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Cherokee Nation Hires McAlister for Arts Expertise
Oklahoma City University alumna Barbara McAlister has been hired by the Cherokee Nation as a tribal instructor of performing and fine arts. “We’re thrilled to have her,” Bill Andoe, fine arts director for the Cherokee Nation, told the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper. “The basis of her position is outreach. We are working on programs that we can get her out to teach and inspire children.” McAlister, who has performed nearly 60 operatic roles, told the Phoenix she feels honored to be working with the tribe and glad to return to her hometown of Muskogee: “I have always felt very at home here. Though I have traveled the world, this has always been my home.” The soprano earned her bachelor’s degree in music and a minor in art from Oklahoma City University. During the summers of her college career, she performed musical theater with stars such as Carol Burnett and Ginger Rogers. After college she moved to California, where she continued studying voice, acting and dance. In 1976, she won the Loren Zachary Competition in Los Angeles, which allowed her to perform in several opera houses in Germany including Passau, Koblenz, Bremerhaven and Flensburg. She has performed in Asia and Italy, and with the Washington Opera, with Arizona Opera, and at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. She also performed with the San Diego Opera, Tulsa Opera, Florentine Opera, Opera New England, Anchorage Opera and New York Grand Opera in Central Park.