By Dana Lynne Varga and Ian Pomerantz
Much like the “American Dream” of the past century, the DMA Promise is the equally coveted and elusive aspiration of countless young singers and academics. In our field, the DMA Promise is the widely held belief that a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree is the ticket to having both a performing career and (or *and then*) the stability of a tenured academic appointment. We wish to be clear that academic institutions do not necessarily advertise or endorse this promise. Rather, it is a commonly held belief that many young singers have been habituated, intentionally or not, to hold. If you already have some background in academic music-making, you have most likely heard it before – or perhaps you aspire to reap the rewards of the DMA Promise yourself. It usually follows this formula, or something like it: graduate from a Master’s program, then get accepted into a DMA program that has a modest stipend and won’t force you into more debt. In three years or so, you are a newly-bedoctored academic. You land a tenure-track position at a conservatory or university, offering you the stability and income that you need to thrive while still maintaining a performance calendar. Life is good. You have realized your dream of making singing your career while still being able to function in a society where classical music-making is a severely underfunded and underpaid profession.
Also much like the “American Dream,” the reality is far more complex and far less glamorous. Contrary to the DMA Promise, the DMA offers its recipients no guarantee of gainful steady employment, nor is it the magic key that unlocks the steadfast doors of academia. DMA recipients are subject to a spectrum of expectations, demands, and obstacles – explicit and implicit – that challenge the overarching narrative of the DMA Promise. To get a sense of the current hiring landscape, let us look at five excerpts from the “Qualifications” section of six real faculty searches:
- “DMA preferred. Commensurate experience accepted.”
- “Possession of a DMA or equivalent professional experience; and ability to employ social media and perform administrative duties.”
- “D.M., D.M.A., or Ph.D. in Music is required. M.M. or MA in Music is required with an emphasis on Vocal performance. Choral conducting or related areas with a significant choral performance background. Candidates should have college teaching experience.”
- “Doctorate preferred, Masters degree required, with experience leading diversity-oriented college-level vocal programs.”
- “Master’s degree (DMA preferred) with a minimum of five (5) years of experience as an artist, performer, musical director, or director on Broadway, major Regional Theatre, or Equity touring venues.”
- “Masters required. Doctorate preferred. Performance and university level teaching experience desired. Baritone or tenor preferred. Send one page Christian testimony.”
After reading this, you may be understandably confused. You might ask yourself:
- What exactly is “commensurate experience?”
- How can I have experience leading a diversity oriented college-level vocal program if I have just graduated?
- What if I’m not a choral conductor?
- How could I be expected to be performing for 5 years on Broadway if I’m getting a doctorate?
- What if I’m not a Christian?
You are right to be confused. In this article, we will deconstruct the DMA Promise. In doing so, we endeavor to start a frank discussion about what pursuing a DMA can – and what it does not – offer.
Should You Get A DMA?
This is a seriously complicated question, and one for which there is, unfortunately, not a simple answer. The DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) is, as academic degrees go, fairly new. In the wake of World War II, advanced vocal pedagogy began to move away from the private studios of prestigious master teacher-mentors and into the world of academia and higher education. Before this, music performance was thought of more as a trade. As a reaction to this development, universities were faced with the challenge of giving musicians, who were often non-degreed professionals, credentials equal to their PhD colleagues in academia. So, in the mid-1950s, the DMA was born. But what exactly the DMA consisted of was intentionally left broad and kept nebulous as a compromise between the first schools to offer the degree, as they could not reach a consensus about exactly what skills would be required. To this day, other than listing degree prerequisites for entering the program, the National Association of Schools of Music, the accrediting body for the DMA, gives very little guidance on what the DMA in performance should be and how it differs from a Masters degree. From their official handbook, NASM only vaguely states:
“The doctoral degree program in performance emphasizes presentation in a specific performing medium. Performance competence is at the highest professional level with historical and theoretical knowledge supportive of the XVI.D. NASM Handbook 2020-21 development of individualized interpretations. Competencies also include a broad knowledge of repertory and literature. Additional studies in pedagogy are recommended.” [link]
This is the official description that all schools are obligated to follow. Not only does it lack specific benchmarks, but it also leaves open the possibility of bias from individual schools, department chairs, and administrators. The degree of variation present across the academic landscape is apparent from a cursory look at just a few programs:
- The DMA at Boston University asks DMA candidates to either choose a dissertation track, where the student writes a full dissertation and gives two public recitals, or a recital track, in which the student gives five public recitals but does not write. [link]
- Shenandoah Conservatory requires two recitals, one of which can be a major operatic role, and a lecture. [link]
- The Juilliard School asks for public recitals, a lecture performance, and a full dissertation and oral defense, as well as classes on scholarly edition editing. [link]
The result is a distinct and subjective non-uniformity across degree holders that complicates the hiring process and invites favoritism and discrimination.
