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Voice Concentration Proficiency Exam

Voice Concentration Proficiency Exam

Voice Concentrations (Music Composition, Music Education, Music History, or Music Theory) are expected to complete the Concentration Proficiency Exam at the end of their sixth semester of voice study. The exam is in lieu of the regular jury, but occurs during jury week.  

Students must prepare eight memorized selections.  

Music Education majors must present two pieces each in English, German, French, and Italian. They will choose one selection of their choice, and three of the panel’s choice, for a total of one selection in each language.  The exam repertoire may be sung in any order.  Additionally, the students must present a list of all repertoire they have learned during their study in the degree.  The list must contain at least 30 selections, with a minimum of 5 selections in each of the following languages:  English, German, French, and Italian.  

Music Composition, Music History, or Music Theory majors must present at least two pieces in English, two pieces in Italian, one piece in French, and one piece in German, with the remaining pieces in English or some other language (e.g., Latin, Russian, Spanish.)  They will choose one selection of their choice, and three of the panel's choice.  The exam repertoire may be sung in any order.   Additionally, the students must present a list of all repertoire they have learned during their study in the degree.  The list must contain at least 30 selections, with a minimum of 3 selections in each of the following languages:  English, German, French, and Italian. 

The repertory presented for the exam does not have to be newly assigned for that semester, but can include music learned in the previous semesters as well. Students who do not pass the Concentration Proficiency Exam may retake the exam after an appropriate period of additional study as recommended by the voice faculty.

At the start of the Proficiency Exam, the student will choose one piece.  Three additional pieces will be chosen by the faculty, and the student may then perform the total of four pieces in any order.

In order to have a successful exam the student must show clear evidence of very good to excellent musical preparation and memorization with few, if any missteps: correct rhythms, pitches, text, diction, and musicality. They must demonstrate that they sing consistently in tune and with an appropriate use of a natural vibrato. There must be clear and regular evidence in all selections that the student is able to produce a voice that demonstrates the timbre appropriate for bel canto singing: chiaroscuro. There must also be clear evidence that the singer is committed to a stylistically appropriate interpretation of each piece, with the ability to convincingly communicate the meaning of the words being sung as well as the musical phrase.  The student will either pass or fail the Proficiency Exam, and the final letter grade for the semester will be given by the studio teacher.