Music Performance - Voice

If you are interested in preparing for a professional singing career, then be enriched, be enlightened and let your voice be heard through the vocal performance major at Stetson University.

This degree will provide you with a solid foundation in vocal technique, performance experience, knowledge of repertoire, vocal pedagogy and musicianship. Performance majors perform principal roles in fully staged productions of operas and musicals, and all roles in Stetson University operas and musicals are sung by Stetson students. You will also have the opportunity to sing with a variety of choral groups, including Concert Choir, Stetson Women's Chorale, Choral Union and Stetson Men.

Program Overview

  • Bachelor of Music

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 the orchestra. You will also have the unique opportunity to coach and work with our collaborative piano faculty and sing in ensembles conducted by our nationally and internationally recognized conductors.

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Program Benefits

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. 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, you can more quickly and fully understand what your teacher is hearing. This technology is available to all voice students at Stetson University.

Unlike many other music programs, you will study voice with professors - not graduate students - in all lessons, classes and ensembles. As a vocal performance major, you will present both a junior and senior recital guided by your major professor. You will have the opportunity to study and perform vocal chamber music on one of these recitals. This major offers the opportunity to study multiple foreign languages, including Italian, French and German, with additional instruction in the diction specific for professional singing in all three. You may choose to study Russian as well through our first-rate Russian Studies program, or Spanish if you prefer. Additionally, you will take courses in keyboard, aural training and music theory, career skills, conducting, and voice and/or song literature, all of which enhance your performance ability.

Students are encouraged to take part in the Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience. Each year undergraduate scholars are selected in a university-wide competition for grants to work with a faculty mentor on a summer research project. You may also apply for funding for international summer travel, study or research, available through Stetson World.

The program has an experienced voice faculty, with no faculty member having less than 10 years of college teaching and/or professional singing 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 and knowledge of distinguished summer vocal training programs in both the U.S. and Europe and will help you find a summer program that will take you to the next level of performance excellence. Faculty members are all performing artists with expertise in the field of vocal performance, and are active in opera, oratorio and recitals.


Faculty members are all performing artists with expertise in the field of vocal performance, and are active in opera, oratorio and recitals. They include:

  • Jane Christeson, M.M., University of Alabama; mezzo soprano
  • Karen Coker-Merritt, D.M., Florida State University
  • Russell Franks, M.M., University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music; bass/baritone, opera
  • Lloyd Linney, D.M., Florida State University; soprano
  • Craig Maddox, D.M., Florida State University; opera directing, Chair of Voice, baritone
  • Chadley Ballantyne, D.M.A., University of Illinois; bass-baritone

Career Significance

After completing the performance degree, you are prepared to compete for graduate study at the most prestigious graduate music programs in the country. Recent graduates are attending the 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 the Royal College of Music.

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.

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, LA Opera, Central City Opera, Utah Symphony Opera, Tanglewood Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Palm Beach Opera, Des Moines Opera, BBC Radio Orchestra, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Baltimore Opera, Beaumaris Festival, Boston Symphony, Atlanta Symphony and others.

Success Stories

Donovan Singletary recently finished the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera and Juilliard School, and he has sung professionally around the country in a variety of concert and opera roles.

Tai Oney is a very busy Stetson alumnus, performing nationally and internationally to critical acclaim, "He's clearly headed for fame." (Opera Today)

Kevin Romero has not even graduated yet, and he has been invited to perform for Placido Domingo and to perform with international superstar Joyce DiDonato. With Stetson faculty assistance, he juggles his busy professional performing career with the completion of his Stetson degree.