Robert McPherson ’91 has been singing since he was a very young boy. “I was a preacher’s kid. I grew up singing gospel,” he says.

Decades have passed since he performed his first solo, but McPherson’s passion for music is as strong as it ever was. Instead of singing traditional gospel tunes, he’s an accomplished operatic tenor. And even though the coronavirus has shuttered performance venues across the country, McPherson is still singing for his public, online.

Despite his early talent, McPherson didn’t harbor dreams of becoming a professional musician. That changed when he got to college. His teachers at University of Puget Sound immediately noticed his voice, and they encouraged him to study opera. (He lists Tom Goleeke, Bill Eddy, and William Mouat as among the faculty members who influenced him the most.) More than 25 years later, McPherson makes a good living singing with opera companies around the country.