a male singer with a female accompanist

Voice Performance

School of Music, Theatre, & Dance

The voice performance major at Anderson University prepares students with basic knowledge and performance skills needed to pursue graduate-level study and a career in voice performance. In addition to basic music, music education, and performance classes, voice performance majors must also complete 24 hours of private study in their primary performance area.

Program Overview

Voice Performance

  • Anderson University’s music program is known around the world. Alumni perform at the La Scala opera house in Italy, the Met, Carnegie Hall, at the Academy Awards, and at other international venues.
  • Guest artists and artists-in-residence visit the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance each year. Artists visiting AU include Canadian Brass, Van Cliburn gold medal pianist Jon Nakamatsu, Thodos Dance Chicago, and Indianapolis Baroque Ensemble.
  • Alumni successfully pursue graduate work at Indiana University, St. Thomas University, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Boston University, and Vanderbilt University. Alumni Lawrence Brownlee, Sandi Patty, Bill and Gloria Gaither, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Jon McLaughlin enjoy extremely successful careers in their genres.
  • Voice performance majors have the opportunity to join different choral groups such as AU Chorale, Women’s Chorus, and Valley Voices. Students in AU Chorale will have the opportunity to go on a tour in the spring. There are also multiple theatre productions throughout the year that voice performance majors can participate in. Our students also audition for apprentice programs in opera houses and in summer opera programs.



Complete the 80-hour Bachelor of Music at AU’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.


Music (18 hours): The music minor includes music theory, aural comprehension, and music literature. Students also complete 4 hours of piano, 2 hours of applied study, and 2 hours of music ensembles.

Music Performance

For students whose major is music business (15-16 hours): To ensure adequate performance level, students must audition on their primary instrument to be admitted into this program. Courses include applied study, introduction to conducting, and specialized courses for singers, pianists, and instrumentalists.

For students whose major is not in music (18 hours): To ensure adequate performance level, students must audition on their primary instrument to be admitted into this program. Courses include music theory, aural comprehension, piano, and private study.



Among the classes in the 80 hour major are:

  • music theory
  • music history
  • introduction to music literature
  • voice pedagogy
  • singer’s diction

View the complete curriculum for the voice performance major.



Voice performance majors can find jobs singing professionally in orchestras, church choirs, touring companies, and more. They would also be able to open a studio to teach private voice lessons. Students can also continue their education in graduate school. Our alumni have attended schools such as Miami University, Indiana University, Boston University, and others.

OUR Voice Performance FACULTY

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Mary Beth Coolidge

Voice; Alexander Technique

Placeholder Staff Photo
Mary Beth Coolidge

A native of Ohio, Professor Mary Beth Coolidge made her operatic debut in Arezzo, Italy where she sang the roles of Hero in L'Egisto and Lisette in La Rondine. Since then she has enjoyed multiple performances with Greensboro Light Opera, Greensboro Opera, UNCG Opera Theatre and Oberlin Opera Theater. Her favorite past roles include: Zerlina {Don Giovanni), Emily {Help Help the Globolinks), Miles {Turn of the Screw), Jenny Slade {Roman Fever) Kate {Pirates of Penzance).

She is actively involved in the Alexander Technique community, pursuing her teaching certification with the Chesapeake Bay Alexander Studies. She enjoys a whole-self approach in her performing and teaching. She holds a Masters of Music in voice performance from U.N.C. Greensboro and a Bachelors of Music in voice performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

M.M., University of North Carolina - Greensboro

Diana Miles Huntoon


Diana Miles Huntoon


Diana holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Education from Millikin University and a Master of Music Degree in Performance from Bowling Green State University. She is also a Level III Certified Teacher of Somatic Voicework™, The LoVetri Method. Professional organizations include The Ohio Light Opera, Toledo Opera, The Indianapolis Symphony, The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and Indiana Opera Theatre. Favorite roles include Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutté, Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Desirée Armfeldt in A Little Night Music, and Maria in The Sound of Music. Diana also counts Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Handel’s The Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Mozart’s Requiem in her repertoire. She is also a studio singer at Aire Born Studios recording choral arrangements for music publishing companies including Beckenhorst Press, Hal Leonard and Boosey and Hawkes. She can be heard on the newly recorded Requiem, by Mark Hayes and The Music of Living by Dan Forrest. Diana recently appeared as the soprano soloist with the Butler Symphony Orchestra on Beethoven’s Egmont. She is currently on staff at Anderson University as Adjunct Instructor of Voice, Taylor University as Adjunct Instructor of Voice, and formerly at Butler University as Adjunct Instructor for Jordan College of the Arts.

