Skip to main content

Voice Department

Program Overview

DiFiore The Blair School of Music offers three undergraduate programs in the study of voice:  the Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance, the Bachelor of Music Integrated Studies degree which includes the Teacher Education track, and the Bachelor of Musical Arts degree. 

The voice department specializes in instruction in applied voice, vocal literature, chamber music, lyric diction, vocal pedagogy, and performance practice and style. Blair offers a comprehensive opera training program, producing fully staged productions with orchestra and instruction in acting, stage combat, improvisation and the Alexander Technique.

Blair voice majors have been accepted into graduate performance programs at Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Cincinnati University, Eastman School of Music, Emory University, Florida State University, Indiana University, The Manhattan School of Music, The Mannheim Conservatory-Germany, New England Conservatory, Northwestern University, Peabody Conservatory, Rice University, San Francisco Conservatory, Texas Christian University, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Kansas Conservatory, University of Maryland-College Park, University of Southern California, University of Texas-Austin and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Blair graduates have performed with AIMS-Graz Austria, Amato Opera, Berkshire Opera, Central City Opera, Des Moines Metropolitan Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Lincoln Center Summer Music Festival, North Shore Music Theatre, Ohio Light Opera, Opera Astoria Music Festival, Opera Theatre of Lucca, Italy, Sarasota Opera and Texas Chamber Opera.

The Voice Department at the Blair School of Music is home to the Mary Cortner Ragland Trust, which, since its inception in 2002, has brought the following world-renowned artists, teachers and coaches in recital and master classes to the Blair School for the enrichment of our students and the greater Nashville community:

Alice Coote, mezzo-soprano
Lawrence Brownlee, tenor
Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano
Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano
Warren Jones, piano
Eric Owens, baritone
Kenneth Griffiths, collaborative piano
Dean Southern, Distant Voices presentation
Audra McDonald, soprano
Thomas Hampson, baritone
Roger Vignoles, collaborative piano
Renee Fleming, soprano
Dawn Upshaw, soprano
Bo Skovhus, baritone
Ian Bostridge, tenor
Jennifer Larmore, mezzo-soprano
Martin Katz, collaborative piano
Margo Garrett, collaborative piano
Julius Drake, piano
Barbara Honn, soprano
Julie Simson, mezzo-soprano

Recommended audition repertoire and prescreening video for the Voice Department

Our Mission...

Figaro1At the end of their tenure at Blair, our voice students will:

1. DEMONSTRATE EXCELLENCE IN MUSICAL FLUENCY

Sing healthily, with ease, and with an informed technical understanding, not only of their
physical instrument, but also how to interpret text through compelling storytelling in all settings.

2. EXHIBIT LEADERSHIP AS CITIZEN ARTISTS

Seek always to be versatile artists who integrate themselves into, and serve their community
through their craft.

3. POSSESS A FOUNDATION IN COMMUNICATION, MARKETING, AND PRACTICAL SKILLS

Depart Blair equipped with the basic skills of entrepreneurship and arts advocacy, with an ability
to navigate an ever-evolving artistic life.

4. HAVE CONFIDENCE IN WHAT COMES NEXT

Will have engaged fully in both the music and liberal arts curriculum in order to establish a strong post graduate intention and path. 

 

Faculty

Gayle Shay
Associate Professor of Voice; Director of Vanderbilt Opera Theatre; Chair of the Voice Department

Instruction in: Applied Voice, Opera Theatre and Lyric Theatre Workshop
Email
615-322-7687
3106 Blair
Collegiate primary majors, collegiate non-primary majors, and collegiate minors
Mary Hewlett Elder
Adjunct Artist Teacher of Voice

Instruction in: Applied Voice
Email
615-322-7651
Collegiate non-primary majors, collegiate minors, and Blair Academy students
Ben Harris
Senior Lecturer in Vocal Music

Instruction in: Vocal Coaching and Collaborative Piano
Email
615-322-4937
2171 Blair
Amy K. Jarman
Senior Lecturer in Voice

Instruction in: Applied Voice and Vocal Literature
Email
615-322-7684
1166 Blair
Collegiate primary majors, collegiate non-primary majors, and collegiate minors
 Jeff Burnham
Adjunct Artist Teacher of Collaboration
Email
615-322-7651
Jennifer Q. McGuire
Senior Lecturer in Collaborative Piano; Music Director of Vanderbilt Opera Theatre

Instruction in: Vocal Coaching and Collaborative Piano
Email
615-343-3164
2167 Blair
Cheri Montgomery
Adjunct Senior Lecturer of Vocal Diction

Instruction in: Lyric Diction
Email
Website
615-343-3092
3128 Blair
Tyler Nelson
Associate Professor of Voice

Instruction in: Applied Voice and Vocal Pedagogy
Email
Website
615-322-7685
2173 Blair
Collegiate primary majors, collegiate non-primary majors, and collegiate minors
Tracy Prentice
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Voice

Instruction in: Applied Voice
Email
615-322-7164
3157 Blair
Collegiate non-primary majors, collegiate minors, and Blair Academy students

Resources for Singers

Guest artists for 2018-2019

Deborah Voight, soprano

Elvia Puccinelli, collaborative pianist

Michael Bawtree, conductor

Matthew Hoch, tenor

VIEW MORE EVENTS >