Chorus Member Profile
May Festival Singer Recovers from COVID19
Douglas Easterling was born and grew up in Smyrna, Tennesse, just outside of Nashville, known as “Music City, USA” and home to the Grand Ole Opry. It’s no surprise that he grew up to become a musician himself; however, he’s not a country singer. Large choral-orchestral works are Douglas’s musical “first love.”
Douglas stayed in his home state to earn his bachelor’s degree in vocal music education from Tennessee Tech University, but it wasn’t long before he discovered all that Cincinnati has to offer a young man like himself. Douglas came to the Queen City in 2011 to pursue his master’s degree in Music History at University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), and continued to discover reasons to stay.
First of all, he met Matthew Umphreys, a handsome, talented pianist who also happened to be studying at CCM, and eight years later, the couple shares a home in Columbia Tusculum. These days, Matthew and Douglas enjoy their walks past the Painted Ladies on the way to Alms Park overlooking the Ohio River. The couple are the proud parents of nearly thirty houseplants, and the doting uncles of little Zora, who keeps them coming back to Tennessee.
Secondly, he became a part of Cincinnati’s extensive choral music scene, appearing in choirs from the Vocal Arts Ensemble, to St. Peter in Chains Cathedral downtown, to St. Frances De Sales Church in East Walnut Hills. Soon, Douglas discovered the May Festival – Cincinnati’s home for large-scale choral-orchestral works. We are proud to announce that 2020 marks Douglas’s fifth anniversary with us!
2020 also brought the coronavirus to Matthew and Douglas’ home. Luckily, they both suffered only mild cases, despite some particularly scary moments of breathing difficulty. Singers, as you might suspect, have exceptionally strong respiratory systems, and Douglas is no exception, but COVID-19 prevented him from singing for a solid twenty days. Congestion from the virus affected his resonance, and he could hardly breathe without coughing, let alone carry a tune. Today, Douglas is healthy, and his singing has recovered from the infection’s impact, which included reduced lung capacity and poor pitch control. He is grateful for his health, and reminds others to mask up and stay safe.
Please join us in congratulating Douglas not only on his fifth anniversary with the May Festival Chorus, but also on his new job in finance. Kudos, Douglas!
To learn more about how you can become a member of the May Festival Chorus, click here.
To hear a collection of Douglas’s favorite choral orchestral works, visit our Spotify account here.