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Master of Music in Voice

Major code: M730

Dr. Leslie John Flanagan
  • Baritone, Vocal Pedagogy, Area Chair
Prof. Valerie Bernhardt
  • Soprano
Dr. Joel Burcham
  • Tenor
Prof. Lorraine Ernest
  • Soprano
Dr. Taylor Hutchinson
  • Vocal Coach
Dr. Nicole Kenley-Miller
  • Opera Stage Director
Prof. Mark McCrory
  • Bass-Baritone
Dr. Jonathan Shames
  • Artistic Director of Opera


Concentration and Code
(click for Coursework Requirements)

Performance (Q506)

Opera Emphasis (Q481)


This degree requires the following profiencies. View the PDFs linked below for more details.


Voice students accepted into the graduate program in the OU School of Music must demonstrate competencies in foreign language (Italian, French, and German), diction (Italian, English, French, and German), vocal literature, and piano. These competencies will be assessed early in the student’s first semester through transcripts, interviews with the faculty, and/or written tests. All competencies must be completed before graduation.


Application Deadline

We are no longer accepting applications for this degree program for Fall 2024.


To receive full consideration for admission and graduate assistantships, the application deadline is December 15. The School of Music cannot guarantee an audition, interview, admission, or graduate assistantship if application is received after the deadline.

The deadline to apply for the Benton-Schmidt audition days is typically in mid January. See the Benton-Schmidt information at the bottom of this page for more information.



There is no separate application for assistantship. Unless the applicant indicates otherwise, we assume that all applicants are interested in being considered for assistantships. Please note that assistantships are usually awarded for the Fall and Spring semesters together. We very seldom have assistantships available for anyone entering in a Spring semester.  We do not award assistantships for Summer sessions.


Application Procedure

All applicants must complete the online application to the OU graduate college (see the Graduate Admissions page). The following items should be submitted along with the online application.


Application materials required for all graduate degrees

These items must be submitted to the online graduate application system.

  • Resume
  • Personal Statement
    • Submitted to the online application under the Statement of Purpose tab
    • What aspects of the program attract you to OU? Additionally, please answer one of the following prompts:
      • Why do you want to pursue this degree?
      • How would you describe your professional path to this point and your aspirations going forward?
      • What skills, expertise and experience do you bring to the degree, and how will you use your degree, post-graduation?
      • What is important to you musically, artistically, pedagogically, and intellectually?
  • Three letters of reference
    • Submitted to the online application under Recommendations tab
    • Your three reference letters should include:
      • At least one letter from: your studio professor, ensemble conductor, chamber coach, etc., or a person who has considerable knowledge about your abilities as a performer or composer.
      • At least one letter from: a person who can speak to your abilities as a scholar of music.


Audition Procedure

Applicants hoping to enter graduate voice programs are strongly encouraged to audition on the Benton-Schmidt audition days (see the section below for more details). These audition days will serve as your audition for the School of Music and the Masters program, as well as consideration for Benton-Schmidt scholarships. Any prize money awarded from the Benton Schmidt Scholarships is pending full admittance into the School of Music and Graduate College.

Any voice applicant who does not participate in the Benton-Schmidt audition days should contact Dr. Leslie John Flanagan by email at to schedule an audition. The repertoire requirements listed on the Benton-Schmidt page below also apply for auditions scheduled in this manner.

Applicants interested in the Opera Emphasis program will interview during the audition day with the opera faculty as well. These applicants should also contact opera faculty Dr. Jonathan Shames and Dr. Nicole Kenley-Miller at and, with whom they can arrange an interview.


Benton-Schmidt Vocal Scholarships

The annual Benton-Schmidt audition days provide scholarship awards up to $40,000 to promising incoming graduate students. Awards are given based on excellence in vocal performance and versatility as revealed through the performance audition. Scholarship prizes are for the academic year beginning the following Fall semester.

Funds for these scholarships were made possible through the bequest of Joseph H. Benton, internationally-acclaimed tenor, long-time teacher and devoted supporter of vocal art, in honor of his much-revered voice teacher at the University of Oklahoma, William George Frederick Schmidt.

View the page linked below for repertoire requirements, dates and deadlines, and the online application form.

Benton-Schmidt Vocal Scholarships