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Voice Policy

All voice majors and minors receiving private voice lessons are required to present a voice jury. All others are at the discretion of the teacher. The jury panel is composed of no fewer than three faculty members in the vocal area, but may include all applied voice teachers as well as the choral and opera directors. The student will choose his/her first selection. All subsequent selections are chosen by the jury.

The jury is judged and graded as a performance by each faculty member present and will account for thirty percent (30%) of the final grade in Music 127, 310, or 400. In addition, the jury will award a half-level each semester if the student has made satisfactory progress. The student is automatically below level if this level increase is not awarded. The deficiency must be made up during the next semester of study. If, after a second semester, satisfactory progress is not seen, the student will be placed on probation. At that time, the student will be given one more semester to make up the deficiency before being suspended from the curriculum. In addition, the faculty will write out comments concerning each student’s performance which will then be given to the students along with their jury sheet.

Due to the many divergent parameters (vocal technique, musicianship, diction, language ability, presentation, interpretation, repertoire, etc.) by which we judge a singer, establishing clear guidelines is very difficult. By Level 5 the vocal faculty expect the student to be able to produce a sound which is consistent and in tune throughout the respective ranges. The level of musicianship and repertoire at this level is limited. English is the normal language but most will have some study in Italian.

The Music Education major must achieve a Level 7 at which time the vocal faculty expect to see exhibited a real ability as a solo performer. In addition, the Music Education major must be capable of utilizing his/her voice appropriately to give good demonstrations and to serve as a role model for other students. Also, the singer should have been exposed to an appropriate quantity of repertoire and be able to sing in Italian, German and French. Experience in choral singing and the teaching of vocal technique within the choral setting is required.

The Applied voice major must achieve a Level 10. The singer must exhibit a clear ability and stamina to perform as a soloist in complete recitals. Knowledge of the repertoire from all periods and styles must be apparent. Along with musicianship and interpretive abilities, the singer should have achieved a certain level of proficiency in all of the standard performing languages, which include Italian, German and French. Exposure to other languages in addition to these is also beneficial. Experience in choral singing and in operatic performances is essential.

The student of both the Masters of Music degree and the DMA degree must begin to clearly exhibit professional levels of performance. Along with extensive experience in singing recitals, the student must also have experience singing complete roles in opera and oratorio performances, as well as other mediums including chamber music or symphonic repertoire. The student should also be exposed to repertoire utilizing extended vocal techniques, and proficiencies in all of the performing languages must be strong. Knowledge of repertoire in all vocal mediums should be extensive.