VOCAL STUDIES PROGRAM
Development of the disciplines and skills required of performers and music educators is an integral part of a student’s training at La Sierra University. Students enrolled in the vocal arts program at La Sierra have a successful history, and they have found our music classes to be a meaningful extension of traditional college curriculum.
Vocal Studies at La Sierra University
- Intensive professional training with a superb liberal arts education
- Uniquely personal student/faculty ratio
- Choral Ensembles/Fully Staged Opera/Master Classes/Recitals/Opera Scenes
- Focusing on technique, language, art song, oratorio, church music, musical, and opera
Current voice major and alumnae of the La Sierra University are:
- Singing in national and international companies
- Winning state and regional competitions
- Accepted in nationally recognized advanced programs of study and graduate schools
- Currently working as professional singers, church musicians, as college and university professors of music, and as primary and secondary school music educators
Perform from memory two selections from the classical vocal repertoire:
- An Italian art song or aria
- An English art song
Sight-reading of a selection may be required.
Faculty may ask applicants to sing several scales to check vocal range.
DIRECTOR OF VOCAL STUDIES
Soprano Raejin Lee has an active performing career, with appearances throughout the United States, Italy, and Korea in oratorio, recital, and opera. She has performed such roles as Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Giulietta in I Capuletti e i Montecchi, Despina in Così fan tutte, and Laetitia in The Old Maid and The Thief. Dr. Lee has received many honors and awards, including a special prize for her distinguished performance of the Italian Art Song repertoire from the Italian America Cultural Foundation. Her biography has been listed in Who’s Who reference books including; Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who of American Women. She was a featured soloist in the Contemporary Vocal Ensemble at Indiana University, where she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. She received an Artist Diploma from the Cleveland Institute of Music and she completed her doctoral studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey as a student of Faith Esham. Originally from Seoul, Korea, Dr. Lee is currently Director of Vocal Studies at La Sierra University. She resides in Yorba Linda with her husband Justin, and their two daughters, Ashley and Olivia.
VOCAL STUDIES FACULTY
JAVIER GONZALEZ, tenor
Tenor, Javier Gonzalez currently serves as an adjunct professor of voice at La Sierra University in Southern California. He is recognized for the “precision and soaring beauty of his tone,” according to organist Mark Willey of the Spencerville Evensong Series in Washington DC. He was recently described in the Albuquerque Journal by music critic and composer Daniel S. Crafts as “a young star on the rise” who is a “…bold arresting tenor… with a shining lyricism.” Mr. Gonzalez has performed in concert and opera productions playing the roles of Javier in Luisa Fernanda, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Canio in I’Pagliacci, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Don Jose in Bizet’s Carmen, Edgar in Puccini’s Edgar and Roberto in Puccini’s Le Villi. He has performed with world-renowned tenor Placido Domingo on the Kennedy Center opera stage and has also performed on the stage of Carnegie Hall in New York City under the baton of world-renowned composer John Rutter. He has also appeared with the Alexandria Symphony, New England Symphonic Ensemble, and New Mexico Philharmonic. He has performed as a guest soloist with the Desert Chorale of Santa Fe and with Dr. Maxine Thevenot’s Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico. In 2008, Mr. Gonzalez was recipient of the first place prize in the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition in New York City, was a finalist in the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist competition in 2005 and first place winner of the UNM concerto competition and the regional NATS competition of New Mexico in 2010. Mr. Gonzalez has also appeared in several oratorio works on the international stage, performing Requiem by Verdi, Requiem by Mozart, Requiem by Lloyd Webber, Lord Nelson Mass by Haydn, Magnificat by Pergolessi, Misa Criolla by Ramirez, Messiah by Handel, Messa Di Gloria by Puccini, just to name a few, on such stages as Dvorak Hall in Prague, Ely Cathedral in Cambridge, St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the renowned Alba Music Festival in Italy, National Cathedral in Washington DC, St. Francis Basilica and Loretto Chapel in Sante Fe, New Mexico and Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In April of 2010 he sang the role of John the beloved apostle on the stage of Carnegie Hall in the world premiere of the newly acclaimed operatic tableau, Oh My Son, by young Spanish composer, Marcos Galvany. For ten years, he served as the assistant choral director of the Georgetown Presbyterian Chorale in Washington DC and has also been a guest choral and vocal clinician for the Vocal Arts Society of Washington. He also served as voice teacher for the Spencerville Academy in Silver Spring, Maryland for 8 years. He has recently completed his Masters degree in vocal performance and choral conducting at the University of New Mexico and served on the voice faculty of UNM from 2010 to 2013.
ARAM BARSAMIAN, baritone
After receiving his B.M. degree from CSUF (1994) and his M.M. degree from USC (1996), baritone Aram Barsamian made his professional operatic debut as Schaunard in La boheme at Sacramento Opera. In 1997, after his performance of the role Belcore in The Elixir of Love at Pacific Repertory Opera, and Dandini in La Cenerentola at the Merola Opera Program, he made his San Francisco Opera debut in Britten’s Death in Venice. In 1998 he appeared as Malatesta in Don Pasquale at Opera Santa Barbara, where he returned for Carmen in 2002. In 1998 he also debuted at Nevada Opera, as Pish-Tush in The Mikado, and returned in 1999 as Schaunard. In 2001 he was Pish-Tush in Eugene, OR. A favorite with Sacramento Opera audiences, he has sung in 12 productions with the company until 2004, when he was seen as Dandini. In 2006 the baritone sang the leading role of Belfiore in Verdi’s comic opera Un giorno di regno, with Lyric Opera of Los Angeles. A great advocate for Jules Massenet’s music, Mr. Barsamian performed the composer’s two-act opera Thérèse in concert in New York, with another CSUF alumna, mezzo-soprano Julie De Vaere. In 2009 he again sang Belcore in The Elixir of Love, at La Sierra University, where he also performed Papageno in The Magic Flute in 2010.
An active concert artist, Mr. Barsamian sang in “Debbie and Friends”, the concert that inaugurated Meng Concert Hall in 2006, singing alongside distinguished CSUF alumna Deborah Voigt. The baritone has performed the solos in numerous oratorios, among which are Messiah, Judas Maccabaeus, the Requiems by Mozart, Fauré, Brahms and Duruflé, St. John Passion, Ich habe genug, Dixit Dominus, etc. In 2011-2012 he performed a recital program honoring the poetry of Francesco Petrarch at La Sierra University, Pasadena City College, Mt SAC, CSULA and the Intimate Opera Company. In April 2013 he and Julie De Vaere will again be heard in Massenet’s Thérèse, at La Sierra University and Pasadena City College.
Mr. Barsamian began his teaching career in 2001, at La Sierra University, where he directed/conducted Massenet’s operas Cendrillon (2004) and Thaïs (2006), as well as Pauline Viardot’s salon opera Cendrillon(2008). The baritone is also on the voice faculties of Pasadena City College and Mount San Antonio College, where he is currently directing Viardot’s Cendrillon. A member of the Pacific Chorale since 2004, Mr. Barsamian is currently the bass section leader.