Finding its voice and hitting the high notes

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Finding its voice and hitting the high notes

Now here's a major to sing about! Vocal Performance.

"Singers are highly trained vocal athletes," said Dr. Anne Christopherson, associate professor of voice and coordinator of voice studies at the University of North Dakota Department Of Music.

They also get good jobs.

About 40 percent of UND music majors study voice and with a hiring rate that tops 90 percent, a UND music major, indeed delivers.

The UND Voice Area serves more students than any other program in the Department of Music, part of the College of Arts and Sciences.

"Voice touches the lives of every major in the department," Christopherson said. Majors such as Music Education, Music Therapy and Performance all positively influence one another and make the Department of Music better as a whole.

Music majors learn teamwork, discipline, focus, and self-motivation ? that's why they're in demand. Most Vocal Performance majors, specifically, may become performers, music educators or choral conductors.

[Watch the entire performance at http://UND.edu/Opera]

The Vocal Performance major is required to take a variety of classes, including voice lessons, keyboard skills, music theory, choir, music history, opera workshop and must master singing in Italian, French and German in addition to fulfilling their Essential Studies requirements.

Selecting from a repertoire that spans hundreds of years, the Voice Area brought a new cultural experience to the Grand Forks area last April by producing an Opera Gala event, "Una Bella Notte." Drawing a large crowd to the historic Masonic Temple downtown, the Opera Gala featured the works of some of opera's best-known composers, including Bellini, Donizetti, Mozart, Puccini and Verdi.

This unique event could not have been possible without UND's Director of Orchestral Studies, Dr. Alejandro Drago, and the UND Chamber Orchestra as well as the sponsorship of Mr. and Mrs. G. Paul Larson, said Christopherson

The event showcased UND voice faculty, including: Dr. Royce Blackburn, Christopherson, Dr. Marla Fogderud and Wesley Lawrence as well as UND voice students: Sara Otteman Bray, Jace Erickson, Kaylee Lackman, Angela Loff and Ryan Olien.

It was such a success that the Opera Gala is expected to become an annual event.

"The aim of this kind of Voice Area activity is to inspire our students to fall even more in love with making music," said Christopherson.

Kate Menzies University and Public Affairs student writer


Juan Miguel Pedraza University and Public Affairs writer

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