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  • BM Music Performance - Voice Emphasis

    The Vocal Performance degree at Utah State University provides a robust and comprehensive educational foundation for students wishing to learn artful and healthy techniques of singing in both classical and musical theatre styles. This degree track prepares students for continued graduate study or immediate entrance into the professional world as a voice teacher or performer. USU vocal performance majors receive unparalleled performance opportunities in the undergraduate-only program ranging from summer internships with Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, founded by Dr. Michael Ballam, Professor of Voice at Utah State, to close collaboration with the college’s Department of Theatre.

    In addition to private voice instruction from exceptional pedagogues, Voice Performance majors at Utah State receive innovative classroom instruction in vocal pedagogy, the languages of classical singing, repertoire, and close mentorship from an experienced and professional faculty as they work towards their goals in personal musical excellence. Annual productions of operas, musicals, and scenes programs provide all students with musical excellence. Annual productions of operas, musicals, and scenes programs provide all students with ample performance opportunities where the invaluable skills of acting and stagecraft are taught by guest directors.

    Faculty: 

     

    Errik Hood

    Assistant Professor

    Voice & Opera Area Head

    Director of Voice Instruction

     

    Michael Ballam

    Professor

    Opera

     

    Cindy Dewey

    Head, Department of Music

    Associate Professor

    Applied Voice Instruction

     

    Dallas Heaton

    Lecturer

    Opera Director

     

    Laurie Hart

    Faculty Associate

    Applied Voice Instruction

     

    Melissa Hamilton

    Faculty Associate

    Applied Voice Instruction

      

    Heather Honaker

    Faculty Associate

    Applied Voice Instruction

     

    Hayley Kirkland

    Faculty Associate

    Applied Voice Instruction (Jazz/Contemporary)

     

    Brianna Craw Krause

    Faculty Associate

    Applied Voice Instruction, Voice Techniques

     

    Max Moreno

    Faculty Associate

    Applied Voice Instruction

     

    Kimberly Muhlestein

    Faculty Associate

    Applied Voice Instruction

     

    Venecia Wilson

    Faculty Associate

    Applied Voice Instruction

     

     

     

    Voice Performance majors take a combination of core music classes to perfect general musicianship and emphasis courses that teach the specific skills singers need to master the art and technique of singing. Course highlights include a year-long study of vocal pedagogy that concludes in a guided practicum, a three-semester sequence of diction courses on the primary languages of singing, a two-semester sequence of vocal literature including recital programming, and multiple performance opportunities in the two required degree recitals, opera/musical productions, and the weekly masterclass and recital hour. The students’ training is also supplemented by frequent visiting master artists and guest performers/directors.

    The most advanced students have the option of being part of the scholarship-receiving Manon Caine Russell Opera Outreach Quartet, providing these promising students additional performance and leadership opportunities.

    Although students come from varying backgrounds with different levels of experience, those that have the most success as Voice Performance majors at Utah State are those that are motivated, dedicated, and involved. They exhibit a passion for communicating through song and typically have had some choral or solo vocal training before coming to college. Strong sight-singing and piano skills are also beneficial for all voice performance majors.

    4-YEAR DEGREE MAP:
    View the degree map online in the University Catalog
     

     

    In addition to applying for admission to the University, all candidates must audition to gain admission into the Department of Music.

     

    Candidates must prepare two selections, either:

    A) two art songs, or

    B) one art song and one aria

    One selection should be in a foreign language, if possible, and both should be memorized.

     

    As an option, the candidate may present one musical theatre piece in addition to the two required pieces mentioned above.

     

    An accompanist will be provided, but candidates may bring their own.

     

    In addition to the sung selections, the candidate’s sight-singing ability, aural acuity, and grasp of music theory will also be assessed through brief diagnostic exams on the day of the audition.

     

    No additional application or audition is required to be considered for a Vocal Talent Scholarship, although such awards will only be given to intended Voice Performance or Choral Education majors.

     

    Additional specific audition information, including this year’s audition dates, can be found here.

     

    USU Opera Theatre

    Utah State’s dramatic musical ensemble that produces annual fully-staged operas/musicals and scenes programs.

     

    USU Choirs

    Utah State hosts four different choirs that perform and record regularly throughout the region.

     

    Choral Scholars

    Utah State’s student-created and student-led small vocal ensemble.

     

    Additional information on choirs and vocal ensembles at USU is found on our Ensembles Page.

     

    Under the tutelage of experienced and distinguished faculty, graduates of Utah State University’s Vocal Performance program regularly continue on after graduation to achieve their goals, whether that be running a successful private studio or performing professionally on some of the nation’s most influential stages. Utah State Voice Performance majors have been MONC and NATS regional finalists in addition to receiving admission to some of the nation’s finest graduate programs.

     

    Notable faculty:

    Cindy Dewey, soprano, Music Department Head, Governor of NATS Cal-western Region

    Michael Ballam, tenor, Professor of Voice, Founding General Director of Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre

     

    Notable alumni:

    Tamara Mumford, critically-acclaimed mezzo soprano, has sung with the Metropolitan Opera, Dallas Opera, LA Philharmonic, Utah Symphony, and multiple festivals.

    Jamilyn Manning-White, soprano, has sung with Glimmerglass, Utah Festival Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, and the Broadway promotional cast of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.

    Mary-Jane Lee, soprano, currently part of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist program, past winner of Cecilia Bartoli scholarship.

    Anthony Eversole, baritone, emerging artist recently having performed with Ash Lawn Opera, the Castleton Festival, and Utah Festival Opera.

     

    Notable guest directors/composers/master teachers:

    Colin Baldy, director

    Dr. Robert Boury, composer

    Oren Brown, vocal pedagogue, professor at Julliard, multiple masterclasses at USU

    Stefan Espinosa, director, Utah Festival Conservatory supervisor, instructor of theatre at Idaho State

    Thomas Glenn, tenor and Grammy recipient 

    Lynn Helding, mezzo soprano, vocologist, professor at USC, associate editor of Journal of Singing

    Daniel Helfgot, director and author