Vocal Arts

UCI Vocal Arts has a long tradition of performance excellence. The Vocal Arts program of study at UC Irvine provides intensive study and exceptional performing opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students wishing to pursue a career in vocal music.  Undergraduates have regularly been accepted into prestigious graduate programs in research universities and conservatories, and graduate students have been successfully employed in university teaching and performing organizations.

Weekly master classes are augmented by guest classes presented here by such distinguished artists as George Shirley (2014 recipient of National Medal of Arts), Lawrence Brownlee, Elizabeth Futral, Pretty Yende, Roberta Alexander, Brian Asawa, and Paula Murrihy.

Students are offered additional performance opportunities through the Art Song and Artistry Series. Concerts have included works by California composers Mark Carlson, Alan Smith, Margaret Bonds, Jacqueline Hairston, and others like Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, and Florence Price. Whether it’s a Liederabend with songs by German composers, a Spanish Noche Cantando with songs in the Spanish language, or an Evening of Spirituals, performances are always engaging and great opportunities for students and the community.

In collaboration with UCI Symphony Orchestra, UCI Vocal Arts has been proud to present Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, Still’s Highway 1, USA, and an Arias Concert with works from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. Past staged productions include The Medium, Hansel and Gretel, The Old Maid and the Thief, and Dido and Aeneas, among others. Students may also audition for Drama productions, are heard with area orchestras and opera companies, and can collaborate across disciplines of the CTSA.

Home of the African American Art Song Alliance, CTSA is proud to host international conferences on this subject with guests from around the globe converging for performance, scholarly presentations, and panel discussions. The next will take place February 9 – 12, 2017.


Art Song and Artistry
Darryl Taylor, Artistic Director

The concert series is devoted to bringing Art Song to the attention of students and audiences alike, presenting events showcasing students and composers. Upcoming programs include Wagner at 200 – a concert of song, featuring alumna Cari McAskill, recent finalist with the Liederkrantz International Voice Competition, Wagner Category;The ABCs of Song: Songs of H. Leslie Adams, Samuel Barber, and Aaron Copland; and a concert devoted to women composers in the spring. Past events have included the African American Song Alliance national conference, master classes by local composers and recitals of a wide-ranging Art Song repertoire.


Guest Master Classes

Guests invited to present master classes for involving our students have included Lawrence Brownlee, Brian Asawa, Roberta Alexander, Elizabeth Futral, George Shirley, and Angela Brown, among many others..



UCI Vocal Arts provides outreach opportunities through performances and presentations in the community and in schools throughout Orange County (Creative Connections student scholars).


Voice Faculty

Darryl Taylor
Frances Young Bennett
Seth Houston




20th Anniversary African American Art Song Conference:  February 9-12, 2017

Concerts, Lectures, Panel Discussions, Master Classes, and Poster Presentations.  Invited guest performers and scholars from across the country and internationally.  Presented in collaboration with Christ Our Redeemer AME Church Events at Winifred Smith Hall, CAC Colloquium Room and COR AME Church.  All events are free and open to the public.


Darryl Taylor and Jory Vinikour in Concert:  May 5, 2017

Darryl Taylor is joined by Grammy Award nominated harpsichordist Jory Vinikour, acknowledged as one of the world's leading players on that instrument, in a program of vocal music.  Joining the duo will be Frances Bennett (soprano), Albert Lee (tenor), and Heather Vorwerck, (viola da gamba).  This program will feature works by Handel, Howells, Britten, and will premiere works by baroque composer, Rosanna Scalfi Marcello.


Opera UCI:  'Our Town' A Three Act Opera:  May 12-13, 2017

Opera UCI presents the Southern California premiere of a classic American story.  Based on the Thornton Wilder play, it is about life, love, and death in the fictional town of Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, early in the 20th century.  The opera Our Town features the music of one of America's foremost composers, Ned Rorem, and a libretto by American poet, J.D. McClatchy.  The production will be joined by the UCI Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Stephen Tucker.

For more information, please view our Calendar of Events.