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School of Music


Students of Voice in Candide

Voice

As a voice student at the University of South Carolina you will be prepared to perform at the highest level, both as a solo artist and as a music educator. Our rigorous program is designed to maximize your potential and give you the knowledge and skills needed to succeed.

Undergraduate and graduate performance opportunities include recitals, choral ensembles, chamber groups, opera scene programs and fully staged productions.

Choral

The choral department at USC, dedicated to the art of choral singing, provides participants with ample opportunity to perform both on- and off-campus in beautiful and inspiring settings. Students perform year-round in musical styles ranging from Renaissance to pop to gospel in a wide variety of choral ensembles.

Not only do ensemble members experience the thrill and joy of performing for audiences, they also meet others with similar interests and goals. The Concert Choir travels the world and has performed in regions of Tuscany and Umbria, including Montecatini, Florence, Pisa, Lucca, the Cinque Terre, Orvieto, Perugia and the Vatican in Rome.

Opera

Opera at USC gives singers and pianists at the undergraduate and graduate level excellent training opportunities. The opera workshop courses (MUSC 130K Stage Movement and Technique and MUSC 780 Opera Theater) help students develop and learn characterization, stage presence, diction, movement and other necessary theatrical skills through intensive coaching and group discussion. These courses may be repeated for additional credit.

Undergraduate students gain practical stage experience by performing in programs of opera scenes and participating in opera choruses in full-length productions. In addition, Opera at USC features one production a year with undergraduates cast in principal roles (MUSC 130P).

Opera at USC offers additional performing opportunities through the annual In Schools Opera Educational Outreach program. This outreach serves as a vital link with the communities of the Midlands of South Carolina.

Voice

Our voice faculty bring a wide range of experience to the teaching studio, and quite a few degree options to choose from as well.

Bachelor of Music in Music Education

Designed for qualified undergraduate students preparing for careers as music teachers in public schools, the Bachelor of Music Education degree offered by the School of Music offers concentrations in either Instrumental Music Education or Choral-General Music Education. Students successfully completing the music education curriculum will be certified to teach grades K-12 in South Carolina public schools.

Bachelor of Music in Performance

The performance curriculum is especially designed for students who wish to pursue a career as performers or as teachers of voice. Graduates of the Bachelor of Music program frequently elect to enroll in an Master of Music or Doctor of Musical Arts program in graduate school. The increased interest of society in the arts is creating many new opportunities for the professional musician.

Bachelor of Arts in Voice

The Bachelor of Arts degree in voice allows students to gain broad experience in the liberal arts and sciences while maintaining music as the major area of interest. Music courses include applied voice, history, theory, and ensemble. Opportunities pursued by recent graduates include employment in arts organizations and education as well as careers as performers.

Performance Certificate

An optional performance certificate can be arranged for outstanding students in the Music Education or Bachelor of Arts program who desire to meet the requirements of both performance and their respective degree. Admission to the performance certificate is by written consent of the coordinator of the voice area.

Master of Music in Opera Theater

The Master of Music in Opera Theater Performance is designed to prepare singers with the musical, theatrical and diction skills needed to begin a career in opera. Opera at USC offers a truly comprehensive program for graduate students combining outstanding vocal instruction and musical coaching with intensive dramatic training. The Master of Music in Opera Theater Direction covers every facet of opera production, both on stage and behind the scenes. The program also regularly hosts professional conductors, singers and directors in master classes and informational sessions.

Master of Music in Voice and Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice

The Master of Music and DMA in Vocal Performance focus on developing excellent vocal technique, skill in interpreting repertoire, refined diction in English and foreign languages, and solo artistry. In addition, opportunities are offered to participate in opera productions, weekly studio classes and workshops with visiting artist-teachers. Among recent graduates are faculty members of leading universities as well as professional singers working internationally.

Graduate Performance Certificate
The Certificate of Graduate Study in Music Performance requires the successful completion of an approved program of study that provides a minimum of eighteen (18) semester hours of graduate study.

Voice Faculty

Laury Christie

Laury Christie

Laury Christie is a member of the voice faculty (soprano) and is certified in the Alexander technique. She has performed with orchestras the U.S. and at Spoleto Festival USA, Alice Tully Hall in New York City and on Public Radio.

dan cole

Daniel Cole

Daniel Cole is an adjunct member of the voice faculty (basso cantante) and has performed extensively around the United States. He is a Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions state and regional winner and his international opera credits include roles in Lisbon, Cologne, Taiwan and Amsterdam.

Walter Cuttino

Walter Cuttino

Walter Cuttino is an associate professor (tenor). He has more than 1,500 operatic and concert performances to his credit, including a tour with the late Leonard Bernstein. He is artistic director of the Palmetto Opera.

don gray

Donald Gray

Donald Gray has been a voice faculty member since 1972 and has performed all around the world. He has been a Metropolitan Opera audition winner and won the second annual Mario Lanza Competition.

Janet Hopkins

Janet Hopkins

Janet Hopkins is assistant professor of voice (mezzo-soprano). She has presented master classes in throughout the U.S. and performed Beethoven's 9th in Kentucky and El Amor Brujo (Falla) with the S.C. Philharmonic.

Lynn Kompass

Lynn Kompass

Lynn Kompass is vocal coach and associate professor. She provides musical preparation for all productions performed by Opera at USC and teaches courses in song literature and advanced diction for singers.

Ellen Douglas Schlaefer

Ellen Douglas Schlaefer

Ellen Douglas Schlaefer is director of Opera Studies. She has worked with some of the world’s top opera companies and directors, including the Washington Opera and Francesca Zambello. She has staged productions across the U.S. and throughout South Carolina.

Tina Milhorn Stallard

Tina Milhorn Stallard

Tina Milhorn Stallard is associate professor of voice (soprano) and teaches vocal pedagogy. She performed Vivaldi’s “Gloria” with the Shanghai Philharmonic as part of the cultural prelude to the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Alicia W. Walker

Alicia W. Walker

Alicia Walker is associate director of choral studies and directs the University Chorus and the USC Men’s and Women's Choruses. She teaches conducting and choral methods and courses in sacred music and music education. She is a frequent guest conductor, writer and lecturer.

Carl Wells

Carl Wells

Carl Wells is a voice instructor as well as serving as an assistant director of the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity Programs and a faculty member in the African-American Studies Program. He founded and directs the Gospel Choir Ensemble course.

Jacob Will

Jacob Will

Associate professor Jacob Will (bass-baritone), chairs the voice faculty. He made his New York Philharmonic debut as soloist in the American premiere of the “Messa per Rossini,” in a performance televised live nationwide.

Larry Wyatt

Larry Wyatt

Larry Wyatt directs the Concert Choir and supervises the master's and doctoral programs in choral conducting and the Graduate Vocal Ensemble. He founded the New Orleans Symphony Chorus and has conducted in some of the world’s best known venues, including Carnegie Hall.