Dr. Mary Ella Collins

December 28, 1933September 23, 2020

Mary Ella Collins, an opera singer, piano and voice instructor, humanitarian, advocate for the arts, and entrepreneur, joined the heavenly choir on September 23, 2020 in Dallas. She was born December 28, 1933 in Hamilton, Texas to the late Willis and Retha Lester Collins. She dedicated her life to promoting and furthering the careers of musicians and educating others on the importance of music in their lives.

Dr. Collins holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas (Higher Education Administration; Music Teaching Field), Master of Music from UNT, graduate study in Music Therapy, and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Illinois.

The following is taken from her website, with the permission of her family:

"In 1985 Dr. Collins established an Artist Management business, Mary Ella Collins and Associates. MECA represented a select roster of classical singers, conductors, and directors, nationally and abroad. Artists on the roster have achieved notoriety including a bass that has sung featured roles in nine successive full seasons with the Metropolitan Opera, and artists in leading roles with major companies for operas and orchestras worldwide. She continues giving business services, guidance, and inspiration to empower performers in developing their careers.

Her leadership abilities as a visionary are combined with analytic and inductive reasoning, abstract thinking, problem solving, and creative abilities. She is sought for consultations by organizations and individuals from varied professions for her keen insights and these qualities. Her engagements include workshops, seminars, and adjudication of music performances. Dr. Collins holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas (Higher Education Administration; Music Teaching Field), Master of Music from UNT, graduate study in Music Therapy, and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Illinois.

Dr. Collins’ many humanitarian experiences range from training in music therapy, medical and dental assistance, to serving on boards of medical societies. She serves on Guilds and Boards of many Arts Nonprofits, including The Dallas Opera (Guild Chair of Community Outreach), Dallas Symphony, Dallas Theatre Center, and Musical Angels (Board Consultant). And reaches out to under-served communities. Her integrity, enthusiasm, and energy are the foundation of all her activities and service."

Dr. Collins is survived by 4 daughters: Macie Breed, Lindsey Tootle, Katina Antahades and husband, Eddy Tan, and Tasia Antahades; Sister: Macie Zorn and her husband, John; Brother: Raymond Collins; Grandchildren: Eric Fairfax, Joshua Hays and Katy Tootle, along with friends, clients and professional colleagues around the world.

Due to Covid concerns, her funeral services will be private, however, you are invited to share memories on this site.


  • Visitation

    Monday, September 28, 2020

  • Graveside Service

    Monday, September 28, 2020


Dr. Mary Ella Collins

have a memory or condolence to add?

Thomas Hawkins

September 30, 2020

Dear Mary Ella,
I’m so fortunate to have known you. You were my college advisor, professor, conductor of operas that I sang in. After college you through your agency provided opportunities for me to perform. I loved seeing your ever present smile backstage after performances at the Dallas Opera. Thank you for your advice, your humor, and kindness. God’s eternal peace for you, and to your family. -Thom Hawkins

Lisa Huffaker

September 27, 2020

Mary Ella was my voice teacher, mentor, and friend. Her passion for the connective power of music inspired me and many others. When she sent us out into the world to sing for people, it was not only to bring beauty into the world, but to bring healing and (in her words) "soul-nourishing power" to anyone who heard the music. She not only believed in this possibility, she believed we were capable of creating it. During the years of my earliest singing life, she was a teacher who saw not only who I was, but who I was trying to become. This empowered me more than I can say. I am also grateful to have witnessed her complexity and the intense passion of her quest to always live on the cutting edge of discovery. Whatever she did, she did with color and verve. She was driven by an insatiable desire to explore the purpose of existence. Her sense of wonder and her love of beauty mattered even more to her than being understood. Something gleamed before her, and whether or not others saw it, she had to follow that gleam. I am grateful to have witnessed that, and grateful for the ways she helped me grow. I send my deepest condolences to her family, and greetings to fellow musicians and creatives who called her mentor and friend. She believed we could make the world better. Let's keep trying.

Winifred Council

September 26, 2020

Mary Ella was more than my voice teacher and agent. She was like an older sister to me. We were very close and I am heartbroken that she has been deteriorating over the past several years. My prayers for the family. Mary Ella will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

margaret barnes

September 26, 2020

Rip, MaryElla. I loved you as a teacher and music colleague. You taught me many things and were a great example and mentor.


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