Tennessee’s Finest Young Voices

ALL MUSIC AUDITIONS WILL BE SUBMITTED BY VIDEO.

Students will need to make a video recording of their audition submission and upload it to the Accepted platform:  https://app.getacceptd.com/tennesseegsa

1) YOU MUST SUBMIT YOUR ONLINE APPLICATION AND YOUR HARD COPY APPLICATION TO GSFTA BEFORE YOU MAY UPLOAD YOUR AUDITION VIDEO 
2) YOU MAY UPLOAD AUDITION VIDEO(S) AFTER NOVEMBER 15, 2018. 
3) Deadline to submit videos is January 18, 2019.
4) Upload video to: https://app.getacceptd.com/tennesseegsa
5) QUESTIONS? Please contact:

The Governor’s school for the Arts
615-898-2223
gfsta.com

VOCAL REQUIREMENTS

Vocalists are required to sing two songs from memory. Your selections can be an Art Song, Folk Song, Aria, or an appropriate selection from the Musical Theatre repertory.

Please consult with your Vocal and or Choral instructor in selecting appropriate audition pieces.

It is highly preferred that you use a live piano accompanist for your prepared solos. If you are unable to access an accompanist, recorded accompaniments will be considered.

Each solo should be two to four minutes in length. Please introduce yourself and clearly state the title and composer of each selection.

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

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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

Amy Tate Williams is Pianist & Chorus Master for Nashville Opera.  Since joining the company in

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Amy Tate-Williams

Opera Director / Conductor

Amy Tate Williams is Pianist & Chorus Master for Nashville Opera.  Since joining the company in August 1998, she casts and musically prepares all choruses and acts as rehearsal pianist for all mainstage productions, coaches Mary Ragland Young Artists, plays keyboard in the Nashville Opera Orchestra, and plays for auditions, fundraisers and outreach events.  

Amy free-lances as Vocal Coach and Collaborative Pianist often in recital and competitions.  In February 2015, Amy made her debut as Conductor and Stage Director for Middle Tennessee State University's The Merry Widow. She is regularly invited to conduct Master Classes in area universities.  The University of Memphis hired her to prepare a Puccini double-bill of opera in February 2017.

A native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, Amy holds degrees in Piano Performance from Western Kentucky University and Florida State University.  She has been a coach accompanist for Glimmerglass Opera, Nevada Opera, Augusta Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera, served two years as Music Director for OPERAIowa, and trained for two years in the Houston Opera Studio program at Houston Grand Opera.  She has also directed elementary, middle and high school choral departments, taught private voice, piano and drama and led an acappella ensemble on a European tour.  

Since 2003, Amy has served on the staff of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts as Opera Director, preparing an original fully-staged production in three weeks with high school vocalists.  She also accompanies choral concerts and vocal recitals.

Amy is a published composer of choral anthems with Beckenhorst Press and Abingdon Press.  In 2010, she launched an online publishing company, RANDAMWILL Music, which promotes her print music and CD recordings.  Her two children’s operas, Rumpelstiltskin and The Looking Glass, have been produced for educational tours by Nashville's Opera On Tour, Des Moines Metro Opera’s OperaIOWA, and The University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  

She lives in Brentwood with her husband and son.  

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,

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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,

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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

Daniel Shirley

Voice Faculty

Noted for his diverse repertoire, lyric tenor Daniel Shirley captivates audiences with his commanding stage presence and vocalism rich in

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Daniel Shirley

Voice Faculty

Noted for his diverse repertoire, lyric tenor Daniel Shirley captivates audiences with his commanding stage presence and vocalism rich in color and character. He has been critically lauded for his performances of new operas, musical theater classics, and symphonic masterpieces.

During 2017, Daniel debuted the role of John Little in the world premiere of We Shall Not Be Moved, a new hybrid opera by Daniel Bernard Roumain, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and Bill T. Jones. Part of Opera Philadelphia‘s groundbreaking O17 Festival, the work was presented to great acclaim at Philadelphia’s Wilma Theater, New York City’s historic Apollo Theater, and the Dutch National Opera of Amsterdam.

The 2017-2018 season also brought important concert engagements throughout his home state of North Carolina: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Easter Oratorio with the Raleigh Bach Soloists, Messiah with the Carolina Philharmonic, his debut with the Bach Cantata Series of Duke University Chapel, and a solo recital of Finzi at East Carolina University.

Daniel has appeared in recent years with such opera companies as Kentucky Opera, Austin Opera, Madison Opera, Odyssey Opera of Boston, Boston Baroque, Opera Memphis, Michigan Opera Theater, Sugar Creek Opera, Intermountain Opera Bozeman, and New York City Opera. In concert, he has appeared as a soloist with Seattle Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Carolina Philharmonic, Lexington Philharmonic, Music of the Baroque, Firebird Arts Alliance of Charlotte, and Choral Society of Durham. His 2013 Carnegie Hall debut was with Distinguished Concerts International – New York.

Daniel sings the role of Eurimaco on Boston Baroque’s Grammy-nominated recording of Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria (realized and conducted by Martin Pearlman). In the Chicago area, he has been a familiar presence with Music of the Baroque under Jane Glover, having performed tenor solos in Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Handel’s Israel in Egypt, for which his “articulate delivery was to the Handelian manner born” (Chicago Tribune).

Daniel trained in some of America’s most notable young artist and apprenticeship programs: those of Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Memphis, and Chautauqua Opera. He has been recognized in recent years by the American Traditions Competition, the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation, the Anna Sosenko Trust, the George London Foundation, and the National Society of Arts & Letters.

A native of Jackson, Mississippi, he is a graduate of the Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He and his wife, soprano Caitlin Shirley, reside in Greenville, North Carolina, where Daniel is a member of the Vocal Studies faculty of the East Carolina University School of Music.

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

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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””

Dance

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Instrumental Program

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

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

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