Recognized for her “velvety legato and embracing warmth of sound” (Washington Classical Review) and “lyric-mezzo of uncommon beauty” (The Washington Post), mezzo-soprano Kristen Dubenion-Smith enjoys an active performing career in oratorio and sacred vocal chamber music, specializing in music of the medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras. 

As a concert soloist, Kristen has earned recognition for her performances of the works of the High Baroque, especially Bach and Handel. Highlights from recent seasons include Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the Washington National Cathedral Baroque Orchestra, Bach’s St. John Passion with the Dryden Ensemble, and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with The Washington Bach Consort. 

In previous seasons, she has appeared as Alto Soloist in works such as Handel’s Messiah, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, Praetorius’ Christmas Vespers and Mozart’s Requiem among others, with ensembles including Apollo’s Fire, Handel Choir of Baltimore, Opera Lafayette, The New Dominion Chorale, The Folger Consort, and Chatham Baroque. In the summer of 2019, Ms. Dubenion-Smith attended the American Bach Soloists Academy where she was featured in Bach’s Trauerode and Mass in B Minor. She was also chosen as a 2020 (transferred to 2022 due to the pandemic) Virginia Best Adams Fellow with the Carmel Bach Festival.

As a professional choral singer, Ms. Dubenion-Smith performs regularly with Cathedra, Chantry, and the Grammy-nominated, NYC-based Clarion Choir. She also sings in the choir on the 2021 Grammy Award-winning recording of The Prison by Ethel Smyth with The Experiential Choir and Orchestra.

Starting in the fall of 2016, Ms. Dubenion-Smith joined the Choir of Men and Boys/Girls at the Washington National Cathedral as the first woman to be offered a position in this choir. She had previously served as cantor since 2011. 

Originally from Michigan, Ms. Dubenion-Smith attended Alma College (BM) before moving to Maryland to complete her studies at The Peabody Conservatory of Music (MM) in Baltimore.

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