Even if you read no further, hear this: it is absolutely crucial that DMA-hopefuls understand that this degree guarantees you nothing. A massive number of singers graduate from Masters programs and enter an economy and industry in which it is nearly impossible for singers to support themselves without a correlating career. Unlike PhD programs, DMA programs are often unfunded or poorly funded; charging tuition and/or not offering a stipend. This creates an incentive for many schools to over-enroll their DMA programs despite many applicants lacking the appropriate skill sets. Countless DMA students, therefore, emerge saddled with even. more. debt. Yet, for a population of young singers who, according to the Department of Education, have a record-setting amount of interest-collecting student debt, the DMA Promise can be irresistible. After all, tenure is not only a full-time position, but comes with many other benefits including: a) student loan forgiveness, b) nearly guaranteed job security, and c) at times, even free college tuition for one’s children. In other words, job security for life. Many people view the DMA as a way to break themselves and their families out of the cycle of (often multigenerational) debt.
The statistics, however, do not support the DMA Promise. According to New Faculty Majority and Inside Higher Ed., the tenure system is shrinking exponentially. New Faculty Majority states “75.5% of college faculty are now off the tenure track, meaning they have NO access to tenure. This represents 1.3 million out of 1.8 million faculty members. Of these, 700,000 or just over 50% are so-called part-time, most often known as ‘adjunct.’” [link] Such adjunct instructors are rarely offered benefits and often have no collective bargaining rights. In major cities such as New York and Boston, even the adjunct positions are now being filled by wildly over-qualified, accomplished teaching artists. These positions tend to be underpaid and require a heavy workload. In many cases, these jobs are downright abusive. Many of those who do have tenure were appointed over a decade ago, and the majority of music schools are opting out of the tenure system completely. Several studies show that the elusive “tenure track” position will be completely gone within the next decade [link].
The quest for a tenured position is not the only uphill battle facing newly-minted DMA graduates. Full-time non-tenure-track positions and adjunct positions are also highly competitive, especially in more metropolitan areas. Hopeful applicants do somewhat better in the job search when they are willing to “go where the jobs are,” yet many are not, and for good reason. Mezzo-Soprano Melissa Walker Glenn told us: “I hold a DMA and am fortunate to be in a tenure track position. However, my university is located in a remote part of the world which significantly limits work opportunities for my spouse. My performing opportunities are also diminished; in part due to being several hours from auditions and companies, and in part because, as a teaching university, we are discouraged from taking more than one week per semester off, even for professional reasons. Even when one is lucky enough to land a tenure-track position, there may still be limitations.”
Unsurprisingly, women are far less likely to land an academic position for myriad reasons. Approximately 70% of voice and opera degrees granted in the USA over the last three decades have been awarded to women. Neither the performing industry nor academia come close to supporting these numbers with regard to employment opportunities. Gender disparity begins early in musical academic education. As one undergraduate admissions administrator at a prestigious northeast conservatory who preferred to remain anonymous told us, “we expect the gender ratio to balance out eventually later on.” In other words, when young women begin their academic careers at age eighteen, there is already an unspoken expectation among college admissions that the vast majority of women admitted into voice degrees will not be successful in entering the field either within or outside of academia. Colleges knowingly saddle these young performers with tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
This particular admissions counselor’s expectations do not bear out numerically. Women do still make up a majority of DMA graduates. However, the rampant discrimination women have already faced as voice performance majors has seeped into academic hiring. Women in academic programs are routinely told that their voices are “a dime a dozen” or that they are “not exactly a rare voice type, which excludes them from gaining performance and teaching experience that would help distinguish them later as DMAs applying for academic positions. Perhaps in an attempt to “balance out the ratio later on, some women are also ushered away from a performance focus during their studies.”
