Vocal Performance

sjsu choir in church

Voice majors 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 their four years of study. Contact with the voice teacher includes a private lesson and a performance class each week. 

In addition to recitals required in the junior and senior years of study for the Bachelor of Music degree, other performance opportunities include: choirs, opera productions, and operettas as well as master classes given by distinguished visiting faculty. Singers can participate in any of the choirs (by audition) and 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


Dr. Jeffrey Benson, Director of Choral Activities

Dr. Corie Brown, Assistant Professor of Music, Director of the Concert Choir

Sandra Bengochea, soprano

Christopher Bengochea, tenor

Jennifer Mitchell, soprano

Jacque Scharlach, mezzo soprano

Philip Skinner, bass-baritone

Jonathan Smucker, tenor

Simona Snitkovsky, vocal coach & opera theatre    

Audition Information

Learn more about suggested audition repertoire.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are scholarships available?

Yes! Scholarship awards are competitive and based upon performance level and the needs of the School. Audition dates for scholarships are in February and early March.

For scholarship information, please contact Dr. Jeffrey Benson.

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

Contact Dr. Benson, Undergraduate Performance Advisor Dr. Sarah Jones, or Undergraduate Music Education 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 classes. 

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 Opera San José, (408) 437-4456.