Music Performance: Voice

Conservatory of Music

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Marc Weagraff, Chair of Voice Department
(440) 826-2368,


Develop your vocal performance skills and gain technical, artistic, analytical and entrepreneurial proficiencies that can prepare you for a rewarding career in music.

Baldwin Wallace's vocal performance major is a rigorous program that combines comprehensive coursework with private lessons and extensive performance experiences. It provides outstanding preparation for graduate studies and career opportunities.

Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are inherent to the program. BW's faculty-student ratio is 7:1 for the Conservatory of Music.

Baldwin Wallace faculty are established professionals with real-world experience, impressive credentials and networking connections. They're published composers, authors, musicians and researchers dedicated to your personal and professional success.

A key part of your studies is an eight-semester opera workshop series that focuses on acting and movement training, and the integration of those techniques with singing. These skills are put into practice in scene presentations and fully staged opera productions.

Also impressive to your studies is BW's 20-minute proximity to Cleveland – home of nationally ranked music, theatre and arts organizations and facilities.


  • Operatic performer
  • Professional singer
  • Studio voice teacher
  • Church soloist/choir member
  • Music educator
  • Arts administrator


BW is closing in on achieving the elite All-Steinway School designation for its Conservatory of Music. Once accomplished, BW will join a prestigious list of 11 conservatories worldwide that boast this renowned classification. The addition of 88 Steinway pianos will further elevate your learning experience by having lessons and performance opportunities on the same quality instruments that are the standard in concert halls worldwide.


Striking Boesel Musical Arts Center is a picturesque four-building complex that houses BW's Conservatory of Music. It's a seamless blend of historic architecture and modern design. The facility houses 50 soundproofed practice rooms, instructional space, practice studios and impressive rehearsal halls that can accommodate the latest technologies for teaching and performance.


Innovation, excellence and outstanding hands-on learning and performance opportunities make Baldwin Wallace's Conservatory of Music a proven choice for students nationwide. The undergraduate-only Conservatory provides an exceptional learning environment for students to take lead roles in performing, conducting, managing and teaching. Alumni can be found at top graduate schools and working with the best orchestras, operas and theatres. Other alumni are employed in rewarding positions in teaching, arts management and music therapy.


BW Conservatory of Music students are achievers. Over the past three years, the average ACT score for incoming students was 26. The average SAT score was 590 for verbal and 570 for mathematics.


At Baldwin Wallace, professionalism and respect toward the art of singing are the foundation of your studies.

The major includes rigorous coursework coupled with intensive and extensive practical experiences.

You'll study music theory, history and literature, form and analysis, tonal harmony, Solfège and more. You'll learn to apply critical thinking, creativity and technical skills to your work.

Outside the classroom, you'll take private lessons and perform in operas and ensembles, as well as other campus and off-campus events.

The culmination of your studies is a full-length recital program held during your senior year.

Vocal performance offers an outstanding foundation for graduate school. It can be studied as a single major or companion field of study for a double major. You can enhance your studies by adding a music emphasis to your major.


Course Descriptions

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.


Student success is a top priority. Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are at the core of BW's Conservatory of Music programs.

Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. As an instrumental performance major, you’ll have numerous opportunities to demonstrate your musicianship:

  • Regular studio classes
  • Departmental recitals
  • Conservatory convocations
  • Guest master classes
  • BW concerts
  • BW opera and music theatre pit ensembles
  • Semester juries
  • Required degree recitals
  • Annual concerto competition

With more than 325 events a year, Baldwin Wallace's Conservatory of Music offers an impressive array of performance opportunities


Through coursework and experiential opportunities, you'll have frequent opportunities to be involved in vibrant and dynamic works of theater.

BW presents three weekends of opera every year. The Gilbert & Sullivan Series plays to capacity audiences. In the spring, a main stage opera production marries the talents of singers, the University orchestra, professional designers and resident conductor. The finale includes opera scenes and a cabaret featuring the freshman class.

Vocal performance majors receive instruction and experience twice a week for four years through opera workshop classes. The goal of this program is to train performers who are well prepared for graduate school, a young artist program, the stage and other opportunities.

Classes focus on acting and movement training and the integration of those techniques with singing. These skills are put directly into practice in scene presentations and full opera productions.

Off campus, you can get involved in opera, church music, early music and music theatre opportunities.


Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music has outstanding campus performance traditions and collaborations with regional and national organizations. A few examples include:

  • Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival
    The three-day campus event is the oldest collegiate Bach Festival in the country. It features lectures, BW performance groups, faculty members and renowned professional soloists and musicians. Baldwin Wallace students consider the unusual opportunity of participating, as colleagues, with world-class professionals a high point in their performing experience. The festival is evolving to include year-round events, such as Bach Haus, that explore Bach's influence on a broad spectrum of music.
  • FOCUS Festival of Contemporary Music
    The biennial festival features the music of a contemporary composer who visits Baldwin Wallace for a week-long residency. At the conclusion of the week's rehearsals and symposia, the composer's music is performed in a series of concerts, including large ensembles and chamber groups.
  • Art Song Festival
    BW Conservatory of Music is home to this week-long biennial event that brings international concert artists, singers and pianists to campus. The festival focuses on the unique relationship between singer and pianist in the performance of art song repertoire. It provides an opportunity to hear renowned artists in both recital and master classes.


