Music Performance - Voice
Are graduate studies available for this program? No
Can you major in this program? Yes
Can you minor in this program? No
Emphasis within the major: classical vocal technique and artistry, live performance experiences in opera, recital, chamber and choral works
Popular second majors: music education, music with an outside field
All roles in Stetson University operas and musicals are sung by undergraduates.
This fact sheet is also available as a PDF.
Students interested in preparing for a professional singing career or for graduate study in vocal music should consider a vocal performance major at Stetson University.
This degree offers students a solid foundation in vocal technique, performance, repertoire, pedagogy and musicianship. Performance majors perform principal roles in fully staged productions of operas and musicals. All roles in Stetson University operas and musicals are sung by Stetson students. In addition, voice students will have the opportunity to sing with a variety of choral groups, including Concert Choir, Stetson Women's Chorale, Choral Union and Stetson Men.
The School of Music is the second largest purely undergraduate music program in the U.S., with a vocal department of about 80 students out of 220 music majors.
What makes the program distinctive?
The vocal performance program is one of the only undergraduate programs that offers its students the opportunity to perform in fully staged opera productions in the original language with orchestra.
We have an experienced voice faculty, with no faculty member having less than 10 years of college teaching experience. Each has a demonstrable record of producing singers capable of competing at the finest graduate schools and in the music profession. Our faculty has direct affiliations with distinguished summer vocal training programs in both the U.S. and Europe, (such as the Seagle Music Colony) to which our students have access through competitive auditions.
Academics and Research
Every student prepares a junior and senior recital with the guidance of their major professor.
Facilities and opportunities
Stetson University, through its Hollis Voice Laboratory, has been on the cutting edge of vocal pedagogy for the past 20 years. Voice analysis software allows voice students to receive immediate visual feedback. Through this technology students can more quickly and fully understand what their teacher is hearing. This technology is available to all voice students at Stetson University.
A number of the voice faculty has an interest and considerable training in the Alexander Technique. Some also have as much as 20 years of experience using computerized voice analysis equipment to enhance their voice teaching.
The major offers the opportunity to study multiple foreign languages including, Italian, French, German, Russian and Spanish. Guest master classes in dramatic interpretation, the music business and auditioning occur at various times during the school year.
Many students also have the chance to compete annually in state, regional and national competitions.
Preparation for graduate study
Students completing the performance degree are prepared to compete for graduate study at the most prestigious graduate music programs in the country, with recent graduates attending: Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Boston University, University of Michigan, Mannes School of Music, University of Maryland Opera Studio, and Royal College of Music-London.
Awards and Recognition
Faculty members are all performing artists with expertise in the field of vocal performance, and are active in opera, oratorio and recitals. They include:
- Mary Jane Christeson; M.M., University of Alabama; mezzo soprano
- Russell Alan Franks, M.M., University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music; bass/baritone, opera
- Andrew L. Larson, D.M.A., University of Illinois; tenor; conductor, Concert Choir, Stetson Women's Chorale
- Lloyd D. Linney, D.M., Florida State University; soprano
- Craig W. Maddox; D.M. Florida State University; opera directing; chair of Voice; baritone
Students are encouraged to take part in the Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience (S.U.R.E.). Each year undergraduate scholars are selected in a university-wide competition for grants to work with a faculty mentor on a summer research project.
Undergraduate awards and honors
Our students have won major vocal competitions, such as the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, National Opera Association Vocal Competition, Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition and Mobile Opera Vocal Competition. The School of Music awards several awards for undergraduates, including the Presser Scholarship, membership opportunities in Pi Kappa Lambda, and special scholarships based on achievement and performance during the undergraduate career.
Beyond the Classroom
Opera performance opportunities are available to students through Stetson's association with Bulgaria's Varna Opera Academy. There are also audition opportunities for our students through the Seagle Music Colony. (auditions are hosted annually by Stetson University.).
Stetson graduates are well-prepared for entrance into the graduate voice programs at the best schools of music and conservatories in the country. They also have received training in conducting, keyboard and vocal pedagogy to help them prepare for private voice teaching and jobs in church music. Some of Stetson University's most advanced students are prepared to go directly into the opera and musical theater world.
Our graduates perform with the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Knoxville Opera, St. Louis Opera, Central City Opera, Utah Symphony Opera, Tanglewood Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Des Moines Opera, BBC Radio Orchestra, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Boston Symphony, Atlanta Symphony and others.