Vocal Performance

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sjsu choir in churchA student who elects to major in voice at the undergraduate level will be guided by an experienced, highly trained, and dedicated faculty member. The voice faculty consist of active performers and researchers in the fields of vocal literature and pedagogy. Members of the voice faculty belong to the National Association of Teachers of singing -- their students enter competitions sponsored by various professional organizations as well as the Metropolitan Opera Auditions and the San Francisco Opera Auditions.

The voice student will study the fundamentals of vocal production (breathing, vowel formation, intonation, resonance, and diction) and repertoire, including art song, opera, and oratorio in various languages during the four years of study. Contact with the voice teacher includes a private lesson and a performance class each week. Language study plays an important role for the voice student.

In addition to recitals required in the junior and senior years of study for the Bachelor of Music degree, other types of performance opportunities are available for the vocalist such as choirs, opera productions, and operettas as well as master classes given by distinguished visiting faculty. Singers also can participate in Concert Choir, Choraliers (by audition), Collegium Musicum, the Listening Hour Concert Series, and Repertoire Classes. 

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Master of Music
  • Minor in Music


Audition Information

Learn more about suggested audition repertoire.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are scholarships available?

Yes, scholarships are available. Scholarship awards are competitive and based upon performance level and the needs of the School. Audition dates for scholarships are usually held three times a year; please consult the website for specific dates.

For scholarship information, please contact Professor Layna Chianakas, Voice Area Coordinator. 

I would like to be a music major. What should I do?

Contact the Undergraduate Advisor Dr. Diana Hollinger.

When can I audition for vocal ensembles?

Auditions for Concert Choir, Choraliers, and Vocal Jazz Ensemble are held during the two advising days prior to the first day of class. Contact Dr. Jeffrey Benson, Director of Choral Activities, to schedule an audition. 

CLICK HERE TO AUDITION for the choirs.

Are there other performance opportunities?

Voice majors are expected to sing at least once per year on the Listening Hour, a concert series organized by the School of Music and Dance and open to the public. Voice majors also have the opportunity to audition for Opera San José. For audition information contact Matt Siek, Artistic Administrator, Opera San José, 2149 Paragon Drive, San José, CA 95131-1312, (408) 437-4456, siek@operasj.org.