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Photo by: Darin Kamnetz


The luscious, deep voice of American mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves has graced nearly all the major world opera house stages and concert halls during her three-decades long career. Her top-label recordings are numerous, and she has been a featured artist on national public television in everything from Great Performances to Sesame Street. A champion of new works, Ms. Graves has premiered operas and song cycles, won competitions and countless awards. Signature opera roles include Carmen and Dalila, as well as the more contemporary Margaret Garner. Recognized worldwide as one of today’s most exciting vocal stars, Denyce Graves continues to receive unparalleled popular and critical acclaim in performances on four continents.


USA Today has called her “an operatic superstar of the 21st Century,” and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution declared, “If the human voice has the power to move you, you will be touched by Denyce Graves.” The combination of her rich, expressive voice and elegant stage presence has allowed her to perform a wide range of repertoire from opera and art song to gospel, musical theater, and patriotic anthems.

In addition to her singing career, the Washington, D.C. native is a much sought-after teacher at The Juilliard School, Peabody Conservatory, and University of Toronto. An Emmy and Grammy award winner, she has also been the recipient of many honorary Doctorates of Musical Arts and has served as both a cultural ambassador and arts advocate on behalf of the country she so dearly loves. A stunning portrait of Ms. Graves can be seen as part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute’s National Portrait Gallery; her image is represented in the National Museum of African American History and Culture as well.


The opera star was inspired to form The Denyce Graves Foundation in the beginning of 2021 as a means of elevating the lives and work of singers at all stages of their careers while, at the same time, honoring the history and contributions of those who had gone before. Born as a bright light during a dark year for the arts, the foundation began cultivating unique programs. The foundation’s flagship program focuses on researching the accomplishments of America’s hidden musical figures and then celebrating their lives, honoring these musicians of color whose stories have yet to join the American narrative. Another program focuses on encouraging exceptionally talented classical singers of all backgrounds to fulfill their potential. Connecting past to present, the foundation is establishing the legacy of previously unacknowledged artists, allowing their hidden voices to finally be heard and their stories told, while setting the stage for the next generation of history-making opera stars.


Terry N. Eberhardt, the recently appointed Executive Director of the Denyce Graves Foundation, boasts an illustrious career spanning over 25 years in executive leadership, K12 music education, higher education, and opera performance. With an unwavering drive and passion for transforming the world through thoughtful arts programming, Eberhardt has emerged as a luminary in his field. 


A distinguished graduate of the Peabody Conservatory, University of Maryland Opera Studio, and McDaniel College, Eberhardt brings a profound wealth of knowledge and skill to his multifaceted career. His commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion was prominently showcased during his tenure as the Music Coordinator for the Howard County Public School System in Maryland. Here, Eberhardt strategically championed initiatives that ensured access to the arts for all students, reshaping the landscape through innovative budgeting, diverse educator recruitment, and a steadfast commitment to effecting change. 


Leading a team of over 240 music educators, Eberhardt meticulously guides the development of music curriculum and leverages partnerships to support system-wide initiatives. His impact extends beyond the classroom, with accolades earned in state and national competitions for the choirs under his guidance. 


In the regional opera scene, Eberhardt made a lasting impression with performances throughout the Metropolitan area, specializing in the more comedic operatic bass-baritone repertoire. Notable roles include the title role in Don Pasquale, Papageno in The Magic Flute, and Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro. 


Eberhardt's contributions to the arts ecosystem transcend education and performance. He has been an active clinician, presenter, and thought partner to major arts organizations, serving on the Inner Arbor Trust Board of Directors and the Annapolis Opera Board of Trustees. Additionally, his role as Associate Artistic Director of the Young Artists of America allowed him to shape and build award-winning summer performing arts intensives for students excelling in musical theater. 


Beyond his teaching and performance roles, Eberhardt serves as a guest conductor for honor choirs across multiple states and is a sought-after adjudicator and clinician, generously sharing his expertise with aspiring musicians. His numerous accolades, including the Maryland State Teachers Award, the Maryland Distinguished Scholarship in talent and education, and the Peabody Scholarship in talent, reflect his unwavering commitment to excellence in both music and teaching. 


Recognized as the "Howard County Teacher of the Year" in 2008, Eberhardt's impact on the field was further acknowledged when he was featured as a "Choral Director of Note" in the January 2011 edition of Choral Director Magazine. In 2015, he was named a semi-finalist for the Grammy Music Educator of the Year award, solidifying his national reputation. In 2019, Eberhardt received the Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award at the Yale Symposium on Music in Schools. 


Outside of his professional achievements, Terry N. Eberhardt is a devoted family man, residing with his loving wife and three sons in the charming town of Ellicott City, Maryland. He derives profound joy and fulfillment from both his career and his cherished role within his family. As the newly appointed Executive Director of the Denyce Graves Foundation, Terry Eberhardt is poised to bring his exceptional expertise and passion to further enrich the organization's impact on the world of arts and community development. 


1050 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste. 500

Washington, DC 20035

1740 Broadway, 15th floor

NYC, NY 10019


© 2023 The Denyce Graves Foundation

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Our Federal tax ID is 86-2276658. 

The Denyce Graves Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. 



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