Vocal, Choral & Opera
The Vocal/Choral/Opera programs at CSUF offer a variety of opportunities for singers and conductors at both the undergraduate (bachelor’s) and graduate (master’s) levels. Students receive a specialized yet comprehensive education while preparing for careers as performers, teachers and conductors. Classical Singer Magazine has recognized the Opera Theatre and vocal programs for excellence in training young singers for professional operatic careers.
Private lessons in voice are the core of each of the study programs and are solely taught by members of our well-respected faculty. The program also includes courses in vocal literature, vocal pedagogy, art song, opera literature and foreign-language diction. Students receive individual attention and perform frequently in recitals and master classes.
Each fall CSUF Opera Theatre presents a program of opera excerpts and one-act operas designed to provide performance opportunities for our singers. Each spring semester, fully staged operatic productions with orchestra are mounted, which have included Elixir of Love, Candide, La Bohème, Street Scene, Magic Flute, Die Fledermaus, The Crucible, Le nozze di Figaro and Gianni Schicchi. Beyond the campus productions are offered at Leisure World in Orange County and other venues. Singers are also given the opportunity to participate in all aspects of opera production including staging, costumes, props, make-up, set design and lighting.
CSUF boasts four outstanding choral ensembles: the University Singers, Concert Choir, The Singing Titans (TTBB) and Titan Voices (SSAA), conducted by acclaimed faculty members. The ensembles regularly tour internationally, performing at numerous national and regional conventions and with major orchestras including the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Choral conducting classes are available at the undergraduate level, with advanced conducting seminars and private lessons available at the graduate level. The graduate degree program in choral conducting provides an intensive experience designed to enhance conducting skill while increasing aptitude in scholarly practice. The Master of Music in Choral Conducting degree prepares students for advanced ventures in conducting and entrance into doctoral programs of study. Alumni of the M.M. in Choral Conducting are regularly accepted at conducting programs of note throughout the United States including the University of Southern California, University of Michigan, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Boston University, and the University of California, Los Angeles.
Kerry Jennings - Vocal Area Coordinator, voice, academic voice courses
Robert Istad - Director of Choral Studies; University Singers
Kerry Jennings - Director of Opera, academic voice courses
Christopher Peterson - CSUF Concert Choir and Singing Titans conductor
Joni Prado - voice, academic voice courses
Linda Leyrer* - voice
Mark Salters* - opera
Susan Montgomery* - voice
Courtney Taylor* - voice
*denotes part-time faculty
Repertoire and Other Audition Information for the BM and BA in Music - Voice
The Fall audition process will consist of two phases. For the first phase, all singers are required to submit video recording links. Prescreening requirements and submission instructions will be emailed to you once your application has been processed. The viedos will be evaluated by the faculty and those who pass this initial phase will subsequently be invited to sign up for a live audition. During this second phase, auditionees will be asked to perform repertoire below, sight-singing, and have the opportunity to ask questions and meet the vocal/choral faculty.
The Spring audition process will consist of one phase. All auditions will be 'live' on-campus and auditionees will be asked to perform repertoire below, sight-singing, and have the opportunity to ask questions and meet the vocal/choral faculty.
Audition repertoire requirements
- Please prepare:
Two contrasting selections, one of which must be classical in style; the other may be classical, folk song or from the musical theater repertoire. Musical theater selections must be from the classic lyrical repertoire (i.e. music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, etc.), utilizing classical singing technique (no belting).
- At least one of your selections should be in English. You are encouraged to offer the other piece in Italian, Spanish, French, or German.
- Both selections must be memorized.
- All musical selections must be sung with accompaniment. Pre-recorded accompaniments are acceptable if the recorded track is easily audible.
- Basic musicianship skills are expected from all successful applicants for the music major. Be prepared for a short sight- singing examination of basic rhythmic patterns and diatonic melody, similar in difficulty to these examples:
- Arrange for someone familiar with your musical and academic ability to email a letter of recommendation in PDF or Word format directly to Dr. Kerry Jennings . No special form is required for this letter.
- Auditions: Sign up instructions
- Your university admission Sign up for and complete your audition regardless of the status of your university application and admission. Even if you have been denied admission to the university, the School of Music may advocate that you be granted admission based on your musical talent.
- More information Contact the Vocal Area Coordinator Dr. Kerry Jennings
Master of Music in Performance
Audition Requirements and Other Essentials
The Master of Music in Performance is an applied-based degree requiring 30 units of study in private lessons, ensembles, music history and literature, and music theory. The Cal State Fullerton School of Music faculty includes nationally and internationally recognized performers, scholars and composers. Students thrive in an environment that sustains challenging, vital music-making, with due regard for specialized individual attention. For those intending to pursue doctoral studies, the Master of Music degree normally leads to the DMA.
The entering graduate student will have completed an undergraduate music degree with voice as the primary instrument. Prior solo recital experience is expected but not required; a “senior recital,” as well as a “junior recital” program from the applicant’s undergraduate study should be documented by a recording and program.
Applicants must have completed undergraduate level language courses in at least two of three target languages (Italian, German, French), as well as the equivalent of three semesters of diction for singers (English, Italian, German, French). Opportunity is given to make up deficiencies but such courses cannot be applied to the Master’s degree.
All singers auditioning for the MM in Vocal Performance must pass an audition.
In addition to these recordings, please include electronic files of the following materials:
1) One copy of an audition repertoire list.
2) One copy of your previous recital programs.
3) One copy of your unofficial transcripts from all prior schools.
What to include on your audition
The repertoire offered should include a minimum of six (6) selections. ALL selections should be performed from memory.
Four (4) art songs, one each in English, Italian, French, and German
One (1) operatic aria in one of the target languages listed above.
One (1) oratorio or second operatic aria in one of the languages listed above.
At least one piece offered should demonstrate ability in singing a sustained, legato line.
At least one piece offered should demonstrate ability in singing fioritura/coloratura.
OTHER AREAS THAT ARE EVALUATED
The submitted video recordings will be assessed by the faculty and, if the singer passes this level of review, he or she will be invited to sign up for a live, Zoom audition, during which sight-reading skills will be assessed.
Letters of Recommendation
Arrange to have letters of recommendation from three music professionals familiar with your preparation for graduate study sent to the School of Music graduate program adviser.