Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, recently presented Nancy Kirkland Klein, chair of Old Dominion University's Diehn School of Music, with its Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.
Klein's position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility and prominence in her field were all taken into account during the selection process.
"I've been privileged over the course of my career to perform on some of the world's greatest stages, but the real privilege has always been helping my students hone their skills and share their talents," Klein said. "As an educator, I'm honored to receive this recognition of what has been my lifelong passion."
Klein became chair of the Diehn School in 2017. Affiliated with ODU since 1986, she has been a professor of choral music for numerous years. She also served as the graduate director of the Master of Music degree program from 1988 to 2017. Under Klein's tutelage, the ODU Choir and the Diehn Chorale have performed at such prominent venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, and abroad in Tokyo, Italy and Scotland.
Before coming to ODU, Klein was the assistant and acting director of the New York University Choral Arts Society from 1983 to 1986. She also served as an advisory board member for various musical publications throughout New York City during the late 1980s. She has remained active as a consultant choral clinician and adjudicator since 1987.
As a guest conductor and vocal clinician, Klein has collaborated with the Continental Army Band, conducting on the USS John C. Stennis, the USS Enterprise and the USS North Carolina. She also performed as a guest conductor with the Sound of America Honor Choir, touring Europe during summers from 2009 and 2014. During this time, she took her undergraduate students to several major concert venues to perform, such as the Notre Dame Cathedral (Paris), St. Mark's Basilica (Venice) and Conservatoir de Musique (Luxembourg).
Klein served in volunteer positions with the Voice of Virginia Fine Arts Summer Training, was the director of several nonprofit international music camps and has been a member of the National Association for Music Education, the National Collegiate Choral Organization and the American Choral Directors Association.
Klein earned a Bachelor of Music at the University of Richmond in 1976, a Master of Music Education in vocal performance at Eastern Kentucky University in 1982 and a Doctor of Philosophy in music at New York University as the valedictorian of her graduating class in 1986. She is a certified music teacher in more than 20 states.
She has won several teaching awards, including the Robert L. Stern Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Joel S. Lewis Award for Excellence in Student Mentoring and a Lifetime Achievement Award from ALLI. Cited as a Woman Scholar of Hampton Roads, she is also a Marquis listee who has been featured in a dozen different editions of Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Education, Who's Who in Entertainment, Who's Who in the South and Southwest, and Who's Who of American Women.