College of Music

University of Colorado Boulder

Voice, Opera and Choral Studies

  • University Choir

  • CU Opera

  • University Singers

Well-known across the United States for producing superior musicians and scholars, the voice, opera, and choral department at the University of Colorado Boulder is one of the top vocal music programs in North America. The department is particularly renowned for its vocal pedagogy program, which follows in the tradition of CU voice professors Berton Coffin and Barbara Doscher, as well as its emphasis on choral research. Scholarship is not the only emphasis at CU, though. Graduates of the voice and choral programs are well-prepared for professional careers as musicians, with many of them appearing across the world on the operatic and concert stages.

The members of the voice faculty are dedicated, experienced teachers and active performers and/or researchers in the fields of vocal literature and vocal pedagogy. All belong to the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Their students have won numerous national and regional competitions, held apprenticeships with the Santa Fe Opera, Houston Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, and Central City Opera, and won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions at the national level. Graduates are teaching in universities throughout the United States and Canada and performing in major opera houses and concert halls all over the world.

Various programs of graduate level study include the DMA in vocal performance and pedagogy and two MM degrees in vocal performance and performance pedagogy. Undergraduate programs include the BM in vocal performance and music theatre, the BME, and the BA with an emphasis in voice.

Master classes by distinguished visiting artists, such as Shirlee Emmons, Elly Ameling, Dalton Baldwin, Anthony Dean Griffey, Thomas Hampson, Frederica von Stade, Marilyn Horne, and Martin Katz, are regularly presented at the College of Music. Performance opportunities for voice students include recitals, choral ensembles, and fully staged productions of operas, operettas, and musicals. Guest directors and conductors such as Tony Award winner Mark Medoff, William Mooney, and Martin Isepp have visited the College of Music to enhance the students’ experience in the CU Opera Program.

Both undergraduate and graduate vocal students are eligible for several substantial scholarships and fellowships. Graduate students are also awarded teaching assistantships in voice and opera. In addition, vocal graduate students are frequently contracted to perform with local professional music organizations such as Opera Colorado, the Central City Opera, and the Colorado Symphony.

Private Voice Lessons

If you are interested in taking private voice lessons, please send us an email at Please include your contact information and your specific areas of interest for vocal studies. Messages are monitored regularly. This referral service is available to the general public as well as members of the CU community.

Department Chair