The OSU vocal studies program offers intensive training and wide-ranging performance opportunities in solo singing. Predominantly classical in emphasis, vocal studies focuses largely on undergraduate students, providing the sort of individualized attention and performance opportunities that, at many colleges and universities, are reserved solely for graduate students.
At the core of vocal studies is a graduated series of individual voice lessons, taught by a full-time faculty of four, each with extensive professional experience as performers and teachers. Lessons are open not only to music majors and minors, but to interested students from any discipline. All students taking voice lessons, regardless of their majors, study with faculty members. There are no teaching assistants in this area. For students without previous experience in individual voice lessons, the voice class MUS 185 offers a "user friendly" introduction to solo singing. This class can accommodate singers who do not read music, although the ability to read is required in order to advance to individual lessons.
In addition to individual lessons, the vocal studies area offers a variety of supporting courses. These include lyric diction classes in Latin/Italian, German, and French, as well as opera literature, and, in conjunction with the piano studies area, Alexander Technique.
The main ensemble connected with the vocal studies area is Opera Workshop. Two terms out of each year, Opera Workshop performs programs of fully staged scenes, usually in their original languages. Recent programs have included scenes from The Tender Land, Don Pasquale, The Rape of Lucretia, The Impressario, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Orfeo ed Euridice, and La Cenerentola. Opera Workshop performances make extensive use of advance digital visual technology in its stagings.
OSU singers have enjoyed frequent success in regional auditions, such as the NATS Cascade Chapter Auditions, the Metropolitan Opera District and Regional Auditions, and Northwest Young Voices. Many have participated in preprofessional training programs, such as the Astoria Music Festival, the Portland Spring Opera Workshop, the Vancouver, B.C. Summer Opera Workshop, Bel Canto Northwest, the BASOTI program in San Francisco, the University of Miami program in Salzburg, Austria, and the Chautauqua Institute. OSU graduates have gone on to prestigious graduate programs in voice performance, including at the Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, University of Arizona, San Francisco Conservatory, University of Texas, and University of Oregon.