Katie O’Reilly, a Boston-based soprano, pianist and Schubert scholar, says “the more skills I amassed during my years of study, the more I felt like I was already being pushed out of a future…I was steered away from performing constantly. As a woman they’d just assume I am naturally good with kids, so I’d be suggested for education and outreach. Once people knew about my piano skills, they’d often try to get me to be a below market rate accompanist instead of a singer. It’s a weird trap, where, because there are so many sopranos, you have to find ways to distinguish yourself (be it technical skills, acting, rep specialties…), and you have to be smart and driven in a way that is hardly ever demanded of men. But these bonus skills can serve as an excuse to dismiss you or pigeonhole you.” O’Reilly adds “I have stayed away from academia since graduating with my MM.”
The persistent and pervasive issue of gender inequity in academia highlights the hypocrisy of institutions who seek to assert a commitment to diversity in response to social movements in the United States and around the globe. As a result, some faculty listings read as a study in cognitive dissonance. An announcement from the University of Memphis on HigherEdJobs.com from 2021 reads “The Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music has a special interest in candidates who are accomplished in performing across diverse musical styles and performance traditions and focused on a high rate of student success” but continues “Baritone/Bass voices preferred; other voices considered.” [link] Voice programs tend to try to balance and represent all four traditional voice parts – Soprano, Mezzo, Tenor, Bass (or Bass-Baritone/Baritone) in the faculty when possible. This is highly problematic considering that the majority of people with a DMA identify as female; from a purely statistical standpoint a low-voiced male will have an easier time landing an academic job than a soprano.
Skills: The Triple— or Quadruple — Threat:
There is no exact formula when it comes to landing an academic job, but it is an undeniable fact that the rules of the game have changed drastically over the last several decades. And there are always exceptions to the rules. An endless argument plagues the singing community regarding “who can teach. ”Experienced performers tend to believe they are superior teachers because they have been out there doing it in the flesh. Technicians, voice scientists, and experienced pedagogues who may or may not perform feel they are the better choice given their knowledge and research.
The fact is, it totally depends. It is utterly impossible to label what type of skill set and experience will yield a better teacher. As they say, “the proof is in the pudding.” One will see full-time professors without DMAs (and sometimes even without prior teaching experience) who landed the job due to an illustrious singing career. You’ll also see tenured professors with DMAs who have barely set foot on stage. Nowadays, highly attractive candidates tend to have an “X-factor” that gives them a trifecta (or sometimes, a quadfecta) of experience and skills. Post-Covid, this “Holy Trifecta” will be even more crucial for academic hopefuls.
Skills and qualifications commonly combined to form a Trifecta:
- A DMA
- A high-profile, active performing arts career (not necessarily in opera).
- Prior academic experience. It is not always enough to be an excellent voice teacher. Universities often want professors to have the ability to teach essentially everything, even subjects outside of what the DMA covers, and, more importantly, to have prior proven experience in the college classroom.
- An academic “specialty” with a body of academic research behind you, such as:
- specialist in a specific area of vocal pedagogy and/or vocal science
- specialist in certain repertoire such as new music/baroque opera/Russian opera/Nordic song
- experience and expertise in Popular Music/World Music/Ethnomusicology
- Other specialties, certifications and correlating careers, for example: Entrepreneurship, Business Ownership, Non-Profit Leadership, Development/Recruitment/Fundraising, Alexander Technique, Feldenkreis, Body-Mapping.
- Fluency in a commonly-sung language or languages.
- Choral conducting skills and experience, advanced piano skills and/or collaborative piano/musical coaching experience.
- Experience as a department administrator.
Some real-life examples of successful applicants with a Trifecta:
- Significant performance experience, DMA, scholarly early music focus.
- High profile operatic career, demonstrated teaching success, extensive knowledge and expertise in Russian and Czech opera.
- Significant performance experience both as singer and collaborative pianist, Art Song Repertoire specialty.
- DMA, significant arts administration experience, known for research (and published).
- PhD, specialty in voice science softwares, extensive research experience.
