Classical Vocal Performance

The Bard undergraduate vocal program is one of the most consistent vocal programs in the country, deeply committed to the development and nurturing of young singers while providing them with the tools they require for a professional career in music or vocational aspirations beyond college.

Employing techniques and performance skills used by world-class singers, including members of our own distinguished faculty, we educate our students in musical history, theory, languages, movement, and operatic stagecraft. Our voice faculty collaborate in teaching a consistent vocal technique in intensive private lessons, which ensures that all students are able to address their individual vocal needs, as well as guaranteeing a common approach to the voice in all classes and workshops.

Performance opportunities with professional musicians, directors, and conductors offer inspiration and serve as a liaison to the music world. In a supportive, creative environment that encourages our students to observe and learn from each other while building their confidence, we are able to develop our singers to their greatest vocal potential.


The requirements and recommendations for vocal majors (half these requirements are to be completed by time of Moderation):

  • Private lessons every semester for the duration of study with Rufus Müller, Ilka LoMonaco, or Teresa Buchholz
  • Individual coaching with Erika Switzer or David Sytkowski (sophomores with intent to moderate: second semester only, 30 minutes/week; juniors: 45 minutes/week; seniors: 60 minutes/week)
  • Performance class for each semester of private lessons (performance classes include Chamber Singers, Baroque Ensemble, Opera Workshop, Müller/Switzer performance Workshop. In some cases these courses may be audited, but private lessons require registration.)
  • Both semesters of Pronunciation and Diction for Singers (Music 254A/B)
  • Three semesters of music theory and music history (includes at least one course at the 300 level or above)
  • One class in composition, or 4 credits in an approved, equivalent creative course (one 4-credit class in composition or an approved alternative, such as Jazz Improvisation Workshop or Electronic Music Composition)

Juries: Two songs/arias, every semester (excluding final semester for graduating seniors or those preparing a Moderation or Senior Project)

Moderation project: For guidelines and information, click here.

Senior Project:For guidelines and information, click here.

Click here to view the complete guidelines for recital programs and translations.

Other suggested complimentary courses: Feldenkrais and the Voice; language courses such as French, German, or Italian; dance courses.

vocal performance
vocal performance
opera workshop
James Bagel conducting vocal rehearsal