image of female vocalist Kirby in recital hall

Vocal / Choral

The vocal/choral department at Furman University offers conservatory-level training within the context of an outstanding academic institution. At Furman, you’ll enjoy a national caliber liberal arts education while receiving outstanding training in music. Furman University offers three degree programs in the study of voice: Bachelor of Music Performance degree; Bachelor of Music Education (Choral) degree; and Bachelor of Arts degree.

Interested in one of our Youth or Adult Programs?

Scroll down page to read more about our summer experience, fall choral festival and church music conference.

Vocal Study

In addition to applied voice, Furman offers specialized courses in lyric diction, vocal pedagogy, vocal literature, choral conducting, chamber music, Alexander Technique, dance and acting. Furman’s Lyric Theatre program showcases full productions each year, featuring undergraduates in leading roles, chorus and orchestra. Our students prepare for a career in music by receiving professional level coaching and stage direction. Recent full productions with orchestra include Lerner and Loewe’s Brigadoon and My Fair Lady, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute, Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Menotti’s The Medium, Massenet’s Cendrillon and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. In addition, Furman mounts large-scale choral works with orchestra each semester using student soloists. All oratorio and opera productions are performed in McAlister Auditorium, a 2,000 seat proscenium style theatre.

Furman voice majors have gone on to the top music conservatories and universities including the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University, Boston University, Peabody Conservatory, Indiana University, University of Michigan, New England Conservatory, and San Francisco Conservatory. Current students and graduates have participated in AIMS-Graz Austria, Bel Canto (Florence, Italy), Lyrique-en-mer (Festival Belle-Ile, France), SongFest (Los Angeles), and Franco-American Vocal Academy (FAVA). Recent graduates have won spots in the top young artist programs including the Ryan Opera Center (Lyric Opera Chicago), Merola Opera Program (San Francisco Opera), Santa Fe Opera, and the Jette Parker Young Artist Program (Royal Opera House, London). Furman currently has three alumni on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera.

Guest Artist 2019/20

Keith Chambers, conductor
Nicholas Pallesen, transformational coach
Jacquelyn Stucker, soprano

Vocal Area Resources

Contact a Voice Professor

Interested in voice lessons, opera, lyric theater or membership in a choral ensemble? We would like to talk with you!

Contact Us

Lyric Theater

Furman’s Lyric Theater program showcases full productions each year, featuring undergraduates in leading roles, the chorus and the orchestra.

See images from recent Lyric Theater productions
image lyric theater men singing on stage with snow falling

Choral Ensembles

We have a place for you! Our three primary choral ensembles are open to majors and non-majors by audition.

Learn more about our choral ensembles
image of oratorio chorus on risers in mcalister auditorium

Youth and Adult Programs

Summer Vocal Experience

Young Artist Vocal Experience
June 21 – 26, 2020

YAVE is an intensive one-week summer workshop for talented singers ages 14-18. Board or Commute. Vocal styles taught: musical theater, opera, sacred, art song, oratorio. Participants have the opportunity to develop their skills through voice classes, acting classes, master classes, student recitals, faculty recitals, alumni recitals and special topic sessions. Instructors are Furman University voice faculty and Furman vocal performance alumni. Private lessons are available for an additional fee. LEARN MORE ABOUT YAVE.

Fall Choral Festival

Furman Fall Choral Festival
October 23-24, 2020

CHORAL DIRECTORS: Your recommended students will join high school singers from across the region to practice and perform under the baton of renowned conductor Hugh Ferguson Floyd. With participation limited to two SATB quartets per school, this festival offers your top students the opportunity to enhance their ensemble skills and interact with their musical peers. Rehearsals begin Friday evening and culminate in a free performance with the Furman Singers on Saturday afternoon.

Registration and selection of SATB members is handled by the choral director of each participating school. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CHORAL FESTIVAL.

Church Music Conference

Church Music Conference
January 30-21, 2020

Guest Clinicians: Pearl Shangkuan and Dan Forrest

The 2020 Furman University Church Music Conference will mark the 50th year of this marvelous event, founded in 1971 by Dr. Bingham L. Vick, Jr. and Dr. Milburn Price. To mark the occasion, we are honored to have as our clinicians this year two acclaimed musicians: PEARL SHANGKUAN, Director of Choral Activities at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI and an internationally active conductor; and composer (and Greenville native) DAN FORREST, whose works are among the most-often performed of American composers in our time.

For: College and adult music directors, organists, pianists, conductors, choir members and church music enthusiasts.