Choral and Vocal Music » Vocal Conservatory

Vocal Conservatory



Vocal Conservatory Pre-Professional Certificate Program


Mater Dei Choral and Vocal program is proud to offer vocal training and musicianship education at the highest level which will prepare students not only for university training but will lay the foundation for a successful career in performance. 


Students are paired with talented faculty and artists who remain dedicated to their development and success.  These skilled adjunct faculty work professionally as both vocal coaches and singers.  Our esteemed faculty have sung in programs and venues around the world and continue to be sought after performing artists. Guest artists including TJ Dawson, Burr Phillips, Robin Buck, Suzanna Guzman, John Dickson, Tim Hanson, and Ann Baltz, among others, frequently visit our conservatory providing invaluable knowledge and training to our conservatory students.


Upon completion of the program students will be awarded with the program certificate confirming completion of all program requirements, a seal on their transcripts, all courses taken and grades noted on their transcripts, as well as recognition for their hard work through graduation cords and an awards ceremony.

The results of studying through Mater Dei’s vocal conservatory speak for themselves as we have graduates studying music at Northwestern, University of Michigan, University of Southern California, UCLA, Chapman University, New England Conservatory of Music, Vanderbilt, Loyola Marymount University, Baylor University, Boston University, Belmont University, and more!




Mater Dei Choral and Vocal Program is proud to offer the finest in music education at a fraction of the cost. Through generous support we are able to subsidize our program to benefit the greatest amount of students.

Lessons offered at $300/semester

Pre-College Certification Program (including lessons): $500/semester

Financial Aid is available.

Requirements for the Pre-College Certificate Program are as follows:
    • 8 Semester of Mater Dei Choral Ensemble (Vivace, Troubadours, Cabaletta, Concert Choir, Kingsmen, Bel Canto, Chamber Singers)
    • 4 semesters of Applied Voice Lessons
    • 2 semesters of Diction
    • 2 semesters Acting in Song/ Or 2 semesters Musical Theater
    • 2 Musicals or equivalent
    • 2 semesters Scenes Program including Opera Workshop
    • Attend 8 masterclasses, sing in 2 masterclasses
    • Sing in 4 Juries and/or Recitals
    • Senior Recital
    • 2 semesters AP Music Theory or Equivalent (optional)
Suggested outline for course completion



Fall Semester

Spring Semester



Choir: Vivace or Troubadours 

Voice Lessons, Acting in Song, Recital, Masterclasses, Musical


Choir: Vivace or Troubadours 

Voice Lessons, Acting in Song, Recital, Masterclasses, Musical



Choir: Cabaletta, Concert Choir, Kingsmen, Bel Canto or honors Chamber Singers

Voice Lessons, Diction, Recital, Masterclasses, Musical


Choir: Cabaletta, Concert Choir, Kingsmen, Bel Canto or honors Chamber Singers

Voice Lessons, Diction, Recital, Masterclasses, Musical



Choir: Bel Canto, Kingsmen, or Chamber Singers

Voice Lessons, Acting in Song, Recital, Masterclasses, Musical, Scenes Program


Choir: Bel Canto, Kingsmen, or Chamber Singers

Voice Lessons, Acting in Song, Recital, Scenes Program, Masterclasses, Musical



Choir: Bel Canto, Kingsmen, or Chamber Singers

Voice Lessons, Diction, Recital, Scenes Program, Masterclasses, AP Music Theory, Musical


Choir: Bel Canto, Kingsmen, or Chamber Singers

Voice Lessons, Diction, Scenes Program, Masterclasses, AP Music Theory, Musical

Senior Recital

Candidates for the Pre-College Certification Program MUST:


  • Participate in the full Pre-College curriculum
  • Receive a B average or higher in all courses, lessons, & juries required for the program
  • Attend 3 concerts, masterclasses or performances per semester and submit a one page (min.) written concert report (within 2 weeks of concert)
  • Perform a Senior Recital in the final year of the program



Pre-Professional Certification Program Includes:

  • Private Lessons
  • Performance & Assessment
  • Courses including Choral Ensemble, Musicianship, & Elective Courses

Private Lessons

Students are required to take a minimum of 4 semesters of voice lessons. Voice lessons are offered through the conservatory and are after school and during scheduled elective time. Students will be placed with a voice teacher and will learn foundations of healthy singing, repertoire from multiple genres, and prepare music for recitals and other events.


