From the Program Chairs

Vocal Performance

NEC's vocal performance major aims to prepare 21st-century artists for the rigorous demands of a professional career in music. You will receive thorough technical training in studio lessons with our renowned voice faculty. You will acquire detailed knowledge of the repertoire and styles from the early Baroque to the present and attain mastery of singing languages and diction.

You will perform frequently in Opera Studies, Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, Liederabend, new music, chamber music, recitals, and masterclasses. Recent visiting artists have included Thomas Hampson, Denyce Graves (an NEC alumna!), Diana Soviero, Barbara Bonney, José van Dam, Renee Fleming, Craig Rutenberg, Hakan Hagegard, Ben Heppner, Warren Jones, and Matthew Polenzani. NEC voice students are also encouraged to take advantage of the numerous performance opportunities available throughout the Boston area.

The combination of mentoring from wonderful teachers, rigorous coursework, and frequent performance across a variety of styles makes NEC an outstanding place for young singers to prepare for the professional world.

Vocal Pedagogy

NEC’s Vocal Pedagogy program, led by Ian Howell, allows students to study the history of their art form, consider the wisdom that comes down to us from the past, and think about the way in which they carry on the practice of classical singing in the present.

Vocal Pedagogy students at NEC may choose from three possible courses of study:

  • Master of Music in Vocal Performance with vocal pedagogy concentration
  • Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy
  • Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy

The NEC Voice and Sound Analysis Laboratory is the first of its kind in Boston. Students are able to use this facility for real-time biofeedback, research projects, and to hone their ability to hear—first with, and later without computer assistance—the characteristic timbres of both successful and unsuccessful vocal registration.

Read more about these degree programs on the NEC Vocal Pedagogy Blog.

Opera Studies

NEC's Opera Studies faculty offer a comprehensive program for the aspiring singer-actor, both at the undergraduate and graduate level. The two-year graduate course of study includes regularly scheduled classes in stage movement, diction, stage techniques, and Alexander technique as well as coaching in arias, scenes, and roles.

A training-oriented program, its goals are long-term. Work in the program is intended to provide you with the tools necessary for development that will continue beyond the prescribed course of study. Besides work in the classes, you are encouraged to develop self-reliance in your work, a code of professional behavior, and a sense of professional ethics.

Undergraduate Opera Studies

Graduate Opera Studies

Some Graduates of the Program

Dean Anthony, Jennifer Ayres, Suzanne Balaes, Benjamin Brecher, Janice Creswell, John Fanning, Andrew Funk, Denyce Graves, Theodore Green, Jill Grove, Kathryn Honan-Carter, Claudia Huckle, Michelle Johnson, Julia Kierstine, Andrew Krikawa, Marquita Lister, Lester Lynch, James Maddalena, Wright Moore, Samuel Mungo, Paula Murrihy, Rod Nelman, Christopheren Nomura, Ann Panagulias, Keith Phares, Jessie Raven, Lisa Saffer, Linda Watson, Ji-Young Yang

In photo: James Maddalena '76 creates the title role in Todd Machover's high-tech opera Death and the Powers, at Boston's Cutler Majestic Theatre, March 18–25, 2011, and at Chicago Opera Theater, April 2–10, 2011. More on this.

Interested in applying? Click here for information about our application process.