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Ohio University > Fine Arts > Music > Academics > Areas > Voice and Opera

Voice and Opera

Ohio University’s voice division provides comprehensive vocal training through private studio instruction, solo voice recitals, mainstage lyric theater productions (opera, operetta, and musical theater), opera theater workshop, voice master classes by renowned guest artists, studio classes, voice performance labs, repertoire performance seminars, and courses in lyric diction, vocal pedagogy, song literature, and opera literature.

The voice and opera theater faculty bring national and international performance experience to the voice studios to train our voice students in the art and craft of classical singing, and the faculty guides OU voice students along the path to their educational and/or professional goals as future performers, educators, music therapists, and entrepreneurs.

Ohio University is located along the Hocking River in beautiful Athens, Ohio. Our proximity to Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Pittsburgh allows students to take advantage of the best possibilities these urban centers offer, all while providing an educational environment conducive to hard work and learning.

 

VOICE AUDITIONS

All undergraduate (freshmen or transfers) and graduate applicants should submit an application for admission to Ohio University and an application for admission to the School of Music. All applicants are also required to complete an audition on the instrument of their choice with the appropriate applied faculty. These auditions will also be used as the basis for talent-based scholarship (undergraduates) or assistantship (graduate) consideration.

 

 

Undergraduate Applicants

Undergraduate applicants whose primary instrument is voice must successfully complete an undergraduate audition before the voice and choral faculty. Applicants should request a vocal audition on one of our four published Audition Dates in January and February, 2015. Please contact Barbara Palmer at palmerba@ohio.edu or (740) 593-4244 to request an audition date.

The following important information applies to all undergraduate voice auditions.

Undergraduate Repertoire Requirements:

Performance Applicants: Perform 3 classical songs from memory. At least one of your selections should be in a foreign language (i.e. Italian, German, French), and one should be in English. Your third song can be a musical theater song. No operatic arias, please.

Choral Music Education, Music Therapy, Composition, and Bachelor of Arts applicants: Perform 2 classical songs from memory. One of your songs may be a musical theater song. No operatic arias, please. 

Advanced solos from State Solo and Ensemble lists are strongly recommended as appropriate repertoire for the undergraduate voice audition. Click here for a list of Ohio’s Solo and Ensemble list.

Sight Reading Requirements:

Applicants auditioning for all degree programs 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 a pianist with whom the applicant has worked. However, OU School of Music can arrange for a pianist (including a 15 minute rehearsal) for a fee of $10. If you choose this option, please complete the payment process via the following link: http://commerce.cashnet.com/ohiomusicad. This fee must be paid through this website; applicants who do not pay this fee are assumed to be providing their own pianists.

If you have questions about the appropriateness of your audition repertoire or the application/voice audition process, please contact Prof. Debra Rentz at rentz@ohio.edu.

 

 

Graduate Applicants in Voice

Graduate applicants in vocal performance and/or pedagogy must successfully complete a graduate voice audition before the voice faculty. All applicants should request a vocal audition on one of our four published Audition Dates in January and February, 2015. Please contact Barbara Palmer at palmerba@ohio.edu or (740) 593-4244 to request an audition date.

The following important information applies to all undergraduate voice auditions.

Graduate Repertoire Requirements:

  1. One operatic aria in its original language and key.
  2. One German Lied or French mélodie from the romantic or early modern period.
  3. One English-language art song composed after 1900.
  4. One selection of the applicant’s choice. This selection can be an additional operatic aria in original language and key, an oratorio aria in original key (English translation acceptable), a nationalistic art song, spiritual, or a musical theater song.   

 

Selections should represent a variety of styles, should cover at least three languages, and should constitute approximately 12-15 minutes of music.

The voice faculty is eager to hear the applicant’s ability to sing healthily and beautifully with great attention to style, diction, interpretation, and stage presence. Please do not bring difficult pieces to the audition that are not suitable to your current vocal abilities or that are difficult for the pianist.

Sight Reading Requirements:

Applicants auditioning for all degree programs 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 a pianist with whom the applicant has worked. However, OU School of Music can arrange for a pianist (including a 15 minute rehearsal) for a fee of $10. If you choose this option, please complete the payment process via the following link: http://commerce.cashnet.com/ohiomusicad. This fee must be paid through this website; applicants who do not pay this fee are assumed to be providing their own pianists.

If you have questions about the appropriateness of your audition repertoire or the application/voice audition process, please contact Prof. Debra Rentz at rentz@ohio.edu.

 

 

Graduate Applicants in Music Therapy (Vocal Emphasis)

Graduate applicants in music therapy with a vocal emphasis must successfully complete a graduate voice audition before the voice faculty. At this audition, the voice faculty will determine an admissions decision and/or require additional voice study during the graduate program (if needed). All applicants should request a vocal audition on one of our four published Audition Dates in January and February, 2015. Please contact Barbara Palmer at palmerba@ohio.edu or (740) 593-4244 to request an audition date.

Audition repertoire will be the same as “Graduate Repertoire Requirements” above. Please contact Prof. Kamile Geist, head of music therapy, at geistk@ohio.edu with questions regarding the requirements for admission into the music therapy program.

 

 

Graduate Assistantship Information

Students awarded a graduate assistantship from the Voice Division must commit to a specified number of hours per week of service to the School of Music and/or Voice Division. Service can be in the following areas:

  • Applied Voice (Private Lessons) Teaching
  • Classroom Teaching
  • Classroom Assistant
  • Opera Theater Assistant
  • Administrative/clerical duties
  • Ushering/collection of performance attendance records at School of Music events.
  • Other assignments by the chair of the Voice Division or the Director of the School of Music

 

Students assigned to teaching responsibilities must demonstrate proficiency in English (written and spoken) 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 and academic requirements.

For additional information please contact Dr. Richard Wetzel, Chair of Graduate Studies in Music, at gradmusic@ohio.edu.   

 

Kelly W. Burns

Assistant Professor of Voice

Debra Rentz

Assistant Professor of Voice