M.M., Bowling Green State University

David B. Mannell


David B. Mannell

David B. Mannell, tenor, enjoys a demanding singing career spanning opera, musical theatre, oratorio, academic, and church work. A native of Topeka, Kansas, he received his music education degree from Emporia State University and master's degree from Indiana University.
David's career has taken him throughout the Midwest, nation, and Europe performing with regional opera houses and orchestras, as well as to Italy where he studied with Arrigo Pola, voice teacher of the late Luciano Pavarotti.

David is also on the faculty of IUPUI as Director of Choral/Voice/Education areas and stage directs for the educational program for the Indianapolis Opera Company. He has a very active private voice studio of which many of his students have received high awards regionally and locally, and have been accepted to many outstanding universities. He is the tenor soloist/section leader for Tabernacle Presbyterian Church and is an Executive Board member of the National and State NATS, National Federation of Music Clubs and the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Club. He has recorded four CDs.

M.A., Indiana University

Fritz Robertson

Dr. Fritz Robertson

Professor of Music; Voice Area Coordinator; Director of Boze Lyric Theatre

Fritz Robertson
Dr. Fritz Robertson

A performer of national reputation, Fritz Robertson has appeared with the Bangor Maine Symphony Orchestra, the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, the Bel Canto Chorus & Orchestra of Milwaukee, the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra, and in our nation’s capital with the National Chamber Orchestra and the Masterworks Chorus and Orchestra. He has often been a featured soloist with the Northwest Bach Festival in Spokane, Washington, under the direction of renowned conductor and composer Gunther Schuller. Mr. Robertson has performed extensively in the Greater Boston area as soloist with organizations including the Handel & Haydn Society, the Boston Cecelia, and the John Oliver Chorale. In great demand as a guest artist in Indiana, Mr. Robertson has been a featured soloist with the symphony orchestras of Muncie, Marion, Anderson, Lafayette, Manchester, Carmel, Fort Wayne and was privileged to be a featured soloist in Ralph Vaughan Williams Serenade To Music, on Maestro Raymond Leppard’s farewell concert with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Celebrated for his definitive accounts of the major Baroque and Classic oratorios and cantatas, the Bloomington Herald-Times said of his recent performances in Bach’s St. John Passion, “Fritz Robertson served stunningly well as the story-telling Evangelist. His is a bracing high tenor along with an ability to make every word distinctly clear; there was a professional authenticity to his critically important contribution.” Though particularly involved in the performance of Baroque music, his extensive repertoire includes such diverse works as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, and Honegger’s King David. Mr. Robertson has been a frequent collaborator with the Lafayette Bach Chorale Singers in performances of Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Magnificat in D Major, Handels’ Dettingen Te Deum, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and the Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.  Performing with cast members from the City Opera of New York, Robertson sang the triple role of Governor/Vanderdender/Ragotski with the Lafayette Symphony in Bernstein’s Candide. He is a featured soloist on the Pro Organo label CD recording,  “In Praise of the Organ: Latin Choral and Organ Music of Zoltan Kodaly.”

With his wife, mezzo-soprano Patricia Robertson, he has appeared in recital in many venues including the Saint Andrew’s Concert Series in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Northwest Bach Festival in Spokane, Washington, the Shenendoah Valley Bach Festival in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and the Banco Centrale Concert Series in Cuenca, Ecuador. At AU, as Dr. Robertson, he serves as Professor of Music, Voice Area Coordinator, and Music Director for the Boze Lyric Theatre.

Fritz Robertson has been at Anderson University since 1991.

Contact Fritz:
Professor of Music
Voice Area Coordinator, voice, opera, song lit, pedagogy
B.M., B.S., University of Maine at Orono
M.M., Boston University
D.M.A, Ball State University

Richard Sowers

Dr. Richard Sowers

Professor of Music; Director of Chorale, Symphonic Choir, Valley Voices

Richard Sowers
Dr. Richard Sowers

Dr. Richard Sowers is a Professor of Music and serves as the Director of Choirs in the Anderson University School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Currently he is the conductor of the Anderson University Chorale, Anderson Symphonic Choir, and Men's Choir, and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting and music education classes.