Personally and professionally rewarding, student organizations and activities foster career skills, leadership and teamwork. Opportunities for vocal performance majors include:

  • American Choral Directors Association
    Open to members of the BW community, this nonprofit music education organization promotes excellence in choral music through performance, composition, publication, research and teaching.
  • Bella Voce
    This organization enriches BW by fostering a well-rounded community of vocalists. It is devoted to the advancement of young classical singers through the implementation of professional development and workshops.


At Baldwin Wallace, student learning experiences are enhanced by exceptional resources that include:

  • Riemenschneider Bach Institute
    The institute houses rare items related to J.S. Bach and his circle, as well as historical reference materials, scores and a collection of classic recordings. It has one of the nation's most impressive holdings of Baroque manuscripts and first editions. It attracts scholars from around the world.
  • Ferne Patterson Jones Memorial Music Library
    A valuable campus resource, the library offers 18,000 scores, 7,000 books, and more than 10,000 sound and video recordings. Online resources to which the library subscribes include over one million tracks of streaming audio and video. Help with research is available by appointment, on a walk-in basis or through email.


At Baldwin Wallace, you'll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed.

Students who graduate with a major in vocal performance have gone on to pursue graduate studies at top schools like

  • Eastman School of Music
  • Florida State University
  • Indiana University, Cincinnati College-Conservatory
  • Maryland Opera Studio

Alumni of the program also have performed on the stages of the best opera houses and have achieved success in other areas of the arts and education.


Nick Baldasare '15 is pursuing a master's degree in musical theatre at New York University.

Sarah Nadler '15 is pursuing a master's degree in vocal performance at Carnegie Mellon University. She recently appeared as Amarilli in Handel's Il pastor fido Amherst Early Music Festival in New London, Conn.

Désirée Nicole Johnson '13 attended OperaWorks for its Emerging Artist Program. She is performing with the Toledo Opera for its 2014-15 season, after appearing in its production of Faust last year. While finishing up her MM degree at Bowling Green State University, she is performing and teaching there and at local schools and at her private studio.

Jonathan Cooper '12 completed his MM in voice performance at the University of Cincinnati and was the featured soloist for the Cincinnati Bach Festival. He also sang at the National Cathedral, performed with the principal oboist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and debuted with Cincinnati's Vocal Arts Ensemble and concert:nova.

Lindsay Espinosa '12 recently performed La Fee in Cendrillon (Massenet) and will be an apprentice artist with Opera Fort Collins this year. She is working toward a MM at Colorado State University.

Alice Nelson '11 is working as a private voice teacher and music director for Mayfield High School after spending a year in Texas working with the Austin Lyric Opera. She was awarded a full tuition, paid graduate assistant position while pursuing a master's degree in the music education and licensure program at Case Western Reserve University.

Jessica Waddle Romelli '11 completed her MM in vocal performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music in 2013. While there, some of her performance credits include Anna Maurant (Street Scene) and Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia). She also worked as an apprentice artist for the Sarasota Opera.

Jennifer Rowley '02 made her Metropolitan Opera debut in La Boheme in March 2014.

Elizabeth Sterling '11 is in Boston working as a performer and instructor at Tufts University and Newton Music Academy. In July she attended the OperaWorks' 2014 Summer Advanced Artist Program in Los Angeles, CA. She received her MM in voice performance from the Longy School of Music of Bard College in 2013.

Lindsey Sandham Leonard '10 is performing as Clara in The Light in the Piazza, Lakeland Civic Theatre; Street Singer in La Rondine, Opera Per Tutti; and Nellie Forbush in South Pacific, Rabbit Run Theater. She earned a MM in vocal performance from Kent State University, where she was the 2011 Concerto Competition winner.

Gene Stenger '10, tenor, made his Lincoln Center debut as the tenor soloist in J.S. Bach's St. John Passion with the Yale Schola Cantorum and Juilliard 415 Baroque Ensemble under the baton of world-renowned conductor, and interpreter of J.S. Bach, Masaaki Suzuki. He is currently completing a MM in early music, oratorio and chamber ensemble from Yale University.


Full-Time Faculty

Marc Weagraff
Chair, Voice Department
Associate Professor
D.M.A., The University of Michigan

Nanette Canfield
Associate Director, The Conservatory of Music
Assistant Professor
M.M., Indiana University

JR Fralick
D.M.A., The Ohio State University

Gregory Harrell
Associate Professor
M.M., University of Idaho Lionel Hampton School of Music

Nancy Maultsy
Associate Professor
B.M., Westminster Choir College

Joanne Uniatowski
Associate Professor
D.M.A., The Cleveland Institute of Music

Adjunct Faculty

Benjamin Czarnota
M.M., Indiana University

Tracy Grady
M.M., Ohio University

Alexander Hurd
D.M.A., University of Cincinnati–College-Conservatory of Music

James Mismas
M.M., The University of Akron

Cynthia O'Connell
M.M., West Chester University of Pennsylvania