Opera students perform Gianni Schicchi in Musco Center for the Arts
Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music

» Vocal Performance

Our Vocal Performance program gives you an intensive regimen focused on classical vocal training with a strong liberal arts foundation so you can flourish as a performer and a scholar.

The Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Pre-Music Education Certification with a vocal emphasis and the B.A. in Music with a vocal emphasis also offer the opportunity to study voice and related vocal subjects, such as Music History, Composition, and others.

Voice majors take a minimum of a one-hour private voice lesson each week plus a master class within their voice studio weekly or bi-weekly. Upper division majors may also work weekly with a coach/accompanist and an Alexander Technique practitioner. In addition to solo recitals, the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music also presents a complete opera in addition to opera scenes every year. Voice majors are also required to take acting and dance classes within the College of Performing Arts.

View our course catalog for more information.

Program Learning Outcomes

PLO1: Musicianship
The student will demonstrate fluent musicianship skills, including an understanding of music theory, proficiency with aural skills and sight reading, knowledge of different musical styles and historical eras, a demonstration of basic piano skills, the ability to rehearse and perform collaboratively and contribute to an ensemble, proficiency with basic music technology, and an understanding and demonstration of basic improvisation techniques.

PLO2: Performance
The student will acquire performance skills as a soloist on his or her main instrument, including knowledge in technique, historically appropriate performance styles and repertoire and sight reading.

PLO3: Leadership
The student will observe and experience leadership roles and professional opportunities, in order to prepare for a career as a performer.

PLO4: Pedagogy
The student will employ pedagogical techniques and skills relevant to his or her instrument family.


Chapman Vocal Performance graduates frequently matriculate to prestigious graduate schools and apprentice programs, including:

  • Boston University
  • Cincinnati Conservatory of Music
  • Indiana University
  • The Juilliard School
  • Mannes School of Music
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • New England Conservatory of Music
  • Peabody University
  • Rice University
  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • University of Southern California
  • and more!

Many alumni are currently performing in major opera houses worldwide, have developed commercial music careers, or are outstanding teachers throughout the United States.

  • Ben Bliss (L.A. Opera, Met Opera, Liceu Opera, Moscow Philharmonic)
  • Madilyn Crossland (U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters Chorus, musician first class)
  • Daniel Curran (L.A. Master Chorale, Met Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, San Francisco Opera; composer)
  • Amy "D." Dabalos (singer/songwriter, educator)
  • Daniel Emmet (opera/pop crossover singer; America's Got Talent finalist)
  • Ashley Faatoaliah (opera and pop singer, educator)
  • Grant Gershon (Musical Director, Los Angeles Master Chorale)
  • Keith Hancock (twice nominated and winner, GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year)
  • Duke Kim (Seattle Opera, Opera San Antonio, Florentine Opera Co.)
  • John Ken Nuzzo (Vienna State Opera, Met Opera, Munich Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra)
  • Bruce Sledge (Met Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Welsh National Opera, Santa Fe Opera)
  • Efraín Solís (San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, San Jose Opera)
  • Stacey Tappan (Met Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago)
  • Erin Theodorakis (Aspen Opera Center, Pacific Opera Project)
  • Rachael Marie Wilson (Staatsoper Stuttgart, Opernhaus Zurich, Bayrisches Oper)

Performance Opportunities

As an undergraduate program, our voice students have opportunities to perform solos and roles in numerous concerts and opera productions, regardless of class standing, and are also extra-curricular performance opportunities. 

  • Solo recitals, including junior and senior recitals
  • Opera Chapman (audition required)
  • University Singers (audition required)
  • University Choir
  • University Treble Choir
  • Vocal Jazz Ensemble
  • The annual concerto competition and solo concerto performances with The Chapman Orchestra

Additionally, students perform at local, regional, and national events, as well as a winter choir tour.

Program Faculty

The Chapman University Vocal Studies program is directed by Dr. Rebecca Sherburn, who teaches private voice lessons and studio classes for both lower- and upper-division students. She has performed around the world, including operatic roles with Zürich Opera, Berliner Festwochen, and the Neue Flora Theater Hamburg as well as other German State Theaters in Oberhausen, Gütersloh, Osnabrück and Aachen. Her national engagements include appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, New York New Music Ensemble, newEar of Kansas City, Los Angeles Master Chorale, South Florida Master Chorale, William Hall Chorale, Los Angeles Concert Opera, Santa Barbara Light Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Virginia Opera, Flagstaff Symphony, NewWest Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, and Kansas City Ballet.

As a concert artist, she has premiered several works that were written specifically for her voice, and she has built a reputation for performing rarely heard contemporary chamber works. She has two recordings of American chamber music available through Albany Records, Paul Creston Songs (GRAMMY-nominated) and Love, the Fair Day.

Additional voice and related faculty:

Our voice faculty and coaches are all accomplished, active performers who bring the knowledge and insight of performing to their students.

Guest Artists

Here are just a few of the acclaimed guest artists who have recently visited or taught Chapman voice students:

Student Clubs and Organizations

Chapman has hundreds of student clubs and organizations. These range from academic to spiritual to cultural to just having fun. Some clubs that are popular with our department majors include:

Admission and Tours

All applicants are required to submit the Common Application, a Creative Supplement and an audition video. You may also be asked to perform a live audition by invitation.

You can find more details about the application process on our How to Apply page, or check out the curriculum in our current catalog.

Want to learn more about Chapman? We are always available for tours and information sessions. We’d love to meet you!

Related Programs

B.M. in Pre-Music Education Certification

Music Minors