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Kayla Fuentes

Leaders of Color Fellowship

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Recipient Information


Meridian, Mississippi

Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Leaders of Color Fellowship

Grant Amount


Director of Education and Community Engagement, Meridian Symphony Orchestra

Kayla Fuentes was born in Comayaguela, Honduras but currently resides in Meridian, Mississippi. She is a mezzo-soprano, vocal pedagogue, and quirky theater teacher from Starkville, Mississippi, where her passion for music and singing found its roots. She joins the Meridian Symphony Orchestra as the director of education and community engagement as she returns for her “reprise” role in Mississippi from a nine-year stint in NYC. She graduated with a bachelor of music degree from Mississippi College (2014) under the guidance of Meridian native, Dr. Kristen Johnson-Gunn. She then went on to graduate from Manhattan School of Music with a master of music in classical vocal performance (2016), under the tutelage of Mignon Dunn. While in New York, Fuentes found herself called to inspire, motivate, and entertain. Upon graduation, she invested her musical talent and passion back into the community while working for Opera America’s outreach program as their Education Assistant. She taught voice and piano privately and at Larchmont Music Academy for five years working with students of all ages. She thrived as an acting coach, and voice instructor for Manhattan School of Music summer program for six years and had the honor of performing on many great stages in NYC. She has joyfully spent the majority of her nine years in New York combining performance, educational outreach, and diversity to re-energize the allure of the musical arts. Fuentes looks forward to continuing her passion for education, performing, and music at MSA. She wishes to excite young minds, pique the interest of the musical weary, and maintain a current and diverse future audience of music appreciators for years to come.