Grace Moore, an American operatic soprano and actress in musical theatre and film, was nicknamed the "Tennessee Nightingale." Her films popularized opera by bringing it to a larger audience.
She was born in 1898 in Cocke County and grew up in the town of Jellico, in Campbell County. She had a wonderful singing voice and made a name for herself on the New York stage. In the 1930s, she was a film star as well, starring in many movies, including a musical called One Night of Love.
Moore studied at Ward-Belmont College (now Belmont University) in Nashville prior to pursuing her musical training. She starred in Jerome Kern's Hitchy-Koo on Broadway, and appeared in Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues. After training in France, Moore made her operatic debut at the Met in New York City, singing the role of Mimi in Puccini's La Boheme. That was the beginning of 16 seasons with the Metropolitan Opera for Moore. In 1937, she was commissioned as a colonel (an honorary position) on the staff of the governor of Tennessee, and was also made a life member of the Tennessee State Society of Washington, D.C.
The Grace Moore Scholarship at the University of Tennessee School of Music is for professional studies in the Bachelor of Music degree program in voice. The award includes a scholarship towards four years of study at the University of Tennessee and voice lessons with the professional artist faculty.