Simon Estes honored with prestigious Carver Medal

Simon Estes honored with prestigious Carver Medal

Famed opera singer Simon Estes delivered the annual Carver Lecture on Thursday, February 26.

Estes also received the Carver medal, named after former Simpson student George Washington Carver.

Estes said in an interview with the Simpsonian that it was an honor he was proud to accept.

“It was stimulating in that it made me become aware that in life we have many mentors, but even though his (George Washington Carver’s) physical presence as a human being is no longer here, he is and was a mentor to me.”

Estes also spoke about the challenges he faced early in his career and the strength it took to overcome them.

“My whole life, I’ve never said that I can’t do it,” he said. “There’s always a solution. There were tremendous obstacles that I had to confront even though I am a very strong person. You can’t let those obstacles stop you from going after and fulfilling your goals and your dreams.”

Throughout his career, Estes saw a great deal of success. One of his greatest he said, was forming a high school in Capetown, South Africa.

After visiting South Africa and witnessing the conditions of the schools and the education students were receiving, Estes decided to build a school of his own.

Estes has served as an inspiration to students at Simpson and throughout the world of music.

“He made me realize, through the work he’s done, how far opera can really take you,” sophomore music major Sarah Silk said. “He’s sung all over the world, in countries I didn’t even know had opera.”

Estes also discussed how singing has provided him with opportunities many could never dream of.

“Music has been the catalyst that started all this,” Estes said. “Look, I went to Russia when we still had the Cold War going on. I went to east Berlin from west Berlin when the wall was still across it. Music is the national language of the world. Music transcends all barriers.”