- Significant performance experience, DMA, successful Arts Entrepreneur
Sometimes, the trifecta of desired qualifications will be outlined in the first job postings on sites like Academic Jobs Clearing House, HigherEdJobs, Jobswiki, and others. Other times, these expectations are unspoken and reveal themselves later in the hiring process or even after the hiring process is at an end. The demands that departments place on a candidate can be unrealistic at best and abusive at worst. Universities expect that candidates applying to a tenured academic position will have, in the words of a hiring announcement from the University of Cincinnati, “terminal degree/commensurate professional experience, university-level teaching experience, national and international professional performance experience as a soloist.” [link] What “commensurate experience” signifies here is inherently subjective, echoing the aforementioned amorphous nature of the DMA degree. In essence, it means whatever that particular hiring committee chooses to qualify as “commensurate” with a DMA to be. Once again, the lack of solid benchmarks exposes the applicant to the biases and prejudices of committee members.
Mezzo-Soprano Janna Baty told us: “People who get DMAs must be forgiven for assuming it is a guaranteed gateway to employment. It isn’t. No advanced degree in any subject is. The job I hold was advertised as looking for candidates with DMAs OR commensurate professional experience, which may or may not include an advanced degree. While I do not have a DMA, ultimately it was decided that I had the right combination of official qualifications, personality, skills, experience, and work ethic. It doesn’t mean I was the only applicant with good things to offer. In the panel’s view, I had the combination of things they needed. Onstage professional experience and real life work are of utmost importance. I think to be hirable, any DMA recipient must face the fact that the degree isn’t enough, especially now.”
The demand that a successful applicant must also have a “national and international” career as a soloist places the applicant in a nasty Catch-22. In many DMA programs, students are discouraged from pursuing outside performance opportunities to concentrate on their academics. This conundrum puts DMA recipients in a challenging position – perhaps intentionally so. Such “between a rock and a hard place” scenarios are likely to continue when the candidate is hired by the department. Tenure committees will look at major performances as equivalent to major publications for professors with PhDs. Some will insist that candidates for tenure be “constantly engaged,” a status which only a minority of a minority of full-time performers achieve. However, departments also want to see that their now-hired tenure-track professor is consistently on campus teaching classes and lessons, participating in university life and the life of the department, and responding to the needs of students. Soprano Jamie-Rose Guarrine told us: “Your academic job may not only be reviewed by your department, depending on if you are at a conservatory or a public institution. Balancing the tug of war between your singing career and what the academy expects is extremely challenging, and in my experience schools expect (realistically or unrealistically) both.” Music departments and their professors trying to negotiate these conflicting expectations are not always successful, and the relationship can become fraught very quickly.
As a professor with a DMA, the new hire should also be prepared to be treated as an academic “jack-of-all-trades” within the department. Departments are keen to save money and will want to use existing faculty to teach classes that they do not necessarily have a strong background in. One may be asked to teach music history, diction, ensemble classes, special topics in performance and even foreign languages in addition to the expected applied lessons and/or art song repertoire classes. The broader your academic background and the more comfort with which you can apply yourself to these extensions of your training, the more successful you may be in your quest for an academic position. However, there is still no guarantee that even the most well-rounded, complete “package” will win you the academic position you desire, and that may have little or nothing to do with you or your abilities.
Tenor and voice teacher Drake Danzler believes that the public perception of the DMA as the one overarching qualification is backward: “There is a general idea that too many DMAs are being created by too many schools. While I think this is correct in reality, it looks at the topic backwards. Our society often equates degrees with job placement. Degrees are a big, obvious line of demarcation between job applicants. But really, skills are what determine hiring. In essence, the DMA isn’t the obstacle to getting hired, it is just a signifier that you have the requisite skill set. Except in our field, that’s not true. It’s only part of the skill set. It’s enough to get you in the conversation, where you then must show your expertise and skills. Several elements fail to convey this to young people looking for professorships: schools, society, and the individuals themselves who see the big bright line of demarcation as enough. There are too many people getting too many DMAs thinking they will get a professorship. But that is not the fault of the universities, per se.”
The co-authors of this article had very different experiences on the DMA journey. Our experiences inform our discussion of this pressing issue.
