directed by Jonathan Willcocks.

Rebecca was honored to sing with Conspirare on their Grammy-nominated CD, “The Poet Sings: Pablo Neruda”.

In 2015, Rebecca founded The Sidelined Singer Project (www.thesidelinedsingerproject.com), a large-scale study that explores the impact of career-ending and career-altering injuries in the performing-arts industry.

TESTIMONIALS

Rebecca sang Schubert's Ave Maria as our communion piece and we were all blown away. After the wedding, everyone was talking about the tears and chills they experienced when Rebecca sang. To this day, everyone is still talking about Rebecca and her angelic voice. We will always remember her song as a truly special gift.

Tony & Tonette

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RECENT NEWS

ROBERT KYR: “The Cloud of Unknowing; Songs of the Soul” CD available for purchase

August 20th, 2014

Click here to read the story behind the music on this album, listen to a sample track and order your copy of this sublimely spiritual and transcendent music.  Featuring Conspirare with soloists Estelí Gomez and David Farwig and directed by Craig Hella Johnson.

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