BM: Voice Performance

Student musicians who have focused on developing their talent will find many opportunities in the department of Music. At Webster University, the bachelor of music (BM) with emphasis in vocal performance is a program that prepares students for professional careers in music with a focus on pre-professional training in a variety of genres.

Vocal performance majors regularly appear as soloists in various gigs around the community and gain real-world experience in Saint Louis performance ensembles. Students are currently singing with Bach Society of Saint Louis, several of the top church choirs in the region, Union Avenue Opera, Winter Opera of Saint Louis and the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus. 

The program includes applied lessons, ensemble performances and weekly master classes in vocal technique. Additionally, vocal diction practicums and class instruction in musicianship, music theory and history are augmented by course work in vocal pedagogy, art song literature and opera literature. Students are instructed in lyric diction in Italian, French, German and English, and repertoire from art songs, chamber music, opera and oratorio is emphasized for a complete learning experience.

Program director Carole Gaspar is the founding director of the Institute for Advanced Vocal Studies in Paris.  Faculty member Martha J. Hart boasts an international performance career.  Department chair Jeffrey Carter also teaches applied voice.  Between these three artist-teachers, students benefit from nearly 100 years of collected wisdom, guidance, and experience.

Webster boasts an extensive adjunct faculty of professional teachers, pianists and vocal coaches who work closely together to ensure the students' personal focus on the art of music.

Choral ensembles are led by Trent Patterson and Martha J. Hart; Jazz Singers by Debby Lennon; and Opera Studio by Alice Nelson.  

Recent graduates of the vocal performance program have gone on to further study at prestigious graduate programs such as Boston University, Northwestern, Rice, New England Conservatory, Indiana, and North Texas. Jennifer Johnson Cano, a Webster alum, is now on the artist roster at the Metropolitan Opera.

Special Study Opportunities

World-renowned soprano Christine Brewer, an international performing artist, is Visiting Professor of Voice at Webster University. She conducts an annual series of lectures and master classes at the Webster Groves campus location.

A huge, often ignored element of voice study at Webster: Staff accompanists provide weekly support at lessons and master classes, and weekly coaching sessions.  Webster is among a handful of schools that offers this extra support and instruction as part of your tuition.

Voice students benefit from Webster's involvement with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and Union Avenue Opera.

Students may attend the Webster University Vienna campus in the spring semester of their junior year. They have the opportunity to study voice with a Viennese artist, take courses in music history relating to Vienna's traditions, develop special projects on opera or art song and experience the vibrancy of Europe's musical capital. 

Additional Information