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Voice Division Chair: Philip Christiansen

Ohio University's voice division provides comprehensive vocal training through private studio instruction, studio classes, courses in lyric diction, pedagogy, and song literature. Master classes by visiting artists, performance laboratory opportunities, and solo competitions are an integral part of the curriculum. Stage training and experience is offered through Opera Theater, both in workshop classes as well as main-stage productions and scenes programs. The voice and opera theater faculty are uniquely qualified, through national and international experience, to train talented singers in the art and craft or opera performance. The proximity of Athens to urban centers (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Pittsburgh) allows the students to take advantage of the best possibilities those centers offer, yet provide the student with an environment conducive to hard work and learning, free of distractions other than the beauty of the surrounding countryside.

Voice Faculty

Philip Christiansen
Assistant Professor
Director of Opera & Musical Theater

Kelly Burns
Assistant Professor of Voice

Debra Rentz
Assistant Professor

Bill Kloppenburg

Voice Audition Requirements: Undergraduate

BM-Voice Performance: Prepare three memorized selections, one of which must be from Italian, German, or French repertory.

All other undergraduate degrees(music therapy, choral music education, composition, BA): Perform two memorized selections.

Advanced solos from State Solo and Ensemble lists are strongly recommended for all three of the above categories. 

All applicants will be tested for melodic and rhythmic sight reading during the audition.

Vocal Audition Fee

We strongly believe that the ideal circumstances for a student’s audition is with an accompanist with whom he or she has worked to develop a collaborative result. However, should you choose to use a provided accompanist we can arrange this (including a 15 minute rehearsal) for the fee of $10. Should you choose this option please complete the payment process via this link:

For additional information regarding voice division audition requirement, please contact:

Dr. Philip Christiansen

Voice Division Coordinator

Voice Audition Information: Graduate

Auditions are required of all new graduate students who wish to declare a major in music performance and music therapy. The audition process also serves to determine admission and assistantship consideration.  

You may contact the School of Music by email or telephone (740-593-4244) to set up an audition. If making your request by email, please indicate audition dates in order of preference. If none of the listed audition dates are possible, please call the School of Music to determine whether the division faculty will be able to accommodate a different audition date for you.  

After completing graduate school application forms, submitting transcripts of baccalaureate studies, and providing three (3) letters of recommendation, the master of music applicant will contact the chair of the voice division to determine an audition date at the School of Music in Athens. Auditions can be scheduled at any time during the regular academic year (September through May). If a live audition in Athens is not possible, a videotaped performance of the audition repertoire may be submitted for review by the voice division faculty.   

Master of Music: Vocal Performance

Audition Repertory 

  • The applicant will perform five (5) selections chosen from the following periods:
    • An opera or oratorio aria in Italian from the baroque, classical, or romantic period
    • A German lied from the early/middle/late romantic, or early modern period
    • A French mélodie from the romantic or early modern period
    • An art song or aria in English composed after 1900 from the American or British repertory
    • A fifth selection
      • Can be chosen from opera or song repertory in Italian, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Scandinavian, or middle European languages any period
  • The duration of the program should be a minimum of 15 minutes and no more than 30 minutes.
Information Concerning Graduate Assistantships
  • Students must commit to a specified number of hours per week of service to the school of music, which can be in the following areas: classroom teaching; applied music (private voice lessons); classroom assistant to the major professor; assistant to the opera director (stage management, properties management) assignments by the chair of the voice division or director of the School of Music to special research projects; ushering/collection of performance attendance records at school of music concerts, or other duties determined by the director.  
  • Students assigned to teaching responsibilities must demonstrate proficiency in English (writing and speaking) that will support their ability to teach classroom and applied music courses effectively. Assistantships are offered for the two-year period of study and are subject to renewal at the end of the first year, based on positive evaluation of the student’s performance as a graduate assistant.
For additional information please contact:

Graduate Chair