Krista Cornish Scott: Soprano Section Leader

To learn about Krista Cornish Scott’s ancestral heritage, begin with her name. Krista’s family hails from Cornwall, hence “Cornish,” and her husband Brett’s family originated in Scotland, hence “Scott.” This part of their identities plays itself out in their lives in multiple forms, perhaps most notably in their children’s names: Aedhan, Colum, Kenna, and Serrin (pictured above). Even their new pandemic puppy Melyn got his name from the Cornish language!

Krista and Brett are Canadians hailing from the Prairie Provinces. The two met while studying at the University of Regina where she pursued voice and he pursued conducting. After one-and-a-half years of dating the couple became engaged, with a goal to marry as soon as Krista earned her master’s degree. The added motivation meant Krista would complete her degree in just fifteen months!

After their wedding on New Year’s Eve in 1998, the couple moved to Cincinnati so that Brett could begin his doctoral degree in conducting at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Brett asked his professor, Earl Rivers, where Krista might find her choral home in Cincinnati, and he suggested that she audition for the Vocal Arts Ensemble. Her first season with VAE would begin in Fall 1999.

Krista enjoys the strong sense of family that comes with membership in the Vocal Arts Ensemble. While Brett pursued his doctoral degree in conducting at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, the Vocal Arts Ensemble welcomed Krista into their ranks. As a Canadian citizen, Krista was not allowed to accept pay for her first two seasons with Vocal Arts Ensemble. Instead, Krista was rewarded for her work with a steadfast support system in Cincinnati’s choral community.

Just after Krista became pregnant with her first child, life took the couple to the University of Rochester and Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. After six years there, Brett landed a conducting position back in Cincinnati at CCM, and Krista was delighted to return to VAE with her growing little family.

One particular event truly demonstrates how VAE’s unwavering mutual support system works. In April 2012, tragedy struck when VAE member and CCM grad student Wesley Brax was in a fatal auto accident in southeastern Indiana. Wesley’s CCM family – including Krista’s husband Brett – heard of the incident first, and through Brett, Krista became the first member of the Vocal Arts Ensemble to learn of his sudden passing. It then became her duty to inform Donald Nally, the VAE Music Director at the time, of the sad news about Wesley.

After some reflection, the Vocal Arts Ensemble elected to move ahead with the next day’s rehearsal as scheduled. Quite frankly, they needed to be together. As they sang that afternoon, individual singers became overwhelmed with emotion and as their voices faltered, other singers would cover their part until the moment passed. Through their anguish, they proceeded and were able to perform just one week later. The group was and remains so in tune with one another musically and emotionally, that they are able to provide relief to each other in any moment – both practically and abstractly.

So much has changed for professional singers as a result of the pandemic, but Krista has found a way to keep performing. You may have seen her recently on the streamed video of Christ Church’s Live at Lunch program on December 1, singing with Heri et Hodie, an intimate women’s ensemble that she directs which performs music from the medieval period and contemporary works inspired by that medieval ethos.

As soprano section leader at Vocal Arts Ensemble, in addition to her connections to singing groups across the region, Krista is familiar with the vocal talent in Greater Cincinnati. This is an incredible asset to her in her work to contract vocal performers for conductors across the region, including the vocalists that traditionally perform as a part of Cincinnati Ballet’s The Nutcracker.

“In a singer, I truly value a genuine work ethic, lack of ego, and spirit of generosity. The best musicians are those who want to lift others up.”

We are grateful to count Krista among the VAE family. Get to know her even better by listening to some of her favorite music on Spotify.