Faculty & Staff

Jessica Usherwood

Assistant Professor of Music
B.A., Lee University; M.M., Roosevelt University; Professional Diploma in Opera; Roosevelt University; D.M., Indiana University


Ext. 1275

Guerry Hall 123

65 Georgia Avenue

Sewanee, TN 37383

Soprano Jessica Usherwood is an active performer and soloist. As a recitalist, Usherwood has performed works including Messiaen’s Chants de terre et de ciel, William Bolcom’s Let Evening Come, André Previn’s Honey and Rue, and Eric Whitacre’s Five Hebrew Love Songs. She serves as the soprano of the International Chamber Artists (ICA) of Chicago. With ICA she has presented works such as Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Mozart’s Requiem, Britten’s Les Illuminations, Ginastera’s Cantos Del Tucumán, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and Morton Feldman’s Journey To The End Of Night. Recently, she premiered an ICA commissioned work by Eric Malmquist entitled If You Travel Far Enough for soprano and chamber ensemble, and performed on Chicago’s “Live from WFMT” recital series.

She performed in concert with Richard Stillwell and Samuel Ramey and sang leading roles in operas such as John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea, Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges, and Mozart’s The Impresario. She appeared with Chicago Opera Theater for several seasons presenting operas including Britten’s Death in Venice, Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, and John Adam’s Nixon in China.

Presenting American vocal literature and contemporary chamber music is a passion for Usherwood, as well as, collaborative arts performances. As a strong advocate for performing arts education and engagement, she has participated in many community initiatives, some of which are Tunaweza Kimuziki (a Kenyan-US cultural exchange program), Reimagining Opera for Kids (Bloomington, IN), Peoples School of Music (Chicago), Chicago Opera Theater’s “Opera for All” program, and the International Chamber Artists outreach initiatives. Her research focuses on music entrepreneurship, career development, nonprofit management, and innovative arts programming.

Jessica Usherwood holds a doctorate in voice performance and literature from the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University. She earned a professional diploma in opera and master’s degree in voice performance and vocal pedagogy from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University, and a bachelor’s degree from Lee University in Cleveland, TN. 

Areas of Expertise