Under Dr. Sowers' direction the Anderson University Chorale has visited almost every geographic region of the United States during spring tours. The Chorale has performed in a number of prestigious concert venues including Lincoln Center's Aver Fisher Hall, the Riverside Church, and St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City, and the Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, California for the Hour of Power that was broadcast nationally and internationally, and the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., representing the state of Indiana for "Indiana Day." Each Christmas the Chorale, Men's Choir and other Anderson University School of Music, Theatre, and Dance ensembles present the Emmy award-winning Candles and Carols program which is broadcast throughout the United States and on two global networks.

Dr. Sowers has led eight European tours, performances in Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Russia. Most recently, thirty-five singers performed nine concerts during a 16-day concert tour of Finland, Sweden, and Denmark, including several performances at the Vaasa International Choir Festival. The Chorale was chosen to perform in concert for several division and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. Additionally, the Chorale has performed in concert and as a demonstration choir for many music education events and conventions in which Dr. Sowers served as a clinician.

During a 2007 sabbatical leave, Dr. Sowers was resident guest conductor of the EMO Ensemble in Helsinki, Finland, and presented a concert of music by all American composers written since 2000. Sowers also served as a guest conducting teacher at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and guest conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Choir. Dr. Sowers is active in the International Federation of Choral Music, and served as a delegate to the 8th World Choral Symposium in Copenhagen, Denmark in July, 2008.

Following his graduation from the Indiana University School of Music, Dr. Sowers taught junior and senior high school choral music for several years in Indiana. He holds a Master of Music degree from Colorado State University and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University. In 1994, Dr. Sowers was selected the outstanding music alumnus from Colorado State University. His conducting teachers have included Jan Harrington, Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling, Edward Anderson, Douglas McEwen, and Kenneth Kiesler.

In 1989 Richard Sowers was appointed music director and conductor of the Anderson (City) Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Carmel Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Youth Orchestras of Indianapolis. For ten years Sowers served on the staff of the Conductors Retreat at Medomak, a 17-day retreat for conductors held each July near Camden, Maine. Sowers served as interim conductor of the Anderson Area Children's Choir and has conducted almost every other kind of choir including church choirs, men's and women's choirs, community choirs, and a professional level chamber choir. Dr. Sowers is active as a guest conductor, clinician, and free-lance orchestral conductor.

Richard Sowers has been at Anderson University since 1984.

Contact Richard:
Professor of Music
Chorale, Symphonic Choir, Valley Voices, conducting
B.M., Indiana University
M.M., Colorado State University
D.M.A., Arizona State University

Karri York

Dr. Karri York


Karri York
Dr. Karri York

Karri York, soprano, obtained her Doctor of Music in voice from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She is currently adjunct professor of voice at Anderson University, voice instructor for Pre-College and Adult Music Program at University of Indianapolis, and is director of music at Southport Christian Church. Dr. York formerly held the position assistant professor of voice in the School of Music at Ball State University, and served as Adjunct Voice Instructor at Butler University Jordan College of Fine Arts.

Dr. York's performance experiences include recitals, oratorio, opera, and musical theatre. She has performed as guest vocal soloist with Fishers Chamber Orchestra, Masterworks Chorale, Muncie Symphony Orchestra, and Butler Symphony Orchestra, and has performed many solo and chamber recitals both locally and nationally. Her oratorio performances include soprano soloist for each of the following works: Handel's Messiah, Haydn's The Creation, Mozart's Mass in C Minor and Mozart's Requiem. Her favorite operatic roles, which she has performed, include Susanna in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, Laurie Moss in Copland's The Tenderiand, Gretel in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, and Nerone in Handel's Aggripina.

Dr. York regularly adjudicates for collegiate level NATS and for ISSMA Solo and Ensemble Contests, for which she served as a member of the revision committee in 2014. Additional solo vocal adjudications include concerto competitions, Indiana Federation of Music Clubs, Young Artist Awards, Shelbyville High School Singing Sensational, and Preludes. She has served as guest vocal masterclass clinician for Indiana Wesleyan University, Southport High School, and Whiteland High School.

Dr. York is a professional recording artist at Ajre Born Studios, a premier recording studio in Central Indiana. She has recorded vocals for Requiem by Mark Hayes and for the independent film The War Within (2014). She has sung for such current composers as Pepper Choplin, Keith Christopher, Craig Courtney, Dan Forrest, Mark Hayes, Lloyd Larson and Ruth Elaine Schram. Publishers include Beckenhorst Press, Hal Leonard Corporation, Lorenz, and Soundforth.