Dr. Brian Kuhnert
Opera Opens the Door
Dr. Brian Kuhnert grew up in Umbarger, TX, a small German farming community located 10 miles west of Canyon. After graduating from Canyon High in 1996, he attended West Texas A&M and earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance in Voice (2001) and a master’s in Music Performance in Voice (2003). He later attended Texas Tech and earned a DMA in Music Performance in Voice in 2010. However if you had told Kuhnert that he would spend his life singing opera and teaching voice instead of directing choir, he would’ve thought you were mistaken.
“I, like many people in our area, had very little exposure to opera and thought that it was just for strange old people. My first year of college, a friend of mine asked me to join them at a travelling performance of La Boheme by New York City Opera. It was an amazing performance and I never looked back—I’ve been involved with opera and solo performance since that night.”
While he was finishing his studies at Tech, the Opera/Musical Theater director position opened at Wayland.
“Since all of my family, and most of my wife’s family, lives in the Amarillo area, I had been praying for a position to open in the area,” Kuhnert recalled. “This position opened just as I was finished with all of my course work, so it is a great example of God opening a door at just the right time.”
Kuhnert also said that the thing he liked best about Wayland was the atmosphere.
“The familial atmosphere that is an outgrowth of our ability to embrace our faith is incredibly important to me. I’ve seen atmospheres that are far more adversarial and hoped that I would feel at home in my job—I do.”
Kuhnert added that the loves having the opportunity to work with students at an important time in their lives.
“As an applied voice teacher, I get to see my students cope with becoming an adult and finding their own world view. For my field, which requires a great deal of self-discovery and control, this is a necessary skill.”
Kuhnert and his wife of 13 years have three children, a girl and two boys.