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Voice Area Overview

The Vocal Area in the Department of Music at Hope College serves a diverse, creative student population. Vocal performance majors and vocal music education majors form the core of students. In addition, many students in the Department of Theatre enroll in voice study on a regular basis. Students considering the musical theatre composite major are strongly encouraged to enroll in voice study for at least four semesters. Other students with multiple arts interests frequently study voice for one or more semesters. The Vocal Area is committed to the maximum improvement of each student within the context of vocal health and efficiency, and with regard to the curricular goals of each student. All voice instructors at Hope College are active members of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing).

Students who wish to study voice but lack a basic foundation in music reading are normally placed in beginning voice or small group voice until their skills improve sufficiently to handle private lessons. In addition, a student must demonstrate sufficient vocal technique and talent to warrant private placement. Continuing placement in private study is contingent upon steady improvement, motivation, and the approval of the voice faculty at the jury examination.

Courses in English/Italian, German and French Diction are offered for voice students. During the German semester, clinicians expert in the German language and the genre of the Lied (German Art Song) conduct master classes for students enrolled in the course. The culminating project is a Liederabend at which students perform the German Lieder they have learned during the semester.
Von Stade masterclass
Masterclass with Frederica von Stade

Opera Workshop is offered in the spring semester, providing the opportunity for students to combine stage movement, acting and singing in the context of the performance of scenes and full productions of operas and musical dramas.

Performance and competition opportunities abound. Students may audition for the Concerto Aria Competition and the DeVos Showcase, as well as participate in the NATS, Opera Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo Bach Competitions.

George Shirley masterclass
Masterclass with George Shirley
Through an arrangement with Opera Grand Rapids, Hope College students have the opportunity to attend the dress rehearsals of all Opera Grand Rapids productions, free of charge. Transportation is provided as needed. Selected voice students may be invited to attend an Opera Affiliates luncheon to meet the singers in the productions. One Hope College senior has been cast in the 2012 production of Mozart’s Magic Flute.

Students enrolled in private voice lessons are strongly encouraged to participate concurrently in a choral ensemble. More information on the choral program at Hope can be found on the Choral Ensembles webpages.

For more information on Voice Study at Hope, please contact:
Linda Dykstra, (616) 395-7511, dykstra@hope.edu

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