Jon Harney, associate professor of music, received his Bachelor of Music degree in music education from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, where he studied under Weston Noble, and Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in vocal performance from the University of Minnesota where he studied with Clifton Ware. As a tenor soloist, he has sung more than twenty-five principal and supporting roles in opera, operetta, and major works with orchestra and chorus. While active with the University of Minnesota opera theater, he appeared as The Sailor in Dido and Aeneas, Fenton in Falstaff, Nemorino in The Elixir of Love, Ferrando in Cosi Fan tutte and Junki in the US premier of Rautavaara's Aleksis Kivi. Other roles in the midwest included Dr. Caius in Falstaff and Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Pine Mountain Music Festival, Fenton in The Merry Wives of Windsor with the Dorian Opera Theatre and Frederick in a touring production of The Pirates of Penzance with the Madison-based Opera for the Young. He earned an honorable mention award in the 1998 Minnesota District Metropolitan Opera Auditions. Performances in Montana have included the roles of Edmondo in Manon Lescaut and Remendado in Carmen with the Intermountain Opera as well as Bach's Magnificat and Handel's Messiah with the Bozeman Symphony, Mozart's Vespers with the Butte Symphony and Mozart's Requiem with the Great Falls Symphony.
Harney has served as chorus master for the Intermountain Opera since 2002, preparing the choruses for productions of L'elisir d'amore, Aida, Lucia di Lammermoor, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, The Pirates of Penzance, Manon Lescaut, The Magic Flute, Carmen, La Boheme and The Ballad of Baby Doe, II Trovatore, II Barbiere di Siviglia, Madama Butterfly, Roméo et Juliette,La Traviata, La Cenerentola, HMS Pinafore and Suor Angelica
Prior to coming to MSU-Bozeman, Harney was on the voice faculty of Macalester College and directed high school choirs in the North St. Paul school district. In 2001, Dr. Harney joined the MSU-Bozeman music faculty where he teaches studio voice lessons, opera scenes class and directs the University Chorus. In 2002, he was selected as one of twelve voice teachers nationwide to participate in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Intern Program working under master teacher Elaine Bonazzi. He served as president of the Montana Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing from 2007-2009. In summer 2008, Harney was selected to sing in the Westminster Choir College Chamber Choir in residence in Florence, Italy, singing under the direction of Joe Miller and in July 2010 sang under the direction of Dale Warland as part of the Festival Chorale at the Minnesota Beethoven Festival. In 2011, Dr. Harney assumed the post of chorus director of the Bozeman Symphonic Choir.
His singers have gone on to several graduate voice programs including the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, the Manhattan School of Music and the University of Oregon and have been involved in summer opera programs including Oberlin in Italy, the University of Miami Frost School of Music in Salzburg program and the Johanna Meier Opera Institute.
Dr. Harney continues to be active as a vocal and choral adjudicator and master class clinician.