Barrington Coleman

Associate Professor of Voice

B.M., Illinois Wesleyan University; M.M., Northwestern University; D.M.A., Juilliard School of Music.

Varsity Men's Glee Club, Director

Prior to his appointment at the University of Illinois, Professor Coleman was assistant professor of voice at Illinois Wesleyan University and conductor of the Limited Edition Jazz Choral Ensemble. He has performed and recorded as a tenor soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Music of the Baroque Ensemble, Royal Opera House of Covent Garden, La Fenice (Venice, Italy), Glyndebourne Opera, London Philharmonic and Symphony orchestras, and the Sunday Evening Club of WTTW-TV in Chicago. He has collaborated with such prominent composers as Coleridge Taylor Perkinson and Doug McConnell on various premiere and standard works for voice, as well as performing as jazz pianist with many prominent jazz artists, including Christian McBride, Lonnie Plaxico, and Sam Rivers. Professor Coleman is presently director, arranger, pianist, and vocalist of The Barrington Coleman Trio and a frequent freelance solo jazz artist. 

In 1990, he and his wife, internationally acclaimed lyric soprano and assistant professor of voice at the University of Illinois, Cynthia Haymon, performed in the world premiere of Richard Blackford's King. Professors Coleman and Haymon also performed in an EMI-label recording and film of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. In January 1999, Professor Coleman was guest conductor and clinician for the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State High School Chorus, as well as guest conductor for the American Association of Choral Conductors Central Region Male Chorus Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Professor Coleman has served as a guest lecturer and performer for the Krannert Center of the Performing Arts Jazz Immersion concert series and also directed an ensemble at the nationally recognized arts education endeavor, Black Sacred Music Symposium of Illinois, held on the University of Illinois campus in 1999 and 2003. In addition to directing and performing, Professor Coleman has served as an adjudicator for arts programs of universities, high schools, community arts organizations, churches, and an array of professional music associations in America as a classical, jazz, and gospel artist.

Teaching Philosophy

The gift of singing is rooted in the foundation of God-given components of individual anatomy. The most vital aspect of singing is the ability to develop a healthy, expressive tone and physical approach to singing, which enables aspiring artists to sing comfortably and for a long time. In my teaching I strive to share the vast influences that have enriched my life musically and personally. I help my students focus on the thorough study, analysis, and application of such sensory principles as the coordination and even distribution of breath, the maintenance and discipline of building muscular strength, flexibility, and vitality through the daily application of vocal exercises and assimilation of articulation, and the aural identification of healthy, quality vocal sound. I strive to encourage artistic self-discipline, zeal for research and exploration of diverse styles, periods, and practices, and provide a secure foundation for vocal technique according to the expressive capacity of each individual.



Choral Music, Conducting, Voice


Varsity Men's Glee Club Dad's Day Concert