I was somewhere on the Connecticut Turnpike when the car broke down. I had just come from a difficult conversation with the bursar and one of my small music school’s many deans. They were going to charge me another $5,000 this semester because of a tuition increase- undergraduate tuition and DMA tuition were the same amount- except I already had student loan debt from my undergraduate and Master’s programs. “You should just take out more loans. I’m sure you’ll be able to find something.” said the Assistant Dean. This was ironic because one of the many reasons that I had entered the DMA program to begin with was to find a way out of student loan debt. The promise of a full-time stable academic position at a university is the holy grail for a young family of classical musicians like mine. Perhaps, I thought, in ten years, I might even qualify for student loan forgiveness. My spouse, a musicologist, had graduated with her doctorate from an Ivy League institution the year before and had also not been able to find teaching besides adjunct positions that paid less than $10,000 per semester to live on, in a city where we had recently lost our housing and the skyrocketing cost of living was turning into a multi-sector crisis. I depended on the car to get me from my accommodations in Boston to the university in Connecticut.
I was already teaching three classes at the university – French diction, voice, and a tutorial on French repertoire – aside from my own course load. I was grateful for this, first and foremost because I am an enthusiastic teacher, and second because I assumed that the more teaching experience I had, the more attractive my résumé would be to full-time positions after graduation. Each night, my spouse and I would go through academic job listings looking for full-time positions; there were virtually none to be had. More pressingly, however, the school was confiscating all I made from teaching to pay tuition, and the more I taught, the more they would confiscate. I had nothing left for basic living expenses. There, somewhere between the Welcome to Connecticut rest stop and the Massachusetts border, I decided that my DMA experiment had come to an end.
I ended up contacting a lawyer and settling with the school out of court.
I realized that I did not need a doctorate to be a subject matter expert. I built a thriving voice studio. I began performing full-time again. I found my niche. I joined the thriving lecture and masterclass circuit that focused on the repertoire I loved. I co-founded a festival where I could supply artistic vision. I launched a recording career.
I worked incredibly hard. But I was also lucky.
I was 27, and in the throes of the YAP (Young Artist Program) path. I had graduated with my MM in voice from a prestigious conservatory at age 23 and done all the things I was “supposed to do”. I had worked hard for four years to build a full private voice studio, taught at a community music school, had a great church job, and was on the roster of a regional opera collaborative that afforded me excellent role experience. I had attended a program every year, starting with a pay-to-sing in Italy in 2003 at age 21. I worked my way up to paid young artist programs, including two summers at the Caramoor young artist program in New York City (now called Teatro Nuovo) where I learned what it means to really sing. I had spent a fortune driving to and from New York for auditions and applying for programs, but I had almost always been heard live, which is not the case for singers today.
During that four-year post-graduate-school journey, I truly discovered my love and passion for teaching. I found that I was often more excited to read pedagogy books and prepare for lessons than to practice the dreaded five aria package. I was working with a new-to-me teacher in Boston, who casually mentioned “why don’t you audition for the DMA here?” I replied that I could not afford it, knowing that scholarship was hard to come by for sopranos and that stipends did not exist there. I already had $60,000 in student debt from the conservatory. I applied anyway, emphasizing clearly in my application that I could not attend without a full scholarship, and citing specific reasons why I would be an asset to the program. I got it.
I spent three years working full time while completing the DMA. I would pull up in front of the school, tires screeching, throw quarters into the meter, rush to class and then book it to my teaching job. I was exhausted…but I accrued no additional debt. During the DMA, I chose not to participate in the school opera program, instead performing regionally and making several professional debuts. Mid-degree, I started teaching at a prestigious summer program for high school classical singers. Upon graduation, I immediately landed a full-time, two-year interim voice faculty position at a major university, where I was able to hone my skills and philosophies. I later returned to Boston to perform, set up shop as an independent voice business owner and accepted a well-paid adjunct position at an institution strongly aligned with my values as teacher, career coach, entrepreneur and arts advocate.
I worked incredibly hard. But I was also lucky.
Why You Might Want To Get A DMA Anyway
Despite the tight, tight bottleneck of qualified applicants and available academic jobs, there are a number of other reasons to pursue a DMA aside from the quest for a tenure-track position. There are about a million ways to be a teaching artist, and the degree may help you prepare for and navigate your way down the winding path to a fulfilling life and career. Focus on what you need in order to grow as an artist and teacher. Some programs will place a heavy emphasis on research and writing in vocal pedagogy and/or voice science. Others will offer a significant amount of performance experience, particularly singing art song and opera. Most programs will expand your art song repertoire knowledge and add to your music theory skills. Experience teaching applied lessons and/or in the classroom is often part of the deal, which is useful for myriad career paths. And for many folks, the additional one-on-one, weekly vocal training and coaching not only helps them become well-rounded and skilled teachers, but is, in fact, necessary in order to move forward with a solid technique.
