Welcome to Voice Performance at CU Boulder! We offer a variety of options for undergraduate and graduate vocal performance majors, including the undergraduate Opera Scenes class, which culminates in a public performance each fall; participation in a variety of choral ensembles, including performances of major choral works and CU’s Holiday Festival celebration in December; master classes with prominent performing artists such as Thomas Hampson, Martina Arroyo, Michelle DeYoung and Anna Christy; lead, supporting and chorus roles with the Eklund Opera Program productions (by audition); degree recitals (for BM/BMT/BME students); departmental recitals in our Friday afternoon student performance series and musical productions with the CU Department of Theatre & Dance.
Voice majors receive weekly individual lessons from faculty or Graduate TA's (under the direct supervision of Dr. John Seesholtz). All BM and BME students will have applied lessons with our faculty during all 4 years of their degree. In addition to singing in choral ensembles, students regularly work and perform with colleagues in our collaborative piano department as well as with renowned master class clinicians, guest conductors and directors for the Eklund Opera program.
We, the voice faculty at CU Boulder, pride ourselves on the professional and collegial atmosphere of our department. In keeping with our philosophy of mutual support, we maintain an “Open Studio Policy” in which students are allowed to observe lessons taught by any teacher, with the prior approval of the teacher and the student of the lesson in question.
American soprano Jennifer Bird enjoys a busy and varied singing career in the U.S. and Europe, having built a reputation as a charismatic, intelligent and versatile performer of more than 50 roles in opera, operetta and musical theater, as well as much of the standard oratorio and concert literature. As the recipient of a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship, Jennifer studied in Germany in the Opernklasse of the Hamburg Musikhochschule, where she joined the vocal studio of renowned soprano Judith Beckmann. Soon thereafter she began singing at the Landestheater Coburg and then at the Bremer Theater where she became a pillar of the soloist ensemble, singing major roles in the lyric and lyric- coloratura soprano repertory and, in Coburg, twice earning the Audience Favorite Prize. Engagements followed at the Vienna Volksoper, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Theater Bonn, Theater Chemnitz, Theater Lübeck, Theater Würzburg and Theater Hagen, among others. Read Ms. Bird's full bio.
Matthew Chellis is considered one of America’s most versatile singing actors. He has appeared with opera companies, orchestras and theatre companies in North and South America and Europe. Chellis has sung over twenty principal roles with New York City Opera and sung with Washington National Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Bogata, and Calgary Opera to name a few. Concert performances include numerous appearances at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and Boston Symphony Hall. Mr. Chellis has taught at New York University and Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts prior to his appointment at UC Boulder. He is the founder and executive director of the Up North Vocal Institute – an intensive four week vocal training program located in northern Michigan. Read Mr. Chellis' full bio.
Baritone Andrew Garland is widely recognized as a leader in recital work with dozens of performances around the country including Carnegie Hall with pianist Warren Jones and programs of modern American songs all over the Unites States and in Canada. Jones, Marilyn Horne, Steven Blier, a number of American composers and several major music publications all endorse him as a highly communicative singer leading the way for the song recital into the 21st Century. Garland has five other recordings on the Telarc, Naxos, Roven Records and Azica Labels. During the 2016 – 2017 season, Garland performed in the world premiere of William Bolcom’s "Dinner at Eight" with Minnesota Opera, joins the Houston Symphony for the world premiere of "The Conquest Requiem" by Gabriela Lena Frank, debuts as Prior Walter in "Angels in America" with New York City Opera, reprises Guglielmo in "Cosí fan tutte" with Ash Lawn Opera and Dancaïre in "Carmen" with Boston Lyric Opera. Read Mr. Garland's full bio >>
Since her college years in Tokyo, Japan, Mutsumi Moteki has been active as a vocal coach/accompanist. She received extensive training in this area from Westminster Choir College and University of Michigan as well as prestigious summer programs such as Music Academy of the West, Steans Institute for Young Artists, Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden bei Wien, and Conservatoire de musique in Genève. Known for her effective and unique vocal coaching style, which advocates beautiful legato singing as well as the fine details of diction and the interpretation of text and music, Moteki has taught master classes for singers and pianists at many universities and colleges in the U.S., Taiwan and Japan. She is currently a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she teaches singing diction and vocal repertoire. Read Dr. Moteki's full bio.
Mezzo soprano Abigail Nims has established herself as a musician of integrity and versatility, garnering praise for her performances of repertoire from the Baroque to contemporary premieres. Nims has appeared in leading roles with companies throughout the United States and abroad including Wexford Festival Opera, New York City Opera, Atlanta Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Florentine Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, New Jersey Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, the Princeton Festival, Opera Delaware and Opera North. She has received awards from distinguished foundations and institutions including the Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation Competition, Santa Fe Opera, the Carmel Bach Festival, Yale School of Music and the American Bach Society/Bach Choir of Bethlehem Competition. Read Ms. Nims' full bio.
Teaching and mentorship are Reger’s true passions and he’s worked with some of the top vocal performers and coaches in the country, including at the Minnesota Opera, Indiana Opera Theater, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Ann Arbor Opera. In summer 2014 he was a coach and performer at the Opera Studio de Recife in Brazil. Reger has also been on the faculty of Music Academy of the West, and worked for Virginia Opera. A strong supporter of local arts organizations, he has also played with the Virginia Symphony, the Williamsburg Symphonia and the Cantabile Singers Art Song Project. Read Dr. Reger's full bio.
John Seesholtz, dramatic baritone, is currently the director of vocal pedagogy at CU Boulder, president of the COWY National Association of Teachers of Singing (Colorado Governor), resident artist with Denver Art Song Project, and instructor at two young artist programs: La Musica Lirica and Up North Vocal Institute. Seesholtz has published two articles with the Journal of Singing, “The Origin of the Verdi Baritone,” which was recently featured and quoted on the MET Opera Podcast, and “The AIDS Quilt Songbook and It’s Uncollected Works.” Seesholtz holds vocal performance and pedagogy degrees from University of Michigan (MM), University of Texas at San Antonio (BM) and the University of North Texas (DMA). While working on his doctorate, Seesholtz was awarded the Graduate Music Student of the Year award from University of North Texas. Read more about Dr. Seesholtz on his bio.