Krista Lang Blackwood

Artistic Director Dr. Krista Lang Blackwood brings a diversity of education and experience to her conducting that helps make Octarium one of the freshest vocal sounds in American choral music. Octarium’s philosophy is more one of chamber musicians than traditional choral singers, exemplifying the concept of “musical synergy,” and singing with such combined artistry that phrasing, breath, nuance, and dynamics all happen spontaneously. The eight singers become so connected that they think and sing as one, and the results are “breathless unity, polish and meticulously crafted balance” (Paul Horsley, Kansas City Star).

During a 25-year-career as a professional artist and arts administrator, Dr. Blackwood has built a reputation for her original approach to arts advocacy, her visionary programming and her high standard of professionalism. More recently, she has become a regular guest and contributor to radio and television programs that cover and promote the arts. She has received national attention for her use of social media to keep the arts relevant in our digital culture. 
As the Director of Cultural Arts for the Jewish Community Center of Kansas City, Dr. Blackwood demonstrates a collaborative approach to program-building, a high standard of quality and a cohesive vision for growth and expansion. Under her guidance, the White Theatre has increased its budget, grown its audience and raised its profile.
Before transitioning to her roles behind the scenes, Dr. Blackwood was a professional mezzo-soprano who toured internationally as a soloist and performed a wide range of musical genres from opera to musical theatre, choral music and oratorio. 
She graduated cum laude from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. She earned a Master’s degree in Voice, a Master’s degree in Musicology and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas.