Lee News

Deaton Publishes Memoir

Lee University’s Tony Deaton recently published his newest book, “Ain’t Had So Much Fun Since Uncle Quentin Died.”

The book, set in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Oconee Country, South Carolina, shares Deaton’s journey from humble beginnings with a strict father, rigid church teachings, and racial prejudice, to a life of freedom, happiness, and personal fulfillment.

Deaton Publishes Book

“Although trained in opera with a wealth of performance experience, I guess I’m still a country boy at heart with deep roots in southern rural culture,” said Deaton.

Deaton, an associate professor of vocal music at Lee, made his New York opera debut at The International Festival of the Arts in the title role of Harrison Birtwistle’s avant–garde opera, “Punch and Judy.” He has performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in Charleston, South Carolina, and with symphony orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States.

He received a Master of Music in vocal performance from The University of Tennessee, where he studied with Edward Zambara, and he earned his Bachelor of Arts in music from Lee College (now Lee University), where he was a voice student of Jim Burns.

Deaton has distinguished himself as an exceptional teacher. Many of his students have placed first in state and regional vocal competitions including National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Tennessee Music Teacher’s Association (TMTA) and the prestigious Metropolitan Opera Auditions. Deaton also conducts masterclasses, serves as a voice adjudicator, and continues an active performance schedule.

He is married to Suzy Venable Deaton, originally of Knoxville, and is the proud grandfather of grandsons, Spencer and Andy.

“Ain’t Had So Much Fun Since Uncle Quentin Died” is available for purchase on Amazon.com.

For more information about the book, email Deaton at tdeaton@leeuniversity.edu or call (423) 614-8261.
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