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LaVonte L. Heard

Founder and Executive Director  

Sphinx MPower Grant Recipient LaVonté L. Heard is a graduate of The Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio (USA), where he graduated with a degree in Vocal Performance. He began graduate work at Louisiana State University in Opera Performance. Mr. Heard is also a graduate of Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, MI, where he received a Master of Education Degree in Educational Leadership.  Mr. Heard is a 2023 University of Michigan- Ann Arbor graduate with a master's Degree in Choral Music Education. He is currently a Doctoral Student in Educational Leadership at Central Michigan University. 

Heard has been lauded worldwide for his versatility in his Classical and "fiery" Gospel performances. "A thundering tenor" is how he was described by a well-wisher after his performance with the Jeremy Winston Chorale in Hamburg, Germany. ​


Heard's career has taken him all over the world. He has been heard with such companies as the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, Bach Society of Dayton, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Flint Symphony, and Sphinx Virtuosi. His singing engagements have spanned continents, appearing in China, Europe, South America, and the United States. Carnegie Hall (New York), Severance Hall (Cleveland, OH), Lincoln Center (New York), Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Dome of Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria), Schloss Mirabell (Salzburg, Austria) Municipal House (Prague, Czech Republic) are among the many concert halls and venues where Heard has appeared. These have made his professional life exciting and fulfilling. Still, his heart is with children and their access to the arts worldwide. 

 Heard is a proud member of Exigence Vocal Ensemble, founded by Eugene Rogers and the Jeremy Winston Chorale International. He is also affiliated with the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the National Association of Negro Musicians, the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, and the Earl Nelson Singers Company of Lansing, MI.

A dedicated Educator, Heard served as a music teacher in the Lansing School District and then the Arts Program Development Specialist. Heard is a sought-after clinician, having done masterclasses worldwide, reaching youth of all backgrounds. Heard transitioned out of Lansing Schools into the private sector in 2019 and founded Transcendence Vocal Arts Institute, which has grown in emphasis to become the Transcendence Performing Arts Centers, Inc., a growing network of schools and studios in Lansing, MI, and nationally. Heard's students have been heard in Concert Halls worldwide, including Carnegie Hall, the American Church in Paris, and the Municipal House in Prague, Czech Republic.

 Heard will teach Voice in the TPAC Voice Studio and serve as the inaugural Artistic Director of the Verna D. Holley Project, priZm Chorale, and the TPAC Mosaic Children's Chorus. 

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