Skip to main content

VCSU to Host Choral & Solo Song Festival

Oct 10, 2022

Choral and Solo Song Festival held at the brand-new Center for the Arts March 3 & 4, 2023

High school vocalists are invited to join the Music Department at VCSU for a festival designed to prepare students for Solo and Ensemble Contests. The festival will provide high school students with the opportunity to work on solo repertoire through lessons and masterclasses with three clinicians while developing their skills as a choral singer with VCSU’s Concert Choir. Five masterclass participants will be selected to perform their prepared solo for the final Festival Concert. Registration is $20 per student and the registration deadline is Feb. 15, 2023.

What will I get out of the experience?  Improved vocal technique – both as a soloist and as a choral artist, individual feedback from vocal experts, collegiate-level choir experience.

Registration Open until February 15, 2023

VCSU Choral and Solo Song Festival Registration

Please include town
High School Graduation Year
All students attending the event will participate in the Festival Choir which includes VCSU's Concert Choir. Please indicate your level of participation from the following:
If you elect to participate in the masterclass (indicated above), please provide the title, composer and key of your piece. If you are not participating in the masterclass, please answer N/A.
T-shirt Size(Required)
I understand that I will have to pay the registration cost upon arrival. Please refer to costs above.


Dr. Kathryn Rolf is a conductor, educator, and church musician. She serves on the faculty of Valley City State University as Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor. Her work at VCSU includes directing Concert Choir and University Singers and teaching courses in conducting and aural skills. Dr. Rolf is the founding conductor and artistic director of the Fargo-Moorhead Bach Choir, which began in 2020. The mission of the choir is to bring J. S. Bach’s music and the message it artfully communicates to the F-M area. Dr. Rolf is the Director of Parish Music at Immanuel Lutheran Church where she directs the choir, plays organ, and coordinates solos and ensembles.

Prior to her appointment at VCSU, Dr. Rolf served as adjunct faculty at North Dakota State University, where she also received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Choral Conducting. At NDSU she studied with Jo Ann Miller and Michael Weber. Dr. Rolf graduated summa cum laude from Concordia University, St. Paul, MN, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Church Music with concentrations in Choral Conducting and Organ. While at Concordia, she studied conducting with David Mennicke and received the Pro Artibus Award in Music. At Bethel University in St. Paul, she completed a graduate-level Certificate in Applied Ethnomusicology.

Dr. Stephen Cunningham is a bass-baritone from Corpus Christi, TX. He serves on the faculty of Valley City State University as Assistant Professor in Voice. He has performed lead roles with Minnesota Opera, Florentine Opera, La Musica Lirica, Opera Orvieto, Journey North Opera Company, the Kurt Weill Honorarium, Twin Cities Community Outreach Opera, Mill City Summer Opera, the University of Minnesota Opera Program, Oklahoma State University Opera Program, and the University of North Texas Opera Program. He has also performed as soloist with Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, St. Rita Catholic Church Performance Series, Graceland University, and University of Minnesota Summer Community Choir. 

Stephen premiered the roles of Prince Abdul and the Captain in Sister Carrie with Florentine Opera in 2016, available from Naxos Records. He also premiered the role of Secretary of Defense in The Manchurian Candidate with Minnesota Opera in 2015. His other operatic roles include: Benoît in La bohème, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Jimmy in Mahagonny Singspiel,  The Bonze in Madama Butterfly, Jimmy in Mahagonny Songspiel, Don Annibale in Il Campanello, Escamillo in Carmen, Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte and Commendatore in Don Giovanni, as well as the titles roles in Falstaff, Gianni Schicchi and Le Nozze di Figaro. Stephen has workshopped numerous new operas including The Shining, The Manchurian Candidate, Memory Boy and Doubt with Minnesota Opera, Sister Carrie and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead with the University of Minnesota, as well as Sister Carrie with Florentine Opera. He holds a performance and pedagogy degree from Oklahoma State University and a vocal performance degree from the University of North Texas.

Festival Schedule* 

Friday, March 3* 

  • 11:30am – Registration
  • 12:00pm – Rehearsal
  • 1:00pm – Rehearsals, Voice Lessons, and Masterclasses
  • 5:15pm – Dinner (on your own)
  • 7:30pm – VCSU Choir Concert feat. Guest Clinicians
    • * Please eat lunch before you arrive. Snacks will be provided throughout the afternoon.

Saturday, March 4

  • 9:00am – Warmups, Rehearsals, Voice Lessons, and Masterclass
  • 11:30am – Lunch (on your own)
  • 12:30pm – Rehearsal, Voice Lessons
  • 1:30pm – Solo Coachings for Festival Concert & Campus Tour
  • 3:00pm – Choral and Solo Song Festival Concert feat. Selected HS Soloists
  • 4:00pm – Farewell

Places to stay