Vocal Chamber Music

The Master of Music in Vocal Chamber Music is intended as a conduit between the Bachelor of Music program and a professional career as a consort musician. Unique amongst graduate programs, it has a joint focus on practical music-making and the commercial understanding of what it takes to be a professional vocal chamber musician post-study. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the principal eras of western classical choral music and their most prominent composers, including study of contemporary performance practice, building concert and recording repertoire, recording techniques and preparation, and 360-degree analysis of professional choral music-making within a chamber context.

This 32-unit masters program requires 16 units over two summer sessions, and 16 on-line units over four semesters.

We will begin accepting applications September 1, 2018. To be added to our mailing list and begin receiving information please submit the Request Information form.

Entrance and Audition Requirements

Students are required to have completed a Bachelor's degree in music, preferably with a choral performance focus, and must have experience of ensemble singing at a collegiate level. It is essential that they have excellent sight-reading ability, a firm grounding in music theory, and a proven ability to hold their own musical line within an ensemble. Students should also have knowledge of and interest in choral music throughout the ages.

This two-year master program will enroll 8 singers per cohort, 2 sopranos, 2 altos, 2 tenors and 2 basses. Pre-screening material is due December 1st of the year before beginning the program and can be uploaded on the graduate application in Slate.

The required repertoire for pre-screening is four contrasting pieces, in four different languages, representing both operatic and song repertoire.

Successful pre-screened candidates will be invited to an audition day during the spring semester of the year in which you plan to begin studies.

Candidates invited for a live audition will prepare the following:

  1. 30 minutes of memorized material from which the audition panel will select specific repertoire. It is encouraged that candidates prepare an aria with significant recitative. Pieces should include works in English, French, German and Italian. It is suggested that candidates prepare the following: 1 opera aria, 1 oratorio aria, 1 aria of choice, 2 mélodies, 2 lied, 1 song post-1960 and 1 song of choice. Solo pieces must be performed from memory. An accompanist will be provided for solo repertoire.
  2. Three assigned choral works to be chosen by the faculty panel. During the audition, candidates will be assigned to quartets and octets where they will rehearse with other candidates in preparation for a chamber component of the audition. Ensemble pieces should NOT be memorized as this will inhibit the rehearsal aspect of the audition. Please bring scores and pencils for this part of the audition.
  3. An unseen sight-singing piece will be provided 10 minutes prior to the audition.

Learning Outcomes

By graduation, majors will do the following at a level beyond the professional entry-level:

  1. Develop and defend musical judgments.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to realize a variety of musical styles.
  3. Demonstrate technical skills requisite for artistic self-expression at a level appropriate for the particular music concentration.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge and skills sufficient to work as a leader and in collaboration on matters of musical interpretation.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of musical forms, processes and structures and the ability to place music in historical, cultural and stylistic contexts.


Key faculty for the new Master of Music in Vocal Chamber Music program include (left to right) Nicholle Andrews, Christopher Gabbitas, and Joseph Modica. (Photo by Coco McKown ’04, ’10)

Nicholle Andrews
Joseph Modica
Christopher Gabbitas