The College of Arts and Architecture

Graduate Voice Auditions

When you come to audition at Penn State, you'll get to meet students and faculty, see our music buildings, and enjoy our beautiful campus and town. Our Friday audition days provide the opportunity to sit in on classes and rehearsals, and to interact with our students.
After the singing audition, candidates will have individual mini-lessons and interviews with a member of the voice faculty. The lessons are a chance for us to work technically on certain aspects of your earlier performance, give us a chance to see how you respond to instruction, give you a chance to see what voice study at Penn State might be like, and assess basic tonal memory and sightreading.  In the interview, we will be interested to learn more about your background and specific goals. 
Friday Audition Schedule

11:00 Singing Auditions, 113 Music Building I

12:00 Individual lessons and Interviews, voice studios TBA

In the afternoon, candidates are encouraged to observe voice pedagogy classes, choir rehearsals, meetings with TAs, and our Voice Forum (combined-studios masterclass).


Auditionees should prepare at least five memorized art songs or arias representing various languages and style periods. At least one of the selections must be in English and at least one of the selections must be an opera or oratorio aria sung in the original language. The material should show a breadth of abilities (agility, legato, range, etc.).

Applicants should furnish a comprehensive repertoire list either before or at the time of the audition.

Voice Area/Faculty
Our seven resident voice faculty teach approximately 50 voice majors (graduate and undergraduate) and about another 50 musical theatre majors (these students audition and matriculate through the School of Theatre). We have an open, sharing, and cohesive department, and students who come here work closely with most of the voice faculty in some capacity during their degree. In addition to teaching studio voice, each of us also teaches courses in a related area:

  • Ted Christopher, Opera Theatre
  • Rachel Copeland, Lyric Diction
  • Norman Spivey, Voice Pedagogy  
  • Jennifer Trost, Vocal Literature and Opera Literature
  • Beverly Patton, Musical Theatre Voice, Opera Theatre
  • Raymond Sage, Musical Theatre Voice
  • Gwen Walker, Musical Theatre Voice

Performance Opportunities
We have a weekly Voice Forum - a combined-studios masterclass. Something we like very much about Forum is that a teacher other than your regular studio instructor provides feedback and coaching. It’s another chance for our students to gain input from a variety of sources, and a chance for the faculty to continue learning from each other. The way we set out to learn from and share with each other is very special, and is something that we think enables our students to learn and grow together in a demanding, supportive and nurturing environment. The voice area also offers a weekly "Bach's Lunch" concert series. There are many other performing opportunities for students, as well: Common Hour, Choirs, Opera Theatre, School of Music/School of Theatre musicals and joint productions, Thespians, Philharmonic Concerto Competition, recitals, masterclasses (with visiting national and international artists), NATS-sponsored events, and juries, in addition to off-campus organizations and events.