Classical Performance : Voice

Opera Workshop

Program Features:

  • Regular vocal Master Classes by outstanding peformers and pedagogs in the classical vocal world
  • Solo performance opportunities in University Choir in repertoire such as Messiah, Carmina Burana, Mozart Requiem, and Faure Requiem, as well as chamber ensembles and winners of the orchestra competition
  • Trips to NYC for performances at the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and other New York concert venues.
  • Performance opportunities in standard operatic repertoire in Opera Workshop, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Men's Chorus, New Music Series, Small Chamber Ensembles
  • All voice faculty members are members of the National Association of Teachers of Singing; thus all voice students may participate in the State and Eastern Regional NATS Collegiate Auditions held annually

Special courses and classes:

  • One semester each of English, French, German and Italian Diction for Singers
  • Opera and Oratorio Aria Repertoire
  • 19th century French melodie and German Lieder
  • Pedagogy for Vocalists 

Voice Faculty:

*Nan Guptill Crain, Area Coordinator
B.M., M.M. Univeristy of Wisconsin. Advanced vocal study with Vera Rozsa, Cynthia Hoffmann, Bruce Norris. Advanced repertoire study with Martin Katz, John Wustman, Hugues Cuñod, Peter Pears. Soprano specializing in recital repertoire. Four world premiers: Lennox Berkeley's Sonnet, Aldeburgh, England; Pallas Athena in Samuel Belich's opera Trojan Women, New York City; Donato Fornuto's Songs of Innocence and Experience, Town Hall, New York City; Songs of Gerald Ginsburg, Merkin Recital Hall, New York City. Active in NATS; Clinician in vocal repertoire: University of Wisconsin; SUNY-Albany; Valparaiso University; Penn State; University of Indiana Pennsylvania; Westerly, Rhode Island; Eastern Regional NATS Conference.

*Dr. Lauren Fowler-Calisto, Director of Choral Activities 
Assistant Professor and newly appointed Director of Choral Activities at William Paterson University conducts the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, and teaches conducting and courses in music education. Prior to her position at William Paterson she served as the Associate Director of Choral Activities in the School of Music at the University of Southern Mississippi where she directed the Concert Choir and Men’s Chorus, in addition to her work with the Spirit of Southern and BelleTones A Cappella ensembles. She also taught beginning conducting and graduate choral literature. Dr. Fowler-Calisto was also the Artistic Director of the Southern Miss Gulf Coast Civic Chorale. For fifteen years she served as the Director of Choral Studies at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA where she conducted the CNU Chamber Choir, Women’s Chorus, and Men’s Chorus. She taught graduate and undergraduate conducting, choral literature and secondary methods, as well as applied voice and vocal improvisation. Previous positions include Associate Director of Choirs and Specialist in Choral Music Education and Vocal Jazz at Iowa State University, as well as the University of South Dakota and St. Norbert College.

Dr. Fowler-Calisto received her Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Choral Conducting with a cognate in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy. She also holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, where she worked with Paul J. Christiansen and sang in the Concordia Choir, and a Master of Music in Performance degree in conducting from the University of Arizona, where she worked with Dr. Maurice Skones singing with the Arizona Chamber Choir and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. Performing as a soloist in both Classical and Jazz idioms, Dr. Fowler-Calisto has sung most recently with the Virginia Chorale–The only fully paid professional vocal ensemble in VA–and with her husband’s jazz trio, “Round Midnight,” as guest artist. Selected as a conductor/soprano with the prestigious Norfolk Chamber Choir and Choral Conducting Workshop in 2010, and the Sarteano Chamber Choir Workshop in 2015 and 2013, Dr. Fowler-Calisto continues to study with Simon Carrington.

She is very active as an adjudicator, and guest conductor for high school, college, and middle school Honor Choirs, Festival Choirs and Jazz/Show Choirs in addition to her many presentations on voice matching, conducting pedagogy, and vocal jazz pedagogy at several state and regional NAfME and ACDA conventions. Dr. Fowler-Calisto has appeared as a guest conductor for All-State Choirs and Jazz Choir, the Kentucky Collegiate Honors Choir at the 2001 Southern Division MENC convention, and guest conductor of The American International School of Muscat high school choral festival in Muscat, Oman with students from twenty different countries in 2011. Both her traditional and jazz choirs at the university and public school levels have been selected to perform at state conventions, including the CNU Chamber Choir and Women’s Chorus at the Virginia Music Educators State Conference. The CNU Chamber Choir has toured Europe four times in the past eight years, singing Lenten Mass in many cathedrals throughout Europe including Basilica Papale San Pietro in Rome, Basilica di San Marco in Venice, the Salzburger Dom andParoisse de la Madeleine in Paris. The CNU Women’s Chorus sang Evensong at Westminster Abbey on New Year’s Eve in 2012 in addition to singing Handel’s Coronation Anthems in Bristol and London, with maestro Simon Carrington.

