The perfect place to start.
Opera is alive and well at Friends University! Pursue your passion for singing in an award-winning, nurturing small liberal arts university environment exclusively focused on undergraduates.
Start your future in music.
Your path to a career.
The Bachelor of Music in Performance degree offers majors in vocal and instrumental areas (keyboard, woodwinds, brass, strings, jazz, and percussion).
Four related degrees
Choose from bachelor’s degrees in Vocal Performance, Music, Music Education and Music Theatre.
Music scholarships include the special Anita George Vocal Scholarship. These are awarded on the basis of audition regardless of degree program.
Tradition of Excellence and Instruction
With a tradition of vocal excellence that includes individual instruction with caring, accomplished professors
Schedule an audition.
Opera Ensembles & Opportunities
Where the fun begins.
- Two fully-staged productions of opera or music theatre with orchestra per academic year
- Experienced, award-winning voice faculty
- Dedicated one-on-one music preparation, vocal and language coaching
- Summer opera and Italian study with Opera Seme in Arezzo, Italy
- Science-based voice education with a focus on vocal health and cross-training in multiple styles
- Advanced training opportunities in voice pedagogy and science
- Opera/Musical ProductionsMusic for the stage at Friends University promotes the development of young artists through the performance of level-appropriate works, the practice of stagecraft and deportment, and experience in technical skills, such as costuming and set construction. Students may receive Opera Workshop credit through participation in both opera and musical productions. Music degree students, as well as qualified students from other majors, are eligible to audition for productions, which include one annual large production, as well as opera scenes or excerpts from operas or musical theatre. Dr. Matthew Schloneger and Rolaine Hetherington are the directors.
- Travel OpportunitiesWith the Opera Seme young artist program in Italy each summer, there are opportunities to take your skills abroad.
- Voice Science and PedagogyDiscover the science behind the anatomy, physiology, and acoustics of the singing voice, participate in cutting-edge singing voice research, and develop your voice teaching talents through guided teaching practicums.
Awards & Accomplishments
Many of our opera productions and singers have won awards at regional and national levels! Here are a few we’re particularly proud of:
- The Mikado2nd Place, 2018 National Opera Association Opera Production Competition The Mikado >
- Scene from AlcinaFinalist, 2021 National Opera Association Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition Alcina >
- NATS West Central Region CompetitionMore regional finalists at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) West Central Region Competition than any private school in the region each of the past five years
- NATS National SemifinalsSix National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) National Semifinal Appearances over the last four years
- Assistant Professor of Music/Applied; Voice (directs Concert Choir)
- Fine Arts
- B.A., Hendrix College; M.M.Ed., M.M., Louisiana State University
- Associate Professor of Voice
- Fine Arts
- A.A., Hesston College; B.A., Goshen College; M.M., University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music; Ph.D., University of Kansas