Western's vocal program admits a select group of singers into the various degrees within the Irving S. Gilmore School of Music. Voice students are trained by faculty members with outstanding reputations in performance and pedagogy. The voice program offers training at the undergraduate and master's levels, and faculty provide students with significant personal attention and many opportunities for growth. Students are allowed to develop their passions in a conservatory-type setting within the university.
The vocal program has a record of excellence, having produced singers who have distinguished themselves around the world. Consider the following:
- WMU voice student continually place high in national and international solo competitions, with current and former students named finalists and winners in competitions such as the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (district level), the Nafzger Young Artists Competition, AIMS Meistersinger Competition in Graz, Austria, The American Prize in Voice, Chicago Oratorio Award, and the Mississippi Opera's John Alexander National Vocal Competition.
- Graduates have been employed by numerous opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, Haymarket Opera Company of Chicago, Janiec Opera Company, Soo Theater Project, Opera Philadelphia, American Opera Project, Ft. Worth Opera, and many others.
- Former students have been employed in numerous top professional choral Grammy Award winning groups such as Conspirare, Chanticleer, True Concord Voices & Orchestra, VOCES8, and Seraphic Fire, as well as the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Apollo's Fire, Cantus, The Thirteen, and the Newberry Consort.
- Graduates have been featured soloists with renowned musical organizations, including the Cleveland Orchestra, United States Army Field Band Soldiers' Chorus, Aspen Music Festival, New World Symphony, Columbus Symphony, the Bach Society of Houston, and the Brevard Festival Orchestra.
- WMU voice students have been accepted to some of the most prestigious graduate programs in the country, including Boston University, Yale School of Music, Indiana University, University of Michigan, New York University, the Peabody Institute, Rice University, and others.
In addition to participating in any of Western's nine choral ensembles, students have many opportunities to perform as vocal soloists throughout the year. Regular voice area recitals are scheduled during the semester. Instrumental ensembles such as the University Symphony Orchestra and various chamber ensembles often feature vocalists. Choral works, major oratorios, and opera productions offer many solo opportunities. Students have also been featured with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and in other high-profile performances. Additionally, many vocal students are employed in the vibrant Kalamazoo arts community at area churches or as conductors.
Please check out the website, and don't hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions.