Tennessee’s Finest Young Voices

Students in vocal music take classes in theory, conducting, improvisation, and participate in large and small vocal ensembles in choral music and opera workshop. Selection Process Applicants for vocal music should be prepared for:

1. A two or three minute classical (non-popular) song from memory. You may provide your own accompanist; but one will be provided if you do not have one.

2. A tonal memory test to see how well you can reproduce pitches that you hear.

3. Sight reading. Please refer to the application for more specific criteria.  

Our Conductors and Faculty

Raphael Bundage

Chorale Conductor

Professor, MTSU DMA, Eastman School of Music

Dr. Raphael Bundage is the Director of Choral activities at Middle Tennessee State University... read more

Raphael Bundage

Chorale Conductor

Professor, MTSU DMA, Eastman School of Music

Dr. Raphael Bundage is the Director of Choral activities at Middle Tennessee State University and is the Director of the Governor’s School for the Arts. He has served as Assistant conductor and Chorus Master of the Nashville Opera Association and the conductor of the Nashville Symphony Chorus. In addition, he is the Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church of Nashville.

He holds Bachelor Degrees in Music Education and Music History from Texas Christian University and Graduate Degrees in Conducting from the Eastman Conservatory of Music. Prior to his graduate study, he was a supervisor of choral music in the Texas Public School System and while at Eastman, he directed the Eastman Chamber Chorus and was the assistant director of the Eastman-Rochester Symphony Chorus.

He is a frequent adjudicator and clinician in the choral field and his choirs have toured extensively in Europe and throughout the United States. He is the product of an extraordinary host of master teachers including Alfred Mann, Julius Herford, Donald Neuen, Bev Hensen and Robert Shaw.  

Amy Tate-Williams

Opera Director / Conductor

Chorus Master/Repetiteur, Nashville Opera MM, Florida State University Amy Tate Williams serves as Chorus Master and Accompanist for Nashville Opera,... read more

Amy Tate-Williams

Opera Director / Conductor

Chorus Master/Repetiteur, Nashville Opera MM, Florida State University Amy Tate Williams serves as Chorus Master and Accompanist for Nashville Opera, accompanying all productions and promotional events, casting and preparing the opera choruses and coaching principal and apprentice artists (1998-present).  She serves as Opera Director for the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts (2003-present).  A native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, Amy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from Western Kentucky University and Masters Degrees in Piano Performance and Piano Accompanying from Florida State University. 

She has been a free-lance coach accompanist at Glimmerglass Opera, Nevada Opera, Augusta Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera, served two years as Music Director for OPERA Iowa, and trained for two years in the Houston Opera Studio at Houston Grand Opera.  She has also taught vocal music, led an acappella ensemble on a European tour, and is a published composer of choral and vocal music.  In August 2010, she launched RANDAMWILLMusic.com, the online source for the music of Amy Tate Williams.  She has composed 2 children’s operas, both of which have been produced at regional opera companies, RUMPELSTILTSKIN and THE LOOKING GLASS.  Amy lives in Nolensville with her husband Randy, and their 10 yr. old son, Tate Williams.

John Kramar

Voice Faculty

Professor, East Carolina State University MM, Curtis Institute of Music

M.M., Curtis Institute of Music. Performer’s Certificates in Voice and Opera,... read more

John Kramar

Voice Faculty

Professor, East Carolina State University MM, Curtis Institute of Music

M.M., Curtis Institute of Music. Performer’s Certificates in Voice and Opera, B.M., Eastman School of Music. Formerly at Middle Tennessee State University. Private Studio Teaching in NYC. Has won the Helen Jepson Deller Award. Performances with the Sarasota Opera. Apprentice Achievement Award, Santa Fe Opera; Kneisel Lieder Competition (2nd place), Eastman School.

Performances with the North Carolina Symphony, Jupiter Symphony, Nashville Opera, Elysian Opera Group, New York Vocal Arts Ensemble, Middle Tennessee Choral Society, Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, Erie Philharmonic, Springfield Symphony, National Chorale, Aspen Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, Tanglewood Festival, Sarasota Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Washington Summer Opera, Opera Delaware, Choral Society of Durham, and City Center Encores Series.

Hope Koehler

Voice Faculty

Assistant Professor, University of West Virginia DMA, University of Kentucky Hope Koehler has appeared with many opera companies and orchestras,... read more

Hope Koehler

Voice Faculty

Assistant Professor, University of West Virginia DMA, University of Kentucky Hope Koehler has appeared with many opera companies and orchestras, such as Nashville Opera, Tennessee Opera Theatre, Blair Opera Theatre, MTSU Opera Theatre, University Opera Theatre in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Northland Opera Theatre Experience, Lyric Opera of the North, Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, Lexington Symphony Orchestra, and Itasca Symphony Orchestra. With these companies she has appeared in such productions as Carmen, Il Trovatore, Lucia di Lammermoor, Rigoletto, The Impressario, The Old Maid and the Thief, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Gianni Schicchi and many others.

At the Northland Opera Theatre in Duluth, Minnesota, she has appeared in the title roles of Tosca, Carmen, Fidelio, and Madama Butterfly. In addition, she has appeared in La Boheme (Musetta), Der Freischutz (Agathe), The Tales of Hoffmann (Giulietta), and others. Koehler’s other stage credits include operetta and musical theatre. She has appeared in such productions as The Mikado, The Sound of Music, The Pajama Game, Oklahoma, Fiddler on the Roof, and West Side Story. Koehler has performed as a soloist in oratorio and other choral orchestral works, such as Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Verdi’s Requiem, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes di confessore, Rossini’s Stabat Mater,Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection) and many others.

Koehler is a regular performer and featured soloist with the American Spiritual Ensemble, a group that performs all over the world, and whose mission is to keep the American Negro Spiritual alive and vibrant. She has also been on the faculty of the prestigious Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts for seven years and in 2006 served as chair of the vocal music department. In addition, in July and August of 2006 she was a member of the voice faculty at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria. In June of 2008 Albany Records released Koehler’s recording of John Jacob Niles songs titled The Lass from the Low Countree, performed with James Douglass at the piano. Koehler received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, and her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Alabama. Her Doctor of Musical Arts degree was completed at the University of Kentucky in Lexington where she studied with tenor Everett McCorvey and soprano Gail Robinson. She is currently on the voice faculty at West Virginia University

Christine Isley-Farmer

Voice Faculty

Professor, MTSU DMA, University of Illinois–Champaign-Urbana

Christine Isley-Farmer, soprano, teaches voice and the Alexander Technique at MTSU. She has had extensive... read more

Christine Isley-Farmer

Voice Faculty

Professor, MTSU DMA, University of Illinois–Champaign-Urbana

Christine Isley-Farmer, soprano, teaches voice and the Alexander Technique at MTSU. She has had extensive singing experience in both opera and concert. For five and a half years, she performed in European opera houses and in concert in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, England, and Ireland. Operatic experience in the United States includes the Des Moines Opera Festival, Chautauqua Opera, Central City Opera, and the Colorado Lyric Theater, to name a few. Before traveling to Europe to fulfill her European contracts, Isley-Farmer sang with the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center for a year. Roles that she has sung include Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Liu in Turandot, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as numerous operetta roles. Concert experience consists of recitals in Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, Ohio, New York and Colorado. Since 1997, Isley-Farmer has been a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique.

She trained for four years at the Alexander Alliance in Philadelphia, PA and then earned her certification with Alexander Technique International. She has conducted Alexander Technique workshops throughout the Southeastern region of the United States. In addition, she has taught the Alexander Technique for the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts. In 2003, her article on Alexander Technique and singing was published in the widely distributed Journal of Singing, the publication of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Students of Isley-Farmer have won and placed in the finals of both regional and national competitions: the Metropolitan Regional Auditions, the National Opera Association Vocal Competition, the Orpheus National Vocal Competition, and the Grace Moore Vocal Competition, to name a few.

Her students have entered prestigious programs at the graduate level both in the United States and abroad. Former students have gone on to earn doctoral degrees and to teach at the university level, as well as to pursue professional singing careers. Isley-Farmer also taught the first MTSU student to be awarded the coveted Fulbright Scholarship for study in Europe. She holds the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the DMA in Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She holds the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the DMA in Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

 

Past Commissioned Composers

1988 Chorale James Pethel – Carson-Newman College, “Set of Four Poems” by Robert Louis Stevenson 1996 Orchestra and Chorale Commissioned for the Tennessee Bicentennial Celebration Vernon Whaley – Cedarville College and President, Integra Music Group, “Tennessee Morning””

Vocal Music

Vocal Music

The School for the Arts provides educational instruction for students skilled in strings, wind ensemble, piano, and both choral and opera technique..

read more
Theatre

Theatre

The theater school is a program of dedicated and focused study in all areas of theatrical studies, with an emphasis on the process of creating live theatre.

read more
Visual Art

Visual Art

Visual Arts students learn human understanding, achievement and self-development through the study and practice of visual art.

read more
Dance

Dance

Governor’s School students learn that dance is inherent to our heritage and world and that of others around us. Students are encouraged to perceive, evaluate, and understand dance as a conveyor of culture.

read more
Filmmaking

Filmmaking

Filmmaking students are introduced to both the theory and technical aspects of filmmaking. Through lectures, films and hand-on experiences, students will learn the three aspects of filmmaking: pre-production, production, and post-production.

read more
Instrumental Program

Instrumental Program

The School for the Arts provides educational instruction for students skilled in strings, wind ensemble, piano, and both choral and opera technique..

read more
Share This