The decision of whether or not to pursue a DMA is a very personal one. Here are some tips for arriving at that decision:
- Thoroughly vet each program you are interested in to determine if what is offered suits your needs (remember, there is huge variation between programs!)
- Make an epic pros and cons list for each institution you are considering.
- Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses and what you can and cannot handle.
- Take stock of your short and long term career goals.
- Take into account the debt you already have, the realistic range of cost including tuition, fees and housing, and how much you will be able to work during the program.
- Consider location, what moving would look like, and commuting time.
- If you have a family, consider how location, cost and childcare factor into your decision.
- Go in with eyes wide open to the realities of the field and help your students do the same.
- Be crystal clear about what it is you want to get out of the program, and do not accept an invitation if it is not the right fit.
Your gut – and your wallet – will tell you.
To book a career coaching with Dana Lynne Varga, click here: https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=14827182
Dr. Dana Lynne Varga is an accomplished arts entrepreneur and performer, and a fierce advocate for musicians. She is the Founder and CEO of The Empowered Musician, Founder and Co-Artistic Director of MassOpera, and a sought-after classical singer, voice teacher and career coach. In addition to maintaining a full private voice studio for over 15 years, highlights of Dana’s teaching career have included seven years on the voice and opera faculty at the BU Tanglewood Institute, two years on the full-time voice faculty at UMass Amherst and two years on the voice faculty at the New England Conservatory Prep school. She is currently on the voice faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge MA. As career coach and lecturer, Dana uses her experience and knowledge to help musicians find and embrace their authentic career path and work toward financial security. She speaks for organizations and institutions across the country, with a focus on entrepreneurship, the many paths to a career in music and how to build and maintain a private music studio.
Dana regularly performs a wide variety of repertoire on opera and concert stages. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in spring 2019 as the soprano soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Mid-America Productions. Dana’s 2019 appearance as Pallas Athene in Gluck’s rarely heard Paride ed Elena with Odyssey Opera garnered critical acclaim.
Other recent notable engagements include Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with The Cantata Singers, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Wellesley Symphony and Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor with Coro Allegro. Favorite operatic roles performed include Musetta in La bohème, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, Anna Maurrant in Street Scene, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Micaëla in Carmen, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, and the title role in Alcina. Dana won the Second Place American Prize for Art Song and Oratorio in 2019 and was the First Place Winner of the professional division of the national Classical Singer Competition in 2016. She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree in Vocal Performance from Boston University, the MM in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory, and a BM in Vocal Performance from UMass Amherst.
To read some of Dana’s recent articles, please visit the below links:
- https://nyst.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/NYSTA-Jan-Feb-2021.pdf (page 17)
Praised for his versatility, the “luminous bass-baritone” Ian Pomerantz is a specialist in the Baroque repertoire and an expert in the performance Jewish music. 2021 will see the release of two highly anticipated major recording projects; Russian, Romani, and Jewish Romances with guitarist Oleg Timofeyev, and Art Songs of the Jewish Diaspora, with pianist Byron Schenkman.Pomerantz is a prominent voice for performer’s rights in the United States and for equity in the field of classical music.
Recent and upcoming performance highlights include Every Voice: The Jewish Voice with Handel and Haydn Society; Il Mostro d’Alcina in Caccini’s Alcina with Boston Early Music Festival; Easter in the German Baroque with Three Notch’d Road, Bloch’s Sacred Service with Masterworks Chorale, Getro in Pasquini’s I fatti del Mose nel deserto with Academy of Sacred Drama; Dalla Guerra Amorosa’s Virtuoso Cantatas for Bass, with Byron Schenkman and Friends at Benaroya Hall in Seattle; the premiere of Legrand’s La Chûte de Phaëton, Aquilon Music Festival; Amours et Distances at the American Church of Paris in France; Jewish Music from the Italian and German Baroque with The Miryam Ensemble in Boston; Stradella’s Ester with New York Sanctuary Concerts. He is the artistic director of the acclaimed ensemble Les Enfants d’Orphée, specializing in French Baroque chamber music for voice. He holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and Longy School of Music of Bard College.