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Finding Your Voice at Bard College Conservatory

by Brian Manternach


Those who attended the 2010 Classical Singer Convention knew to expect the high level of excellence that has been associated with the headliner and namesake of the “Dawn Upshaw & Friends” concert. But what they may not have predicted was the impression made by the “Friends”—the students from the Graduate Vocal Arts Program at the Bard College Conservatory of Music in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. In addition to the fine singing, audiences commented on the singers’ “beautiful artistry” and their “obvious commitment to text and expression.” In its fifth year of instruction, this unique master’s degree program is following its own model as it prepares singers for a future in the vocal arts.

“It’s just really nice to get that feedback,” said Upshaw of the response to the Classical Singer Convention performance. “They had originally asked me to come and do a recital and I thought ‘I could do that,’ but it might be more interesting for that particular convention to kind of demonstrate wh...

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