Voice department

The Shepherd School of Music boasts one of the leading programs for vocal study in the country. A philosophy of training based on small numbers of very talented singers influences every degree program and enhances the faculty/student relationship. Each degree (Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, Artist Diploma in Opera Studies and Doctor of Musical Arts) is designed and targeted to give greatest benefit to those students enrolled. From youngest to oldest, the program seeks to prepare unique singers who have consummate vocal, musical, and dramatic skill.

Recent innovations include a comprehensive performance seminar for freshmen and sophomores. The Pack Language Institute for Singers fully funds intensive study of Italian in Florence, Italy for selected Master of Music degree candidates. The Aleko Masterclass/Recital Series brings to campus the leading artists and teachers of our time. Our recent guests have included Renée Fleming, James Conlon, Joyce DiDonato and Frederica von Stade.

Meet our Voice Faculty

Vocal Coaching
Bethany Self
Karen Roethlisberger Verm


The faculty’s many combined years of performing and teaching give our students a real advantage toward becoming professional musicians. Personal attention, combined with generous financial support at all levels, allows us to work in a supportive environment and at an exceptionally high level. The location of Rice within a city of major cultural importance adds further depth to our program. Our graduates currently populate the major young artist and summer programs, providing additional evidence of a program that is committed to training the musicians of the future.