Trying to decide on classical voice UD colleges to apply

Looking for any advice and recommendations. My daughter wants to pursue a classical voice degree. She wants to also do speech pathology snd vocal science for graduate school. She wants to eventually work singers on vocal health if she doesn’t make it as a classical voice performer.
She is a mezzo soprano.
GPA unweighted 3.95
ACT - 33
Her voice teacher says she is a strong singer, but she just recently switched from MT to classical. (Last year) Her voice is much better suited for classical. It has a deep warm tone.
We are in North Carolina.
Looking for schools that also give aid based on merit.
Any thoughts on hidden gems or good state schools? She is not crazy about heavy choral programs and really want vocal performance.
We are definitely late to the ballgame, so any advice is greatly appreciated.
She is a rising senior.


I’m assuming that she has a private teacher. Has the private teacher (or school teacher) given any guidance on colleges for her?

Don’t worry about the MT background. That is very common.


Indiana University-Jacobs ?

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I would recommend avoiding debt for a bachelor’s degree if you possibly can. It is not easy to make a living as a classical singer.

The good universities that I know for music are either public “state” universities in the US (U.Mass Amherst is good for music, but you are out of state), or expensive unless you can get aid (Julliard, New England Conservatory, Yale), or in Canada. There are quite a few very good music programs in Canada (big ones include McGill and Toronto, there are a few very good smaller less well known ones such as Acadia).

I do not know how good UNC is for music, nor specifically for voice.


Look at SUNY Purchase - very good opera - but be aware it is a conservatory and she will not be allowed to double major. They offer 1 scholarship per class that is very good. However they also offer in state scholarships after 1st year. Being a SUNY school it is the cheapest school for out of state that we looked at. Look carefully at out-of-state costs. For example Jacobs (IU) is pretty expensive if not in Indiana. Same with Bienen at Northwestern. Though being BIG 10 schools she might have a chance at scholarships and would have options of double majoring. If she is not particularly worried about performing in undergrad she can look at CCM at Univ of Cincinnati which has a strong vocal program and does offer scholarships. It is possible to double major at CCM but not easy to do. UNC does not have a strong classical program.

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I have a cousin working on her Doctorate in Vocal Performance at Indiana- Jacobs. She got her Masters at Westminster Choir College, which is now part of Rider University. She loved it there! She also did her undergrad at Texas Tech. She does a lot of chorale and opera.


While IU Jacobs is a very good school, it’s not always the best for 2 concentrations (my D went there). It could still be considered…but there may be better options.

Still wondering the level of school the voice teacher is suggesting. Does the teacher say that she could be accepted anywhere. Or based on other students in her studio, is she recommending a few schools. Since she’s new to Classical is she singing well in at least two other languages (maybe Italian and French?). This is very important information for giving recommendations. We can suggest schools…but she need to be able to do the required audition rep (available on school websites) or the recommendations are not worth much.

Also do you know what the UG requirments are for graduate degree in speech pathology and vocal science? Is simply a Bachelor’s degree sufficient? Or are there specific classes required? This may determine if she wants a BA or a BM. IU for example has a pretty strict BM where it’s hard to get addl classes in within 4 years. A BA at an LAC may be more appropriate IF she is really serious about the graduate degree. Of course she could maybe make up some of the classes once she’s in the graduate program…I’m not sure.

So it’s hard to recommend without a better understanding of her current talent level/skill set (languages, sight reading etc) and the requirments for that graduate degree and how much those requirments would impact her UG studies (meaning does she go for what’s necessary in UG or figure she could make them up later in grad school or just prior if that’s her path in the end).

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Thank you everyone. She has decided to just apply for classical voice performance. Her teacher wants her to not do a “factory” school. He wants a program that pushes vocal health. She does sing songs frequently in Italian and French.
I’m leaning towards a good program that isn’t too pricey. We are in for the long haul.

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University of North Texas has a department of musicians’ health in the college of music. They offer a graduate program in this field. Someone from this department just spoke in one of my son’s pedagogy classes earlier this week.
It sounds like she should consider doing her undergraduate degree in music while completing the prerequisites for an advanced degree in speech pathology. She probably doesn’t need to double major but it might be easier at a school of music within a university or at an LAC.

D is a second year MM student at IU Jacobs. One of the most talented/well trained mezzos in her program did her undergrad at Westchester (one of the PA state schools). I would definitely check it out as a hidden gem, along with Temple.

Totally agree that saving money is key- we blew the wad on undergrad, and D was lucky to get good merit money for her MM program, but many of her peers could not afford grad school after paying for 4 years of undergrad.

If you have demonstrated need, schools like Northwestern will meet your need (as defined by their net price calculator). Has she considered NCSA? UNC Greensboro? Kentucky?

Have you considered University of North Carolina School of the Arts? As an instate student, the costs are really not bad.

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My S is a first year in Drama at UNCSA, I cant say enough about how wonderful the school is. I know nothing about the classical voice program but if the OP is interested in a conservatory program it is a wonderful place

My kid was a music performance grad student at UNCSA on a brass instrument. It’s a great smaller program.

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