Performance Opportunities, and Assessments



Semester final assessment (required at the end of each semester)

Student Recitals

Mater Dei Vocal Conservatory will host a student recital at the end of each semester.  Students are required to perform in at least 4 recitals through the course of their studies, but will be expected to attend all of them. Students may perform in recital in lieu of completing a jury.

Senior Recital 

Senior Recital occurs at the end of a students senior year.  The students will demonstrate the culmination of their vocal work throughout their time in the conservatory.  This will be a formal event and will feature two students in each recital.

Mater Dei High School Vocal Competition 

The primary emphasis of Mater Dei Vocal competition is to support singers at the earliest stages of their development with a financial award, an opportunity to perform as soloist at Mater Dei Choir Concert, and the encouragement to follow their dreams.

Other Performance Opportunities

Students have ample performing opportunities, including weekly master classes, campus ministry music, national anthem performances, student recitals, galas, Fundraisers, other events



Musicianship, Choral Ensemble Music, & Elective Courses

Choral Ensembles

8 semesters of Mater Dei Choral ensemble required to complete the Certification Program. Ensembles include: Vivace, Troubadours, Cabaletta, Concert Choir, Kingsmen, Bel Canto, and Chamber Singers. 

Acting in song 

Course is offered over 2 consecutive semesters and is  focused on acting while singing. This class helps to add depth to solo repertoire from any genre and build clear communication through facial/physical expression. The class will be presented in a masterclass style forum.

AP Music Theory

This course may take the place of the Acting in Song or the Diction requirement.  This course is taken over 2 consecutive semesters.  This course is optional.


Course offered during 2 consecutive semesters. Students will develop a basic understanding of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), through attaching IPA symbols to spoken and sung phonemes in English, Italian, and German.

Musical Theatre Workshop 

Elective course that will take place over the course of 2 semesters.  In this course students will receive training in acting, dancing, and different styles of singing including Broadway belt and “legit” singing typical of musical theater.  Students will build appropriate audition techniques through both strengthening and properly using the voice, and conveying story and character through each piece. This course is offered yearly and can be taken in place of Acting in Song.


Students need to attend a total of 8 masterclasses and will sing in at least 2.  Mater Dei Vocal Conservatory will host 4-5 masterclasses/year taught by renowned artists and teachers in both musical theatre and opera. 

Movement for singers

Course dedicated to helping students understand how their body moves while developing a broader range of physical vocabulary. Fundamentals of basic dance technique will be taught.

Opera Workshop 

Course available to Juniors and Seniors and will take place over the course of 2consecutive semesters. Each semester material will be selected, learned, staged, and performed at the end of the semester. In this course, students will be assigned scenes from opera, operetta, or classical musical theatre. 

Studio Class

2 studio classes will be offered a semester for each voice teachers studio. Students will have an opportunity to work through their repertoire with an accompanist to help prepare them for auditions, concerts, and other vocal opportunities.

University & Conservatory Audition Preparation

Course is geared toward Musical Theatre, Commercial, and Classical Voice students pursuing degrees in performance or education. Students will select repertoire, examine suitable university choices, and create pre-screen audition recordings.

Vocal workshop/colloquium 

Professionals/performers in the field visit to discuss industry issues

Including: college auditions, resume building, networking and marketing, performance related issues, vocal health, careers in music, history of music


Vocal Boot Camp 

One-week course offered at the beginning of each semester.  Students will select repertoire, review healthy vocal technique skills and receive coaching.