Voice and Opera/Music Theatre Programs

Sonoma State University’s Voice Program promotes a collaborative, supportive environment for individual, artistic, and technical development. The program features weekly voice lessons with renowned vocal artists and pedagogues as well as collaborative pianists who play in-lesson. Voice students regularly have the opportunity to perform in the Opera/Music Theatre mainstage production, Opera and Music Theatre Scenes, and to work with the SSU Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, Santa Rosa Symphony, Sonoma Bach, San Francisco Opera, and world-class guest artists from the Green Music Center’s multi-genre performance series. SSU also provides numerous opportunities for choral performance in its Symphonic Chorus, Concert Choir, and the select SonoVoce chamber choir.

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Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Music (B.M.) In Vocal Performance

Bachelor of Music (B.M.)  in Choral Music Education

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Music Liberal Arts with a Concentration in Voice

 

Faculty

Lynne Morrow Headshot Dr. Lynne Morrow, Director of Voice, Opera, and Music Theatre

Jenny Bent Headshot Dr. Jenny Bent, Director of Choral Activities

Justin Montigne Headshot Dr. Justin Montigne, Lecturer in Voice and Vocal Studies

M. Jane Erwin M. Jane Erwin, Lecturer in Voice

Cropped headshot of Danielle Wertz Danielle Wertz, Lecturer in Voice

 

Music Theatre Production

Course Information: MUS 330/THAR 330 Music Theatre Production, 1-3 units of credit

Meeting Dates: Tuesday and Thursdays 7:00-10:00 pm and one Saturday per month 10:00am-5:00pm in GMC 1028

Description: A course devoted to the student and public performance of major works of operatic and musical theatre literature. Designed for singers, actors, and others interested in music theatre. The capstone is a fully staged, orchestrally accompanied performance. May be repeated for credit. 

Instructor: Dr. Lynne Morrow

Participation: Participation in the Music Theatre Production is by audition, and is open to all students regardless of major, and members of the community. The rehearsal process occurs mainly in the fall semester, and the production period in the spring semester ending in mid-February. 

Auditions: Fall 2021 Music Theatre Production Auditions will be held August 18-21 at Person Theatre and Ives Hall. Access audition materials and schedule an audition time.

2022 Performance Dates:

Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan

February 10, 11, 12, 18, 19 at 7:30pm
February 20 at 3:00pm

Person Theater

 

Past Productions

Sweeney Todd competition scene

2020–2021 
Spring Awakening

2019–2020 
Candide

2018–2019 
Sweeney Todd

2017–2018
You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

2016–2017
The Magic Flute

2015–2016 
Into The Woods

2014–2015 
Heroines

2013–2014 
Fiddler On The Roof

 

Music Theatre Scenes

Close up of two actors sitting back to back and staring off into the distance

Course Information: MUS 340-001 Music Theatre Scenes, 1 unit of credit

Meeting Dates: Mondays and Wednesdays 3:00-4:50 pm in GMC Schroeder Hall

Description: It's amazing how much is learned, even among those who have been in many shows before! In Musical Theatre Scenes Workshop students learn from the ground up, about the form of a show, the props and costumes, the way that dialogue has to work and then how to use their speaking and singing voices to communicate. A performance course designed to broaden student's familiarity with the opera and musical theatre repertoire. Students have input regarding literature and often write their own scenes. The class is open to all students. May be repeated for credit.

Instructor: Dr. Lynne Morrow

Participation: Membership is open to all students regardless of major. No audition is required. Prior vocal training and the ability to read music are ideal. 

First Meeting: The first class meeting is for Wed. August 18.

Fall Performance: November 30, 7:30pm, 2021, GMC Schroeder Hall

 

Opera Scenes

Actor sitting on a chair and leaning against an actress who is standing on stage of Schroeder Hall

Course Information: MUS 340-002 Opera Scenes, 1 unit of credit

Meeting Dates: Fridays 9:00-11:40 am in GMC Schroeder Hall

Description: A performance course designed to broaden student's familiarity with the opera repertoire, performance practice, and staged performance. Students have input regarding literature, and learn a mix of arias (solos) and ensemble scenes. The class is open to all students. May be repeated for credit.

Instructor: Dr. Justin Montigne

Participation: Membership is open to all students regardless of major. No audition is required. Prior singing experience is beneficial, and the ability to read music is essential. 

First Meeting: The first class meeting is for Friday, August 20.

Fall Performance: December 1, 7:30pm, 2021, GMC Schroeder Hall

 

Vocal Repertory Class

Vocal student singing with piano accompaniment on Weill Stage

Course Information: MUS 151/451 Vocal Repertory Class, 1 unit of credit

Meeting Dates: Wednesdays 1:00-2:50 pm in GMC Schroeder/Weill/1028

Description: This class is a weekly forum for singers to perform solo repertoire in progress. Students are divided into groups which perform in alternating succession throughout the semester. After performing, students receive constructive criticism and direction from the voice faculty and guest artists. Weekly discussion topics include elements of performing, vocal literature, business skills, and guest artists conduct occasional master-classes. Students produce three themed concerts per semester as a result of these endeavors.

Instructor: Dr. Justin Montigne and the Voice faculty. 

Participation: Required for all voice majors enrolled in private voice instruction. 

First Meeting: The first class is scheduled for Wednesday, August 18. All students perform a solo of their choice in order to gain studio placement. A brief orientation will follow.

 

Private Voice Lessons

Course Information: MUS 141/147/441/447 Private Voice Instruction, 1 unit of credit

Meeting Dates: By arrangement with private instructor. 

Description: Individual study of voice, beginning through advanced. Focus on technique, repertoire, style, performance practice, and all elements of singing. May be repeated for credit.

Instructors: Jane Erwin, Dr. Justin Montigne, and Danielle Wertz

Participation: Lessons are available for all BM and BA students with voice as their primary instrument. Studio assignments are made after the initial class meeting of Vocal Repertory Class (MUS 151/451). 

First Lesson: The first voice lesson will be scheduled begging the week of August 23, after studio assignments have been made.

 

Recent Choral-Orchestral Performances

Choir dressed up and performing in the Weill Hall choir loft

The Chieftains - Green Music Center
Mozart’s
Requiem - Santa Rosa Symphony
Rachmaninoff’s The Bells - Santa Rosa Symphony
Vivaldi’s Gloria - Santa Rosa Symphony
Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky - Santa Rosa Symphony

 

Recent Masterclasses & Guest Artists

Kayleen Asbo and Noah Evans

Sara Williams (Sangin' Sara) - Jazz and CCM
Heidi Melton, Bayreuth, Mariinsky Theatre, New York Philharmonic
Danielle Wertz - Jazz
Rhoslyn Jones, San Francisco Opera, Vancouver Opera, Opera Santa Barbera
Dr. Kayleen Asbo - The Songs of Clara Schumann
Calmus Ensemble
Eric Jackson - Music Theatre
Karen Clark - Feldenkrais