Black Teaching Artist-In-Residence Program

Want to be our next Black Teaching Artist-in-Residence? Apply now through August 5th!

Learn About UniSound’s Previous BTARs

Black Teaching Artist-In-Residence 2021

Afro-Latina soprano Dr. Zuly Inirio hails from the Dominican Republic and has appeared as a soloist throughout the United States and Europe. Her roles include Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw, First Lady in The Magic Flute, Gertrud in Hansel und Gretel, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, and scenes from Ariadne auf Naxos, Götterdämmerung, Falstaff, and Albert Herring. She was part of Opera Louisiane’s The Ring (reduced) and where she performed the roles of Wellgunde, Ortlinde, and 2nd Norn.

Ms. Inirio is also well-versed in concert work and as a recitalist, most notably in the Lyrica Dialogues Organized by the Lyrica Society at Harvard in Boston, MA where she debuted Carson Cooman’s Sunset. She also performed Jake Heggie’s Natural Selection in Baton Rouge, LA where she worked with the composer directly. Most recently, she was highlighted in Austin Opera’s Concerts at the Consulate.

European highlights include soprano soloist for the Verdi Requiem in Munich, Germany at Allerheiligenkirche under the baton of Massimiliano Murrali and singing High Priestess while covering the title role in Verdi’s Aida with the Mythos Opera Festival in Sicily, Italy.

In 2022, Ms. Inirio will perform the role of Isabelle in Mizzy Mazzoli’s Song of the Uproar with The Demaskus Theater Collective in Pittsburgh, PA, and as part of her Afro-Latinx Song & Opera Project will be performing a series of recitals for the University of Pittsburgh, Chamber Music Pittsburgh, and East Liberty Presbyterian Church.

Zuly Inirio holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree and a Master of Music Degree from Louisiana State University where she was the recipient of a full-tuition scholarship. She completed her Bachelor of Music Degree at New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL where she was also a recipient of a full-tuition scholarship. Ms. Inirio currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA.

Black Teaching Artist-In-Residence 2021

Anita Levels is a vocal artist, voice influencer, songwriter, and producer who began singing at the age of 3 years old in Frankfurt, West Germany. Texas-born, being a preacher’s kid, and a member of a musical family from New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A, singing, and performance are in her blood.

Anita’s powerhouse, soulful, but lark-like vocals have graced national and international audiences. She has performed in London, England, has toured the country of Holland with world-renowned ethnomusicologist, Dr. Portia Maultsby,  was featured in the NFL’s Super Bowl 50 commemorative commercial, has appeared in the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, and has performed in many, many other private, public and virtual events.

Ms. Levels has a plethora of original music on all streaming music platforms and enjoys sharing the history and influence of Black American music on the world and American culture.

Anita Levels, MS, has a Master’s Degree in Training and Development from Carlow University (Pittsburgh, PA, USA) and believes that instrumentation and the voice have the innate ability to vibrate truth, healing, and thought.  Anita’s more recent venture is, Corn and Potatoes Are Good For You, a podcast exploring the soul’s journey through all things spiritual and sensual.

Black Teaching Artist-In-Residence 2020

Lyn Starr is a young multi-talented performing artist from Pittsburgh, PA. He began his journey in music at 10 years old when he started singing jazz at the Afro-American Music Institute in Homewood and then moved toward classical music once he started to attend Rogers CAPA Middle School. At about 15, inspired by the multifaceted career of Donald Glover, Lyn fell in love with being a rapper. He started creating original songs, and at 17 he started his own music label, High Five Productions because he wanted a platform to perform and release his music. All the while, he continued to hone his vocal skills by completing his primary schooling at CAPA High school and attending Seton Hill University as a vocal performance major, graduating in 2018. His diverse background has provided a platform to perform operas, musicals, solo recitals, solo Hip Hop shows, and more. As we fast forward to 2020, he shifted his focus towards R&B music. Lyn learned that his years as a rapper have improved his writing abilities and his classical training has polished his voice. With that, he’s found that R&B music flows easily to him and he’s excited to continue his musical journey. Lyn has released five mixtapes and five EPs to date, along with several singles and other music projects. Tierra, released in December 2020, is his most recent release. Lyn is the CEO and founder of High Five Productions LLC; an entertainment company dedicated to providing quality art for the world.

Aside from performing, Lyn is also an active teaching artist. His lessons include Hip Hop writing workshops, voice lessons, music theory, music production, marketing & branding, and so much more. At the moment, Lyn is producing an opera workshop called, Little Opera. The program will be facilitated by local teaching artist and opera singer Candace Burgess and will explore the original Hip-hop Opera of Rumpelstiltskin by Lyn Starr through storytelling, creative play, singing, & other exciting musical activities.

