Classical Performance : Voice


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:

*Christopher Dylan Herbert, Area Coordinator
Christopher Dylan Herbert (baritone) performs frequently throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and is a two-time GRAMMY® nominee. He has soloed with The San Francisco Symphony and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performed Ginastera centennial celebrations with International Contemporary Ensemble and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and consistently presents Winterize – an outdoor adaptation of Winterreise with transistor radios. He holds a B.A. in Music from Yale University, an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University, and D.M.A. in Voice from The Juilliard School. His current research focus is on the music of the eighteenth-century Ephrata Cloister of Pennsylvania. He is the baritone in the critically acclaimed ensemble New York Polyphony.

*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.

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

Timothy Parsons (countertenor) is active as both soloist and ensemble singer in New York City. He is a member of the Grammy®-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street. Appearances include the Montreal Bach Festival, the MATA Festival, the Stavanger Kammermusikkfestival, and the Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht. As a soloist, Timothy has been hailed as a "most dazzling contributor...whose magnificently muscular singing...made one want to coin a new vocal category just for him — the heldencountertenor…” (San Francisco Chronicle) He is the Interim Music Director of the Park Slope Singers, and an Adjunct Professor of Voice at William Paterson University.

Tami Petty (soprano) is the 2014 Award Recipient of the Joy in Singing Prize. She made her 2010 Lincoln Center debut singing Rossini’s Petite Messe Solonelle at Alice Tully Hall. The New York Times praised Petty’s “powerful soprano,” and Classical Music Network declared, “Such a beauty and purity of tone is so rare that I could only listen in ethereal pleasure." Recitalist of the first rank, she has performed locally with Brooklyn Art Song Society, 5BMF, Caritas for St. Ignatius Loyola, Joy in Singing, and NYSTA. Winner of multiple career grants with special recognition from Marilyn Horne Foundation and Sorel Organization, and graduate of Eastman School of Music in Vocal Performance, Petty also teaches voice privately and at AMDA, and she serves as Director of Music in the East Village at Middle Collegiate Church where she oversees ecclectic music programming. Please visit for more information.

Sarah Elizabeth Wolfson (soprano) has demonstrated a remarkable ability to communicate with an audience, whether in recital, oratorio, or on the operatic stage. The New York Times called her “a keenly intelligent artist…[she sings] with luminous sound and impressively focused high notes.” A graduate of The Juilliard School, she has been seen in recital and concert at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fischer Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Miller Theater, Café Sabarsky at The Neue Galerie, Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, and with the New York Festival of Song. She has sung with The Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Montpellier, The Santa Fe Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera North, Spoleto Festival USA, Aspen Music Festival, The Ravinia Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, The American Symphony Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Vocal Arts Society of Washington, DC. In addition to performing, Ms. Wolfson is a voice instructor who has taught vocal performance at Columbia University, performed masterclasses at various institutions across the US, and is currently on faculty at William Paterson University and Hofstra University.