Every year, between 20 and 30 gifted singers enter degree programs in the Conservatory of Music. These students receive instruction from faculty members with impressive performance and academic attainments, and take courses on technique, performance readiness, musicianship, musical style, and linguistic accuracy.
All students take weekly private lessons with a major teacher and participate in studio classes. Voice studies students also have a wealth of opportunities to perform with the varied student and professional ensembles, choirs, a cappella groups, and other musical troupes that give recitals and concerts during the academic year.
Students in the voice department take courses in music theory and aural skills each semester until all requirements are met. You will learn the necessary vocal and musicianship techniques to enhance your performance readiness, style, presentation, and speech. Some students who wish to coach recital material or to explore the French and German Art Song repertoire:
Other performance opportunities include oratorio, lieder, art song, contemporary and early music literatures, and choral music. You might consider joining such vocal music ensembles as the Oberlin College Choir, the Musical Union, and the Collegium Musicum. Voice students also appear regularly in student recitals and present major recitals during their junior and senior years.
Our voice students consistently place in the finals and semifinals in Metropolitan Opera regional and district auditions. They frequently win civic symphony awards and national competitions. Many of our voice students are selected each year to participate in such apprenticeship programs as those sponsored by the Houston, Santa Fe, Minnesota, Michigan, Merola, Zurich, and Metropolitan operas. The conservatory also sponsors brief residencies and master classes, giving students opportunities to work closely with noted musicians. Recent guests have included Derek Lee Ragin '80, Reri Grist, Samuel Ramey, Denyce Graves ’85, and Marilyn Horne.
Students can record, play back, and analyze their vocal performances using sophisticated audio and video equipment in the Otto B. Schoepfle Vocal Arts Laboratory, the first laboratory of its kind to be incorporated into a program of vocal instruction in the United States. Named for a long-time supporter of the conservatory, this laboratory features high-tech tools for examination of both the function and the timbre of the artistic singing voice.