Dr. Lori Hicks

Classical singer, composer, arranger, professor, clinician, director, and now recording artist, Dr. Lori Celeste Hicks has been engaged to perform recitals, concerts, and operas across the country and abroad.


Dr. Hicks has moved audiences with her spiritual arrangements and soulful compositions. She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, a Masters of Music from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and a Bachelors of Music Education from Kentucky State University. Dr. Hicks is the Associate Professor of Voice at Claflin University since 2009.

Dr. Hicks is a native of Detroit, Michigan, where she began her musical training at 5 years old playing the piano and singing in church. At 14 she wrote her first composition that was performed by her high school chorus, Renaissance. Since then, Dr. Hicks has built a performance, teaching, and composition career in a wide variety of genres including Opera, Musical Theater, Gospel, Spirituals, R&B and Soul, and Jazz, and most recently techno! With the belief that “Music is Life” Dr. Hicks has enjoyed a full range of musical experiences from the church house to the recording studio to Carnegie Hall. In 2014 she launched her Debut CD “Music of My Voice”, featuring spirituals and songs all composed and arranged by Dr. Hicks.


  • DMA, Doctorate of Musical Arts 2007, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.Vocal Performance Concentration. Vocal studies with tenor George Shirley
  • MM, Master of Music 2004, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH. Vocal Performance Concentration. Vocal studies with soprano Myra Merritt.
  • BME, Bachelors of Music Education, Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY. Voice Concentration. Vocal studies with baritone Andrew W. Smith.


As a classical performer, Dr. Hicks has performed several leading operatic roles such as Bess in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Mimi (La Boheme), Fiordiligi (Cosi Fan Tutte), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Alice Ford (Falstaff), Rosalinda (Die Fledermaus), Laetitia (The Old Maid and the Thief), and the world premiere of James P. Johnson’s jazz opera Dreamy Kid. , Dr. Hicks has been featured in concerts and recitals throughout Italy and France and In 2011, she made her much-anticipated Carnegie Hall debut as the soprano soloist in Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass. Dr. Hicks has been the director for several shows such as The Color PurpleThe Magic Flute, Gianni Schicchi, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Old Maid and the Thief, Blue Monday, and Porgy and Bess.

Activities and Honors

  • South Carolina District Metropolitan Opera Competition, 1st place
  • University of Michigan Concerto Competition, 1st place
  • NANM National Solo Voice Competition, 1st place
  • NANM International Spiritual Festival Vocal Competition, 1st place
  • Michigan District Metropolitan Opera Competition, 1st place
  • Art Song Competition, Bowling Green State University, 1st place
  • Lima Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition, 1st place
  • NANM Brantley Choral Arrangement Competition, 1st place
  • Thelma Johnson Piano Performance Award
  • Natashia Paul’et Wilson Scholarship
  • Anna Margaret Garrison Riggins Vocal Music Scholarship

Recent Presentations

  • Vocal Technique for Gospel Singers
  • Vocal Techniques for choirs
  • Spiritual Performance for soloists
  • “Music of My Voice”; Arias, Art Songs, and Spirituals by African American Composers

Dr. Lori Hicks
Dr. Lori Hicks
Associate Professor of Music
  • School of Humanities & Social Sciences
Music Building, 105