Her conducting, music education, and choral students have continued to garner accolades and awards as professional conductors, singers, and music educators, including a Gates¬–Cambridge Scholarship winner in the area of music to study conducting at Cambridge, a youth/high school first place conducting recipient of The American Prize, a student who was one of four finalists in the American Choral Directors Association National Undergraduate Student Conducting Competition in 2009, and one of eight finalists in the ACDA Graduate Conducting Competition held in Chicago, and a staff conductor with the Chicago Children’s Choir. Continuing to participate and work with the American Choral Directors Association, Dr. Fowler-Calisto has served as R & S Chair in Vocal Jazz, Ethnic and Multicultural Perspectives, and Women's Choir at Divisional and State levels in CO, IA, and VA.

Paul An
Critically acclaimed bass Paul An is a graduate of the Juilliard School. Sought after in both the operatic and concert stage in the 2014-16 seasons, he will be making his Carnegie Hall debut as the Bass soloist in Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, performing Mozart's Requiem with the Tulsa Symphony, Colline in La Boheme with the Nashville Opera, small ensemble of Frati in Don Carlo at the Metropolitan Opera, Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Princeton Opera Festival, Sparafucile in Rigoletto with the Hubbard Hall Opera Theater, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola with the Florida State Opera Theater, Bass soloist in Handel's Messiah with the Stamford Symphony and Beethoven's Missa Solmemnis with the Helena Symphony Orchestra.

Other recent highlights included appearances with the New York Philharmonic as a soloist singing Koyaanisqatsi by Philip Glass, as well as taking part in a Grammy award winning recording of Wagner's Ring Cycle with the Metropolitan Opera, a tour to Israel and Austria with the Israel Philharmonic and appearing on the soundtrack of such films as Noah and Hail Caesar!.

As a soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Ravinia Festival Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra among many others, Paul An has sung under the batons of Ricardo Muti, Sir Simon Rattle, Alan Gilbert, and Zubin Mehta to mention a few.

Paul An served honorably as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army where he was a member and soloist of the Soldiers’ Chorus of the United States Field Band where he performed for many dignitaries, including all of the living presidents of the United States.

Karen Born-Cafaro
A native of Wisconsin, Karen received her undergraduate degree in Music Education at William Paterson University where she was awarded Outstanding Senior Educator, and her Masters in Vocal Performance at the University of Southern California where she received the Faculty Award for Best Student. Karen performed with the West Coast Opera Outreach in Los Angeles and San Diego, CA. Highlights were singing Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) with director Franz Bourlage and conductor Randall Behr and premiering The Wife in a one act opera under the direction of Christopher Larkin. She has also performed extensively in Musical Theater touring with the John Michael Kohler Regional Theater Company. Some of her roles include Maria(Sound of Music), Bianca (Kiss Me Kate) Anne (A Little Night Music) Berthe (Pippin) Josephine (HMS Pinafore) and Yum Yum (The Mikado). Karen also specialized in contemporary music appearing at Symphony Space in NYC with the New Jersey New Music Ensemble as well as touring with the San Diego New Music Ensemble and premiered "The Telephone" by Peter Westergard at the Cape May Music Festival. Karen has also recorded vocal tracks for English and Spanish commercials and is requested for recording original works by composer and organist K. Scott Warren of NYC. She sings professionally on the choir circuit in NYC and continues to solo in New Jersey and New York. Karen debuted as a soloist at Carnegie Hall with Mid America Productions under the direction of John Rutter.

As a teacher Karen taught on faculty at USC and as guest artist at Columbia University and NYU. She is an active member of NATS. Karen is Co-owner and Co-founder of the performing arts school, Gateway To The Arts, in Boonton, NJ, where her students have gone on to scholarship into competitive fine arts Conservatories and Universities, attain professional management and agent representation, and perform professionally across the country and abroad. For more information visit

Christopher Dylan Herbert
Hailed by Opera News for his “exceptional” singing, and praised by The New York Times for his “impressive”, “remarkable”, and “elegantly lean” performances, twice GRAMMY®-nominated Christopher Dylan Herbert has also received commendation for his “smooth baritone voice”, his “consistently warm sound” and his “versatile dramatic abilities.” His credits include the title role in Handel’s Saul at Trinity Wall Street’s Twelfth Night Festival, Cage’s Renga with The San Francisco Symphony, Maddalena with The American Classical Orchestra, Winterize – an outdoor adaptation of Winterreise with transistor radios, the title role in The War Reporter at the Prototype Festival and concerts and recitals throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Mr. Herbert has won awards from the Sullivan Foundation, Gérard Souzay Competition and Kurt Weill Foundation and has performed at Tanglewood, Lincoln Center, Wolf Trap, Central City Opera, Music Academy of the West, Rheingau Festival, Wigmore Hall, Stifskonzerte Oberösterreich, Berliner Dom and Thüringer Bachwochen. He holds a B.A. in Music from Yale University and an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University. Mr. Herbert is a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow at the Juilliard School and is the baritone in the critically acclaimed ensemble New York Polyphony.