Voice and Choral

Image of a voice student receiving a one on one applied lesson from Associate Professor Angelique ClayThe Voice Program at the University of Kentucky School of Music boasts renowned faculty who have performed at the Metropolitan Opera, conducted at Carnegie Hall, and more. Our distinguished alumni have performed across the globe. Opportunities for current students include participation in our award-winning UK Choirs ensembles as well as numerous high quality productions with UK Opera Theatre, a Richard Tucker Foundation Recommended Program.

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Undergraduate Voice Auditions

Greetings from UK!

We are happy that you are considering the University of Kentucky for your undergraduate studies in voice. This attachment is designed to provide you with useful information for preparing your visit and audition on campus. If you have further inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us. You may also want to learn more about the School of Music by visiting our web site. All information is subject to change until the next Undergraduate Bulletin is published. The current bulletin is available online.

The spring audition dates for undergraduate voice are shown on the Admissions & Auditions page. Please let us know which dates you would like to audition for admission using the online School of Music Audition/Exam Request Form. If you are not able to audition on any of these dates, please contact us to arrange another time.  For information on parking and where to stay during your audition, check the resources from the UK Visitors Center.

Undergraduate General information:

  1. All students must make an application to the University of Kentucky as well as the UK School of Music (via the audition).
  2. The University requires that every undergraduate student take either the ACT or the SAT as part of the entrance requirement.
  3. We cannot accept you officially into the program or recommend you for scholarships until your applications are complete. Information about undergraduate admissions at UK can be found online.  Information about music scholarships can be found on the Scholarships & Financial Aid page.

Audition Information:

Once we receive your audition registration, you will be assigned an audition date in time to make flight arrangements. If for some reason you will need to arrive at UK on the same day as you plan to audition, particularly if flying, please let us know! You will be sent the exact time of day and audition location approximately one week before your scheduled visit.

  1. Auditions will be in the Recital Hall inside the Singletary Center for the Arts.
  2. Please plan to arrive 30 minutes ahead of your scheduled time.
  3. Provide one copy of music for the accompanist (an accompanist will be provided).

Audition Requirements:

  1. Please prepare (at least) two vocal selections which are varied in style/language and display a range of technical facility.
  2. You will start with one piece and the Vocal/Choral faculty will choose from one of your other selections to be heard.
  3. For Performance and Music Education majors you will also be asked to sight sing and show rhythm and tonal memory skills.
  4. The purpose of the voice audition is for admission into the program and for Choral Grant-in-aid consideration, including the nomination to Alltech Opera Scholarship Competition.

For any questions concerning the audition itself or about scheduling, contact Cynthia Lawrence: cynthia.lawrence@uky.edu.

Due to the number of auditionees on audition weekends, we are not able to schedule individual lessons, however, if you are interested in a certain teacher, you should endeavor to contact that teacher to schedule a time that you can meet later in the semester.

Again, thank you for your interest in the vocal program at the University of Kentucky. We look forward to meeting you and hearing you sing!

All best wishes,


Cynthia Lawrence
Coordinator of Vocal Auditions

Dr. Jefferson Johnson
Director of Choral Activities

Undergraduate Certificate in Musical Theatre

The Musical Theatre Certificate offers students the opportunity to study this popular art form in a flexible program. As a Theatre, Music, or Dance Major students may audition for entrance into this highly selective program each spring and can be admitted even as incoming Freshmen. The MT Certificate Program is interdisciplinary, and students train with experts in the various disciplines taking Private Voice Coaching, Musical Theatre Dance and Technique as well as Master Classes with national experts and participating in Musical Theatre Productions and Performances. Students in the MT Certificate study the breadth of the discipline with classes in Acting, Dance, and Voice and current alumni of the program are seeing success on Broadway and in National Tours in Mean Girls, Hamilton, Kinky Boots and Percy Jackson and others!

Three tracks available for Voice majors, Theatre majors, and Dance majors.

Musical Theatre Certificate Required Courses for Voice Majors


Students participate in a dance audition, and perform a short monologue and section of a song for the selection process. Students entering the Certificate Program must have a 3.0 GPA in their major course work.

Auditions for 2021-2022 will be available in spring 2021.

Choral Graduate Admissions Pre-Audition Screening

A pre-screening DVD is required for both MM and DMA Choral Conducting applicants. Deadline for submission is December 15th.  Send all materials to Jefferson Johnson.

  1. A short video of the candidate rehearsing (not conducting) a choir or choirs (10-15 mins).
  2.  A resume or vita
  3. For DMA’s only: A brief writing sample of an academic nature, e.g. an excerpt from a masters level research paper. 

After reviewing these materials successful applicants will be invited to campus for a live audition.

Voice Graduate Admissions Pre-Audition Screening

  1. Fill out the Audition Request Form, including your preferred live audition date.
  2. A pre-audition screening DVD
    • DVD must be postmarked by December 1.
    • Content should be no older than one (1) year and contain at least three (3) contrasting pieces.
    • Please write your name, phone number, voice type and the degree program you are applying to on the DVD.
  3. Headshot (publicity photo)
  4. Statement of Purpose. Describe your career goals and why you think UK can help you achieve them.
    • The statement of purpose for the Masters program must be between 250 and 500 words.
    • The statement of purpose for the DMA program must be between 500 and 750 words.
  5. Send these materials to the Coordinator of Voice Area Auditions, Cynthia Lawrence.

If your pre-audition DVD and other materials pass screening by our faculty, you will then be notified by email by December 30 that you are invited to a live audition at UK.

When you Come to Audition at UK:

  • Please bring 6 copies of the list (titles, composer, work) of repertoire you will offer for your audition and your resume.
  • Please arrive at least 15 minutes early.
  • Once you have passed your audition, you will be required to take entrance exams in Music History, Theory, and Vocal Studies.

MM Audition Repertoire:

  1. One (1) aria from an oratorio or opera
  2. Two (2) foreign language art songs
  3. One (1) piece in English (may be an aria)

DMA Audition Repertoire:
Must prepare a set equivalent to a thirty (30) minute recital, which must include:

  1. One (1) aria from and oratorio or opera
  2. Three (3) Foreign Language art songs
  3. One (1) piece in English (may be an aria)
  4. Any additional pieces required to present thirty (30) minutes of repertoire are left to the auditioner’s discretion, but should be largely pieces from classical repertoire.

Questions About the Program or Auditions: Cynthia Lawrence

Voice Faculty

Associate Dean
Associate Professor of Voice
218 Schmidt
Associate Director of the School of Music, Professor
Music Education, Associate Director of Choirs
101 Wessells House
Associate Professor
214 Schmidt
Associate Professor
210 Schmidt
Vocal Coach
Associate Professor Emeritus
Office N/A

Email N/A

Endowed Professor of Choral Studies
Director of Choral Activities
10 FA
Endowed Chair Voice/Opera
212 Schmidt
Vocal Coach
120 Schmidt

Email N/A

Administrative Support Associate
208 Schmidt
Professor and Director of Opera
Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies
Schmidt Vocal Arts Center
Vocal Coach
Office Location N/A
Part-Time Instructor
Choral Music
Office N/A
Part-Time Instructor
Opera Acting
Office N/A
Choral Music, Choristers
Wessel's House