Name: Baird, Edward (1933-2000)Variant Name: Edward Allen Baird, Jr., Ed Baird
Dr. Edward A. Baird was Professor of Voice and a past director of graduate studies in the UNT College of Music, and a past president of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
He was born Edward Allen Baird, Jr., on March 18, 1933 in Kansas City, Kansas, but his family lived on the Missouri side by the time of the 1940 U.S. Census. He earned Bachelor of Arts (1955) and Master of Arts (1956) degrees from the University of Kansas City (now the University of Missouri - Kansas City). He worked as an instructor and chair of the music department of Midland College in Fremont, Nebraska, from 1956 to 1960, after which he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan (the first vocalist to earn that degree there), and won a regional audition for the Metropolitan Opera. He joined the music faculty of what is now the University of North Texas in 1962. His obituary from a UNT press release summarizes his career:
"He sang in 43 Fort Worth Opera productions and as a soloist with the Dallas Symphony seven times. Baird has performed with such high profile artists as Placido Domingo and Beverly Sills. He had more than 60 opera roles to his credit, and he had appeared with more than a dozen opera companies, as well as performing as a soloist with major orchestras.
"In addition to opera, Baird performed in American musicals.
Performing the role of Jud Fry in "Oklahoma!" while cast alongside Betty Lynn Buckley, Leonard Drum and Robert Windsor in 1971, he was named best supporting actor at Fort Worth's Casa Mañana Summer Musicals that season."
In 1984, Baird was appointed as director of graduate studies for the UNT College of Music. He also served in several roles with the National Association of Teachers of Singing, including as president (1985-1988), as Site Coordinator for Conventions for seven years following his presidency, and he was elected president of the NATS Foundation in 1998.
Baird received the President's Council University Service award for contributions to the graduate program in 1990; he was named a "Top Prof" in 1993. Many of Baird's students continued on to distinguished careers, including bass-baritone Mark McCrory. Edward Baird died in a Dallas hospital on August 2, 2000.
National Association of Teachers of Singing, "History of NATS - The 1980s," viewed October 14, 2020
Edward A Baird Jr in the 1940 United States Federal Census, via Ancestry.com, viewed October 14, 2020
Edward Allen Baird in the U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 via Ancestry.com, viewed October 14, 2020.
"Singer To Give His Initial Denton Recital," Denton Record-Chronicle, November 4, 1962, page 20, via Newspapers.com, viewed October 14, 2020
"Seven To Join Music Faculty," Denton Record-Chronicle, September 9, 1962, page 17, via Newspapers.com, viewed October 14, 2020.
Obituary for Edward Baird via University of North Texas press release, posted at Vocalist.org on September 25, 2000, viewed October 14, 2020