Nov. 5-6, Renée Fleming to visit UAB for concert and discussion on arts in health

The Grammy Award-winning opera star and arts in health advocate will guide a UAB Arts in Medicine panel discussion with experts working in the arts, neuroscience and health care.

Acclaimed opera singer and advocate for arts and health research Renée Fleming will visit the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Nov. 5-6 to perform and speak with UAB experts in arts and medicine.

Fleming has been honored with five Grammy Awards and the United States National Medal of Arts, and has sung for such momentous occasions as the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and the Super Bowl. In 2023, she won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo Album for “Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene.” She is starring in “The Hours,” a new opera based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and award-winning film from the Metropolitan Opera.

As a leading advocate for research at the intersection of arts and health, Fleming launched the first ongoing collaboration between The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Institutes of Health. She is a founding adviser for the Sound Health Network at the University of California, San Francisco.

Fleming, whose current concert calendar includes appearances in New York, London, Milan and Paris, will perform Nov. 5, presented by UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. Tickets to the 7 p.m. performance are $59, $69 and $79. Visit or call 205-975-2787 for tickets or more information. Ticketholders can enjoy a 30-minute Inside The Arts pre-concert talk at 6:15 p.m. as Opera Birmingham’s Keith A. Wolfe-Hughes highlights Fleming’s work and previews the music she will perform.

On Nov. 6, Fleming will participate in activities with staff, students and patients, plus two special events that evening through UAB Arts in Medicine, which are free and open to the general public: a workshop on the art and tradition of sacred harp music, and a panel discussion on music and the mind.

Early in the day, Fleming will see music therapy in action during a Children’s of Alabama music therapy visit, then take part in a research roundtable for students and faculty led by the UAB School of Health Professions Department of Occupational Therapy.

At 4:30 p.m., the public is invited to attend a sacred harp shape-note singing workshop. Bridge Kennedy, Ph.D., and other regional members of the sacred harp singing community will lead a singing session at the Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. Participants can learn about the art and tradition of sacred harp music and experience the communal connection that group singing can create when people come together to create music. Register for the workshop online at

Renee Fleming streamOver the course of several months in 2020, Fleming hosted a series of webinars called “Music and Mind: Live with Renée Fleming.” The online series featured her in conversation with scientists and practitioners working at the intersection of music, neuroscience and health care. Now this conversation is coming to UAB’s Alys Stephens Center. At 6 p.m., Fleming will lead a panel discussion, “Music and Mind.” Register for the workshop online at

Guest panelists will be Kennedy, who is a musician, director of the Online Undergraduate Program and associate professor in the UAB College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Psychology; Sunny Davenport, Children’s of Alabama-based music therapist who works with Arts in Medicine; Professor and Senior Scientist Hon Yuen, Ph.D., in the School of Health Professions who is also an Arts in Medicine researcher; and Sunil Iyengar, director of the Office of Research and Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. 

In partnership with UAB Medicine, UAB Arts in Medicine strives to transform the care environment and enhance well-being and healing through creative arts experiences for patients, families and staff. Integrating the arts into the health care environment has been shown to benefit patients and caregivers. Started in 2013, the UAB program provides services on a rotating schedule to a growing number of UAB Medicine units.