Currently, Lyn lives in Los Angeles, California, where he is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Music Industry at the University of Southern California. He is also continuing to expand his career and outreach by performing in a variety of shows in Los Angeles, San Diego, and even Las Vegas. With this expansion into new markets, Lyn has his eyes set on an East Coast tour within the next year.


Lyn Starr

Black Teaching Artist-In-Residence 2020

Prize-winning flutist Dr. Brittany Trotter leads a diverse career as an educator, soloist, and collaborator. She joined the faculty of University of the Pacific’s Conservatory of Music in Stockton, CA, in the fall of 2021. Trotter previously served on the faculties of Dickinson College, West Virginia Wesleyan College, and Duquesne University. She is program chair of the Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention, competition coordinator for the NFA’s Junior Soloist Competition, and serves on the development committee of the Umoja Flute Institute, NFA’s career and artistic development committee, and publicity chair for the Flute New Music Consortium.

Trotter has been awarded first prize in numerous national and regional competitions including the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition in woodwinds in the states of West Virginia (2017, 2016), Wyoming (2015, 2014), and Mississippi (2009). She has also competed as a semi-finalist in the 2017 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Trotter has performed in the flute sections of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, and Colour of Music Festival Orchestra, among others. Equally versed in post-classical contemporary and experimental music as well as electro-acoustic music and interdisciplinary works, she has performed and premiered new works with Pittsburgh-based new music ensemble, Alia Musica.

Trotter regularly performs, teaches, and serves as a guest lecturer throughout the United States. Recent appearances include Virginia Tech University, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Southwestern Oklahoma University, and Missouri Southern State University. Trotter has performed and presented at numerous regional and national flute conventions such as the Kentucky Flute Fair, Florida Flute Association Convention, Rochester Flute Fair, Mid-Atlantic flute convention, and the National Flute Association Convention where she was a featured soloist in the 2020 virtual summer series celebration concert series.

Recipient of the NFA’s 2020 Graduate Research Competition for her dissertation entitled, Examining Music Hybridity and Cultural Influences in Valerie Coleman’s Wish Sonatine and Fanmi Imen, Trotter continues to actively study the merging of western classical music, diverse culture, and modern popular music. She recently presented a lecture-recital entitled “Flute & Hip Hop” as part of her artist-in-residence with Unisound of Pittsburgh. Her passion for engaging with underrepresented communities through classical music has led her to collaborate with several local nonprofits. She has served as the program coordinator for the Guardian of Sound’s Hip Hop Orchestra Summer Music Camp and as a teaching artist for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Arts Education.

A native of Laurel, Mississippi, Dr. Trotter has received degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi (BM, BME), University of Wyoming (M.M.), and West Virginia University (DMA, Certificate of University Teaching). Her primary teachers include Danilo Mezzadri, Nicole Riner, and Nina Assimakopoulous.



These selected artists will begin their term with UniSound starting on October 1, 2022, and end on June 30, 2023, for a period of nine months. In addition to engaging with UniSound and its partners throughout the residency, the BTARs will present a culminating project (i.e. workshop, recital, talk, etc.) of their choosing at the end of the residency period.

Program Alignment with Organization Mission and Goals

The BTAR program will allow the selected Black teaching artist to build mutually beneficial relationships with UniSound members and partners that will:

  • Cultivate a cadre of new culturally and musically diverse collaborations among teaching artists, students, and youth music organizations throughout the Greater Pittsburgh region
  • Introduce disparate approaches to repertoire development and musical pedagogy beyond the traditional Eurocentric canon to UniSound members and partners
  • Provide professional development support and additional income-generating
    opportunities for traditionally under-supported Black teaching artists in the Greater Pittsburgh region
  • Expose the Black teaching artist’s current student roster to a larger pool of music education and performance opportunities. Therefore, demonstrating UniSound’s commitment to making music programming more equitable and accessible to families and youth throughout the Greater Pittsburgh region

Each BTAR will receive a monthly stipend of $1,000 for their participation in the program. Additionally, the BTAR will receive opportunities for professional mentorship, networking, and up to $2,000 in additional resources for developing their artistic practice and career. There will also be opportunities to work with local schools and organizations which will pay $200 per event (with a limit of five events per BTAR).

To apply to be our next BTAR, click here! The application deadline is August 5, 2022, at 11:59 PM. If you have any questions about the program or how to apply, please contact us at

New Sun Rising and the Arts l Equity l Reimagined Fund

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support