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Vocal Performance Degrees W/ Elements of MT?

gmo913gmo913 Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
edited April 2015 in Music Major
I am a current high school junior. I've been lurking around for quite some time, but today I came across something that I'd really like to know more about:

I really love to sing, but I also enjoy being in musicals. However, I acknowledge that my main love is of singing, though dancing and acting are things I enjoy too. Therefore, I think a vocal performance degree would appeal to my interests more than MT.

But, anyways, I came across this in a thread while I was lurking:

"at OCU, VPS and MTs share voice studios and all audition for and are cast in both operas and musicals"
(this is from this thread: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/discussion/comment/18382289#Comment_18382289)

I was just wondering if this is a common thing for colleges to do? I would LOVE to work closely with MT people while pursuing VP and I'd love to have a chance to be in college productions.

Do any of you know colleges like Oklahoma City University that do this? I want my main focus to be on classical vocals, but I would still love to sing musical theatre repertoire. I know many would argue that MT and VP involve two entirely different styles of singing, and switching back and forth can be harmful to the voice, but after I read that passage above, I'm not so sure...

I'm probably rambling at this point, oops! I'm really sorry if this made no sense, this is my first time posting.

Thank you so much for reading, any input is appreciated :)

Replies to: Vocal Performance Degrees W/ Elements of MT?

  • lcoulter32724lcoulter32724 Registered User Posts: 143 Junior Member
    Hi gmo913. In addition to OCU other schools I've heard of which seem to allow students some flexibility in this regard are Ithaca, NYU Steinhardt, and James Madiison University. There are likely others that I'm not including. You might want to check the musical theater forum where this comes up from time to time as well.
  • politicalsopranopoliticalsoprano Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    I second the recommendation of NYU Steinhardt. When I visited, they said that classical students are encouraged to take musical theatre classes and vice-versa. Vocal Performance majors may either declare a classical or musical theatre concentration. You may enjoy the musical theatre concentration as it is mainly focused on singing with acting and dancing mixed in. It is important to note classical students also take acting and dance classes. Also, no matter what your concentration, you can participate in musical theatre or opera productions.
  • gmo913gmo913 Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    Thank you for your replies! I'll do some more research on Steinhardt, JMU, and Ithaca :)

    Does anyone have any more suggestions? All input is appreciated!
  • bridgenailbridgenail Registered User Posts: 1,005 Senior Member
    These are regional suggestions. If you don't live in the mid-west you may not be interested but I know some kids that have gone to these schools who have worked professionally (even in NYC) mainly in MT but had classical voice training as well. They may also be more affordable than say NYU.

    Iowa State University
    St. Olaf in MN
    University of MN - Duluth - they actually have a great undergrad fine arts program - if you can stand the cold!
  • gmo913gmo913 Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    Totally forgot about making this thread - oops! Looking for more suggestions as it is time for me to start buckling down on my college search.

    Anyone have any reccomendations in/near Ohio? If not any reccomendations at all would be great :)

  • megpmommegpmom Registered User Posts: 3,114 Senior Member
    You might want to check out the College-Conservatory of Music at Univ of Cincinnati. When my S was auditioning for VP a few years ago, they were very encouraging about him being able to participate in MT as well. They are separate departments (MT is in the theatre dept) but the faculty that S spoke to said that there was some ability to cross over. I can say for sure, because he chose not to attend, but it's worth investigating.
  • gmo913gmo913 Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    Thank you so much!! I'll look into it :)
  • megpmommegpmom Registered User Posts: 3,114 Senior Member
    Other Ohio schools that my kids investigated (one is a VP major, one was an MT major) are Baldwin-Wallace and Ohio Wesleyan. Both have strong MT departments. But, I don't know how much cross-over they offer.
  • gmo913gmo913 Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    I had no idea Ohio Wesleyan had a good MT department - I absolutely LOVED that campus! Definitely worth looking into. A friend of mine who is a VP major at UT Austin also recommended looking in to Baldwin Wallace so I'll check that out as well. Thanks again!
  • Sguti40Sguti40 Registered User Posts: 171 Junior Member
    My d is a vp major who also does mt. Her school supports the rep but doesn't allow for anyone other than mets to audition for shows.

    Also look into Plymouth state. Smaller state school in New Hampshire, but I fell in love with it. They offer a vp bm and mt bfa. Auditions were on the same day and the program's seemed very interdisciplinary. The head of the vocal dept is awesome! Good luck!
  • ltc001ltc001 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Hello! I am a current vocal performance major. At my school, they have vocal performance and theatre program but not musical theatre. There is almost a feud between the departments, and that's a main reason I'm looking at transferring. The reason behind is this that our VP was a very classical track and focused primarily on opera. The theatre department does musicals every couple of years and decided to do Rocky Horror, and the vocal performance majors were NOT supposed to even audition because the roles were different than the classical training we were focusing on and would/could have interfered with the classical training. All singing is very different and while it's not impossible to do both, you may want to focus on a type of voice/singing that you'd want to pursue first, based on the "end-goal". If the ultimate goal is Broadway- go for musical theatre. If the end goal is opera- go vocal performance. Personally, I think it would be more likely to get a Broadway job with a VP trained voice rather than an opera job with a MT trained voice.

    Another point I cannot stress enough to young students applying to undergrad in the arts is that the arts are labor-intensive majors. I had 12 classes fall semester, only 1 being a general education class and taking a maximum credit hour load at 18 credit hours because a lot of music classes only count one credit hour, where a science with a lab is 4. You'll have rehearsals and classes all day and private lessons and studio classes somewhere in there. PLUS you need to practice in college 30-60 minutes a day (whatever your teacher recommends- don't over do it!) which takes up a lot of time. If you add a college level rehearsal schedule for musical theatre on top of this (which can include dance classes, blocking, table work and general rehearsal) you'll have a schedule that's too much to do. I basically had class starting with 8AM music theory and ending with rehearsal for theatre at 10PM.

    I hope any of this helped! I am really not trying to discourage anything and I hope you follow whatever your dream is, but don't overwhelm yourself and don't do anything you don't absolutely love.

    (Also, I'm from Ohio and CCM at U of Cincinnati is amazing! I'm looking there for my transfer.)
  • choirsandstageschoirsandstages Registered User Posts: 695 Member
    This is an old thread, but the info in your post is timely for me! In particular, I plan to show my daughter your second paragraph so she gets some idea of what to expect next year!
  • bridgenailbridgenail Registered User Posts: 1,005 Senior Member
    Yep. Everybody underestimates the dedication and time required (not to mention the walls and feuds - all very common for some reason). I know we did! This is a good post from someone in the trenches.
  • choirsandstageschoirsandstages Registered User Posts: 695 Member
    Forgot to tag @ltc001 when I responded. Thank you again for your insight! Are you transferring in 2016 or 2017?
This discussion has been closed.