Voice and Vocal Studies
The human voice, when singing, portrays and proclaims the discourse of poetry, revealing the meaning of our cultural existence, the richness and complexity of our mutual journey and its perpetual unfolding. Trained and articulate, the voice becomes an instrument of beauty that declares, divulges, and explains who we are and what it means to be human. Singing is thus the very opposite of concealment. It is instead, the act of communication transformed into art.
The Voice Studies Program at UNR is dedicated to musical excellence in the vocal arts, whether it be in performance or music education. There are several types of music degrees designed to prepare voice students for professional careers. The program's aim is high -- celebrated former graduates who have "made it to the Met" include mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajic, and soprano Evelyn de la Rosa -- but the program is also designed for musicians planning a teaching career, and for non-music majors who wish to expand their own musical talents.
Voice and Vocal Studies Faculty
- Katharine DeBoer, D.M.A. - Director, Vocal Studies; Associate Professor, Voice
- Paul Torkelson, D.M.A. - Director, Choral Activities, Voice
- Albert Rudolph Lee - Director, Nevada Chamber Opera, Voice
The voice faculty are all successful performing artists, with regional, national, and international venues to their credit. Dr. DeBoer has appeared at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico and is Artist-Faculty of the International Music Festival in Pitten, Austria. Mr. Aldrich is a veteran of regional theaters throughout New York and New England, including performances at Lincoln Center. Ms. Lee has been a featured guest artist in Taiwan, while Mr. Fay is noted for appearances with regional orchestras and opera.
Degree Opportunities in Vocal Studies
Private Vocal Study
Weekly private lessons and studio classes with one of nine performer-teachers provide a nurturing instructional experience. Entrance auditions, end-of-semester juries, and upper division barrier auditions enable the voice faculty team to track the progress of each voice major and to make recommendations for further study and coaching.
Voice Performance and Competition Opportunities
Nevada Chamber Opera
The Nevada Chamber Opera is the ensemble focus of most vocal performance students. Major productions are mounted each semester in our beautiful 615-seat Nightingale Concert Hall. Additional workshops or tours are planned each year in late spring.
Departmental and Voice Area Recitals
There are many recital opportunities on campus and in the Reno metropolitan area. Students are encouraged to enter various annual and semi-annual competitions, sponsored by UNR and other organizations, including the Northern Nevada chapters of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Coached by our faculty team, students learn strategies and techniques for passing auditions.
Nevada Opera Association
Reno is fortunate to be the home of an excellent regional opera company, Nevada Opera, which has been in continuous production for over forty years. The Nevada Opera is of enormous benefit to UNR students, some of whom are often featured in professional productions as chorus members, section leaders and in comprimario roles. If accepted into the Association, students get the opportunity to experience fully-staged, professionally produced opera productions in downtown Reno, at the Pioneer Center. Performers will also receive invaluable personal coaching from the Artistic Director of the Nevada Opera.
Usually before the beginning of every performance season, the Nevada Opera Association invites auditions for the Nevada Opera Association Chorus. Auditions may be arranged by contacting the Chorus Master. More information is available from the Nevada Opera Web site, or you can call the Nevada Opera Association office at (775) 786-4046.
Active UNR Music Ensembles and Organizations for Voice
- Choral Activities
- Music Organizations at UNR
- The Nevada Chamber Opera
- The University Chamber Singers
- The University Concert Chorus
- The University Symphonic Chorus
Music Performances at UNR
Faculty and student ensemble performances occur frequently througout each semester. Check the Department of Music Events Calendar for upcoming recitals and concerts.