Undergraduate and graduate performance opportunities include recitals, choral ensembles,
chamber groups, opera scene programs and fully staged productions.
The choral department at USC features six ensembles, all of which maintain active performance schedules. Concert programs include music
from the vast, time-honored repertoire of choral music as well as frequent commissioned
works of prominent current composers.
Singers in the Choirs of Carolina not only find opportunities to perform and interact
with other students from all across campus, but also experience the broad global community
through Global Classroom and choir tours. Choirs from USC have traveled recently
to South Africa, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Germany and France.
Opera at USC gives singers and pianists at the undergraduate and graduate level excellent
training opportunities. The opera workshop courses (MUSC 130K Stage Movement and Technique
and MUSC 780 Opera Theater) help students develop and learn characterization, stage
presence, diction, movement and other necessary theatrical skills through intensive
coaching and group discussion. These courses may be repeated for additional credit.
Undergraduate students gain practical stage experience by performing in programs of
opera scenes and participating in opera choruses in full-length productions. In addition,
Opera at USC features one production a year with undergraduates cast in principal roles (MUSC
Opera at USC offers additional performing opportunities through the annual In Schools
Opera Educational Outreach program. This outreach serves as a vital link with the
communities of the Midlands of South Carolina.
Our voice faculty bring a wide range of experience to the teaching studio, and quite
a few degree options to choose from as well.
Bachelor of Music in Music Education
Designed for qualified undergraduate students preparing for careers as music teachers
in public schools, the Bachelor of Music Education degree offered by the School of
Music offers concentrations in either Instrumental Music Education or Choral-General
Music Education. Students successfully completing the music education curriculum will
be certified to teach grades K-12 in South Carolina public schools.
Bachelor of Music in Performance
The performance curriculum is especially designed for students who wish to pursue
a career as performers or as teachers of voice. Graduates of the Bachelor of Music
program frequently elect to enroll in an Master of Music or Doctor of Musical Arts
program in graduate school. The increased interest of society in the arts is creating
many new opportunities for the professional musician.
Bachelor of Arts in Voice
The Bachelor of Arts degree in voice allows students to gain broad experience in the
liberal arts and sciences while maintaining music as the major area of interest. Music
courses include applied voice, history, theory, and ensemble. Opportunities pursued
by recent graduates include employment in arts organizations and education as well
as careers as performers.
Bachelor of Arts in Music (Musical Theatre Concentration)
The B.A. in Music (Musical Theatre Concentration) is designed for students interested
in focused study in Musical Theatre. Students receive applied instruction in the various
styles of Musical Theatre and participate in a musical theatre ensemble. In lieu of
a cognate or minor, students in this concentration complete 18 credit hours of dance
and theatre courses.
An optional performance certificate can be arranged for outstanding students in the
Music Education or Bachelor of Arts program who desire to meet the requirements of
both performance and their respective degree. Admission to the performance certificate
is by written consent of the coordinator of the voice area.
Master of Music in Opera Theater
The Master of Music in Opera Theater Performance is designed to prepare singers with
the musical, theatrical and diction skills needed to begin a career in opera. Opera
at USC offers a truly comprehensive program for graduate students combining outstanding
vocal instruction and musical coaching with intensive dramatic training. The Master
of Music in Opera Theater Direction covers every facet of opera production, both on
stage and behind the scenes. The program also regularly hosts professional conductors,
singers and directors in master classes and informational sessions.
Master of Music in Voice and Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice
The Master of Music and DMA in Vocal Performance focus on developing excellent vocal
technique, skill in interpreting repertoire, refined diction in English and foreign
languages, and solo artistry. In addition, opportunities are offered to participate
in opera productions, weekly studio classes and workshops with visiting artist-teachers.
Among recent graduates are faculty members of leading universities as well as professional
singers working internationally.
Graduate Performance Certificate
The Certificate of Graduate Study in Music Performance requires the successful completion
of an approved program of study that provides a minimum of eighteen (18) semester
hours of graduate study.
Tenor Dominic Armstrong is assistant professor of voice. He has established himself
as an artist of superb musicality and characterization. During the 2018-19 season,
he joined the Syracuse Opera, singing Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth, the Florida Orchestra
for Michael Tippett’s Child of Our Time, the Kaohsiung Symphony Orchestra for an opera
gala concert, and the Portland Symphony for Rachmaninoff’s The Bells.
Tom Brunson, bass-baritone, maintains an active private studio, is the coordinator
and instructor of the Lexington School District Two Voice Performance Program, and
has served as director of music at Mt. Hebron United Methodist Church. His students
have won numerous state, regional and national honors at NATS and the Metropolitan
Opera Auditions, and have sung on operatic and concert venues on six continents.
Mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway, voice instructor, has been praised by the New York
Times for her “penetrating clarity” and “considerable depth of expression” and by
Opera News for her “adept musicianship and dramatic flair.” She has performed with
the Amernet Quartet at the Kennedy Center, the Oratorio Society of New York, the Omaha
Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic's New Music Series.
Daniel Cole is an adjunct member of the voice faculty, basso cantante, and has performed
extensively around the United States. He is a Metropolitan Opera National Council
auditions state and regional winner and his international opera credits include roles
in Lisbon, Cologne, Taiwan and Amsterdam.
Jabarie Glass is associate director of choral studies. His diverse conducting experiences
have included working with university, secondary, community youth, festival, and church
choral ensembles. He maintains an active schedule of concerts, lectures, guest conducting
and adjudication engagements throughout the U.S.
Donald Gray has been a voice faculty member since 1972 and has performed all around
the world. He has been a Metropolitan Opera audition winner and won the second annual
Mario Lanza Competition.
Kurdish-American artist Michelle Moslemi-Haché has been an award-winning vocal instructor
for over 16 years, specializing in crossover, contemporary musical theatre, and classical
voice. Currently, Ms. Haché is the Instructor of Musical Theatre at the University
of South Carolina School of Music, and she is the Artistic Director of the USC Musical
Theatre Summer Intensive college preparatory program.
Soprano Serena Hill-LaRoche, voice instructor, is an active concert artist. An award
winning vocal artist, she was a finalist in the Southeast Regional Metropolitan Opera
Auditions, a NATS Artist Award Regional Finalist, and Bizet Award winner for the Orpheus.
Mezzo-soprano Janet Hopkins is associate professor of voice and chairs the voice faculty.
She has toured extensively with The Metropolitan Opera and has performed in Japan
and throughout Europe, as well as all over the U.S. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall
and at the opening ceremonies of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY.
Lynn Kompass is vocal coach and associate professor. She provides musical preparation
for all productions performed by Opera at USC and teaches courses in song literature
and advanced diction for singers.
Ellen Douglas Schlaefer
Ellen Douglas Schlaefer is director of Opera Studies. She has worked with some of
the world’s top opera companies and directors, including the Washington Opera and
Francesca Zambello. She has staged productions across the U.S. and throughout South
Tina Milhorn Stallard
Tina Milhorn Stallard, soprano, is professor of voice and teaches vocal pedagogy.
She performed Vivaldi’s “Gloria” with the Shanghai Philharmonic as part of the cultural
prelude to the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Alicia W. Walker
Alicia Walker is director of choral studies. She teaches conducting and choral methods
and courses in sacred music and music education. She is a frequent guest conductor,
writer and lecturer.
Jacob Will, bass-baritone, has made his New York Philharmonic debut as soloist in
the American premiere of the “Messa per Rossini,” in a performance televised live