Vocal Arts Festival

UWM vocal arts festival

January 31 – February 1, 2020

Location: Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts


Choral directors and voice instructors are invited to nominate qualified high school singers for the UW Milwaukee Vocal Arts Festival!  All students selected for the festival will:

  • Rehearse and perform with the UWM Honor Choir; the final performance will be in UWM’s Helene Zelazo Center for the Arts.
  • Work on a prepared classical solo with UWM voice faculty in a masterclass or mini-lesson (accompanist provided)
  • Attend large and small group voice sessions focused on vocal health, anatomy, and performance skills
  • Attend a performance of opera and musical theater scenes, choral music, and vocal solos given by UWM students and faculty

Nominating Students

Teachers may nominate as many students as they wish by providing students with a link to the student application form. Once a student fills out the application, including nominating teacher’s email, the teacher will receive a link to verify the student’s information along with a few other fields.

The festival is limited to 120 students, so only the most qualified nominees will be selected for participation. Please nominate only accomplished singers who are strong musicians and who will have a prepared classical solo ready to perform during the festival. Nominations are due by November 4; students and directors will be notified of acceptance by November 25.


$50 per accepted student. Cost includes all rehearsals, vocal sessions, voice masterclasses and lessons, performances, accompanists, parking, music (on loan), and three meals (Friday dinner and Saturday lunch and dinner). Lodging is not included. There are a small number of scholarships available to students in need.

Choral Repertoire

The honor choir will perform four selections. Three will be mailed to accepted students in advance, and singers are asked to prepare their voice part on these pieces before arriving at UWM. A fourth choral piece will be distributed at the festival and learned during rehearsal.

  • Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina – G. B. Martini
  • I Am Not Yours – David Dickau
  • *Mangisondele Nkosi Yam – arr. Michael Barrett
  • Elijah Rock – arr. Moses Hogan

Event Schedule

Friday, January 31
12:00pm Registration and seating
12:30pm Vocal warm-ups and introductions
1:00pm Choral rehearsal
2:45pm Voice sessions led by UWM voice, choral, and music education faculty – students choose one to attend (directors also welcome)
Choral rehearsal
5:15pm Dinner at Sandburg Café (provided)
6:30pm Choral rehearsal
7:30pm UWM Vocal Showcase Recital
8:30pm Reception
Saturday, February 1
9:00am Vocal warm-ups
9:15am Masterclass #1
10:45am Choral rehearsal
12:00pm Lunch (provided – subs)
1:00pm Masterclass #2
2:30pm Choral rehearsal
4:15pm Large group voice session
4:45pm Concert run-through
5:45pm Dinner (provided – Buca di Beppo)
7:00pm Final Concert


This is an excellent opportunity for talented high school singers to interact with, perform for, and join their voices with peers from around the region. Participating students will have the chance to learn and grow as both soloists and choral artists.  We hope you and your students are able to join us for this exciting event!

Zack Durlam, UWM Director of Choral Activities, durlam@uwm.edu
Tanya Kruse Ruck, UWM Voice Area Head, tkruse@uwm.edu