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Tim MacDougall


Tim MacDougall.

On March 10, 2019, longtime Bob Cole faculty member Tim MacDougall passed away after almost a decade-long battle with cancer.

Tim began teaching voice at CSULB in 2007, and continued until just weeks before his death. Through multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation, Tim credited his students and his love of teaching with keeping him alive. His passion for great singing, his knowledge of the human voice, and his appreciation of the individual beauty in each instrument is legendary. He maintained a full studio throughout his years, and volunteered to co-teach the weekly masterclass every Monday. It is in this capacity that he was able to touch the lives of every single voice student who sang at CSULB over the last 12 years.

A native of Pasadena, California, Tim never planned on teaching college. After singing with the Chicago Lyric Opera, he returned to Southern California where he built a large private studio in Fullerton. It was after many excellent students from his high school studio auditioned and were accepted to the Conservatory that he was recruited to teach voice.

His hallmark was an uncanny ability to work with all students, at all levels, in multiple styles. Tim’s alumni perform at opera companies all over the world, but he also has singers on Broadway, in national tours, and on cruise ships. His students—many of whom sing in the Los Angeles Master Chorale—are extremely flexible vocal artists. The "MacDougall technique" was rooted in Italian bel canto, but honed and adjusted for each student’s individual gifts.

Director of Choral Studies, Dr. Jonathan Talberg said, "Tim was one of the finest educators I have ever known. His knowledge of vocal technique and repertoire was encyclopedic. He was patient, but exacting with beginning students and extremely demanding of advanced singers. He gave freely of his time, attended as many concerts, operas, and recitals as he could (of his own students and of those in other studios) and he was a constant, reassuring, positive force in the Conservatory. He counted many world-class singers and coaches among his friends; in fact, he was responsible for bringing artists like Roberta Alexander, Jake Heggie, Frederica von Stade, and Cheryl Studer to CSULB for extended residencies. Tim’s legacy at CSULB is profound; alumni who were fortunate enough to call him teacher learned a tremendous amount from him, but also gained a great advocate, a lifetime resource and a dear friend. He was deeply loved and is dearly missed."

Tim is survived by his husband Scott, their son Justin, and a grandson, Noah.

From Tim’s Bio:

Tim MacDougall with his students in the Choir Room.
Tim with students in the Choir Room.

Equally at home in Opera and musical theater, Tim MacDougall performed with such luminaries as Grace Bumbry, Placido Domingo, Mirella Freni, Luciano Pavarotti, and Cheryl Studer. He also appeared with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden (1984 Olympic Arts Festival), and with noted conductors such as Carlo Maria Giulini (Los Angeles Philharmonic) and Sir Georg Solti (Chicago Symphony Orchestra).

Performance experiences took Tim from studio musician to the legitimate stage. Theater credits included A Little Night Music, My Fair Lady, and Sweeney Todd. On television, he appeared in the Live from Lincoln Center series telecast of The Verdi Requiem (under Zubin Mehta), and Comic Relief II. Directorial credits include: Mozart’s Così fan Tutte, Evita, Into the Woods, Lend Me A Tenor, A Little Night Music, Little Women, Master Class, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Nine, On the Twentieth Century, and The Women.

Mr. MacDougall studied and coached with some of the world’s finest teachers, including Horst Gunter, Kari Windingstad-White, Arleen Auger, Phyllis Curtin, Nico Castell, Jeanine Reiss, and Gualtiero Negrini. His guest lectures and masterclasses on opera and voice earned him high praise and recognition. For many years, Mr. MacDougall maintained private studios in Pasadena and Fullerton. In addition to his teaching position at California State University, Long Beach, he was also a member of the adjunct-faculty at the Fullerton Union High School Academy of the Arts. While consistently taking top honors in several major vocal competitions, his students can also be seen in national tours, regional theaters and opera houses around the globe.

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