Women singing

About the Music - Vocal Performance Degree Program

On Campus

The Vocal Emphasis of the Music Performance Comprehensive degree at the University of Nebraska at Kearney fosters academic and artistic study of the vocal arts through weekly private lessons, studio classes, study of lyric diction and performance opportunities in recital, opera, musical theatre and choral ensembles.

Vocal students at UNK participate and excel in state, regional and national performance competitions with organizations such as the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Music Teachers National Association, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the American Traditions Competition.

While pursuing their vocal performance degree, students pursue funded research and creative projects through university programs, summer student research programs and undergraduate research fellowships. Opportunity for summer opera programs in the U.S. and abroad enhance and broaden music, language and cultural experiences for voice students.

Vocal performance students participate in full-length, one-act and scene programs of opera and musical theatre, including outreach school performances through “Loper Opera.” Vocal performance majors perform both junior and senior solo recitals. UNK Music has an excellent record of preparing singers for acceptance and funding in competitive graduate music programs.

Career Opportunities

UNK graduates with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance follow a diverse career path in music as well as other pursuits. Although most program graduates pursue a Master of Music program upon graduation, others have pursued opportunities as music and theatre performers, or employ the skills of aesthetic judgment, problem solving, critical thinking and independent work as a foundation for careers that require relationship-building for teamwork and confident public presentation skills.

Vocal Performance Program at a Glance


Credit Hours

General Studies requirement has been reduced to 30 credit hrs allowing more freedom and making it easier to transfer to UNK.

Degree Received

Music Performance Comprehensive Bachelor of Music, Vocal Emphasis


Per Credit Hour

With the New Nebraskan Scholarship all undergraduate students pay in-state tuition

Sarah Ponder

“I feel so lucky to have music be my life.” Ponder now lives and works in Chicago as a professional musician – soloist, ensemble singer, and college voice teacher. She has sung with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Music Festival, and serves as adjunct voice faculty at Loyola University. Her favorite Chicago singing venue is Millennium Park, where the thrill of singing for a crowd of 13,000 provides her with an incredible “connection” to the audience."

Sarah Ponder

Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL

Related Programs

Instrumental Music Performance Piano Performance Piano Performance with Pedagogy