Voice Area

Voice Area Update for Fall 2020

UPDATED 08.11.20: COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease, and symptoms are not always obvious. Please follow all CDC, Local Government, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, and CSU guidelines regarding hand-washing, wearing an appropriate face-mask, and physical-distancing of at least 6 ft.

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who received a COVID-19 diagnosis, it is important to make your instructors aware so that appropriate health measures and accommodations can be made, if necessary.

  • All students are required to submit the Daily Symptom Checker found HERE.
  • Additional guidelines and updated information can be found HERE.
  • SMTD-specific protocols can be found HERE.

Voice-area expectations during COVID-19

Group singing has been directly linked to outbreaks of severe illness due to droplet and likely aerosol transmission. CSU and the School of Music, Theater, and Dance are doing everything possible to reduce this risk for students and faculty while they are on campus. However, off-campus singing activities (i.e. community theater/choirs, places of worship, etc.) are beyond our purview.

If students elect to participate in singing/gathering activities where distancing and mask precautions are not in place, it is important to make your instructors aware so that appropriate health measures and accommodations can be made, if necessary.

You are strongly discouraged from engaging in group (more than one) singing activities at this time as such activity may pose a risk to your classmates, faculty, and staff.

COVID-19 effects individuals differently, but respiratory involvement is a primary symptom the majority of the time. The long-term effects on the respiratory system are unknown, but an initial cycle of infection and recovery can potentially take weeks to months. As the respiratory system is the foundation from which singing is built, we strongly urge students to take the precautions above in order to avoid illness that could adversely affect their studies and the studies of colleagues for an indeterminate amount of time.

COVID-19 and the toll it has taken on society as a whole—and the arts in particular—has been incredibly difficult to go through. We know that students are being asked to work through conditions that they never expected; however, we are also very aware of how strong and capable you all are of rising to meet the challenges ahead.

We are incredibly proud of the work you all have done, and the work that is to come. The voice faculty at CSU have no doubt that we will keep one another healthy and supported as we move forward.



At Colorado State University, you’ll work alongside dedicated faculty and students to develop the knowledge and skills for excelling in a variety of fields. The world-class University Center for the Arts is located in Fort Collins, consistently ranked as one of America’s top cities with a collaborative and thriving arts community.

The Colorado State University voice area provides students with excellent opportunities for vocal, artistic and personal growth. Each member of the voice faculty provides a nurturing, yet challenging studio environment. The emphasis of process over product allows students develop a solid platform of vocal technique for realizing their personal artistry.

All voice student study with the full faculty of professors of voice. In addition to a seminar for freshman voice majors that supports their transition to collegiate study, voice majors spend the Fall semester of their Freshman year by participating in individual lesson rotations with each of the voice faculty. In their second semester of study, voice majors are placed with a single teacher for the remainder of their degree program to further promote personalized and engaged care for the student throughout their study at CSU.

Voice students have the opportunity to perform in a variety of styles and formats, as both soloists and ensemble members of choirs, opera and musical theater productions, as well as chamber music collaborations. Voice students perform a jury each semester and sing on voice area and departmental recitals throughout the year.

Study With

Tiffany Blake

Associate Professor of Music; Voice (Soprano); Coordinator of Voice; Director of Ralph Opera Program


John Carlo Pierce

Associate Professor of Music; Voice (Lyric Tenor), Opera History; Coordinator of Freshman Voice Studio


Nicole Asel

Assistant Professor of Music; Voice (Mezzo Soprano)


Chris Crans

Instructor of Music; Collaborative Pianist


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CSU vocal students place at 58th Annual NATS Competition


In November, Colorado State University vocal students participated in the 2020 West Central Regional Student Auditions for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS); the 58th annual competition for Colorado, Wyoming, and Kansas vocalists was held via video submission for 2020. Founded in 1944, NATS is the largest professional association of teachers of singing in […]

Promotional Photo of University Center for the Arts External Spring

School of Music, Theatre, and Dance COVID-19 Policies


All information and health protocols provided are based on information and CDC, local government, and CSU guidelines available at the time of posting. This website will be updated frequently to account for changes in CDC, local government, and CSU guidelines and protocols.  Read the complete list of School of Music, Theatre, and Dance COVID-19 policies […]

Riders to the Sea title page

British one-act operas bring varied emotions to the University Center for the Arts in April


We caught up with the director of CSU’s Ralph Opera Program, Tiffany Blake, to find out more about the upcoming presentation of two highly contrasting one-act operas by British composers, The Wandering Scholar by Gustav Holst and Riders to the Sea by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The composers were dear friends and both operas premiered in the 1930s. […]


Undergraduate Voice Audition Information

Audition Information and Suggested Repertoire (all music majors and the minor)

I. Prospective first-year voice majors in Vocal Performance, Music Education, Music Therapy and Bachelor of Arts will demonstrate vocal technique as well as musical skills:

  • Perform two prepared vocal solos from memory (see repertoire suggestions below). A piano accompanist will be provided. Bring your sheet music in the key you are singing.
  • The interview includes a short theory diagnostic/skills assessment for voice, that consists of a short line of sight-singing (students may sing this on their choice of “la” or solfege), and a short rhythmic pattern that students will clap out. This short diagnostic allows music faculty to see where you are in their theory knowledge but is not a barrier to admission to our program.


II. Audition Repertoire: solos are comparable to songs that would be prepared and memorized for high school All-State Choir auditions and solo/ensemble competitions. Prepare two contrasting selections:

  • One art song or aria* in Italian or English
  • A second art song or aria in English, Italian, German, French, or Spanish (one musical theater, spiritual, or folk song selection may be substituted for either song).

*Opera arias from the 19th century (Puccini, Verdi etc.) are discouraged for freshman singers. Opera or oratorio arias from the 17th and 18th century are appropriate (Handel, Caldara, Scarlatti, etc.).

III. Suggested Repertoire – selections from:

  • The First Book of Soprano (or Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, Baritone) Solos
  • The Second Book of Soprano (or Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, Baritone) Solos
  • 26 Italian Songs and Arias, (Medium High or Medium Low)
  • Folk Songs for Solo Singers, (Medium High or Medium Low) – (published by Alfred)


IV. Audition Dress – Professional dress is recommended: skirts/dresses/dressy slacks for women; dress slacks/dress shirt for men. Please, no jeans, T-shirts, or sneakers.

V. Transfer Student Auditions

  • Perform two prepared vocal solos or arias from memory, appropriate to your training and experience. A piano accompanist will be provided. Bring sheet music in the key you are singing. Bring a performance resume and/or repertoire list if you have one.
  • Demonstrate musical skills as requested.

VI. Voice students seeking the Music Education or Music Therapy degree path will also have an interview with faculty from those areas.

Graduate Voice Audition Information

Graduate Voice Prescreening Requirement

When applying to the graduate school, please upload a video of your pre-screening selections through the digital portfolio attached to the application. The video upload should include performances of two selections from the following:

  • An oratorio aria or 17th-18th Century piece
  • An operatic aria
  • One German art song
  • One French art song
  • One American/British/Canadian art song in English
If invited for live audition, prospective students must prepare five selections to be performed from memory. Repertoire should include:
  • An oratorio aria or 17th-18th Century piece
  • An operatic aria
  • One German art song
  • One French art song
  • One American/British/Canadian art song in English

Please provide a typed program listing your selections.

Guest Artists

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