SDSU students Katy Milton, Trey Meyer and Michael Bader have been accepted in the Franco American Vocal Academy, a six-week vocal program that goes from July 1 to Aug. 15. The first three weeks of the program will take place in Paris, France and the second three weeks will be in Perígueux, France.
While at the Franco American Vocal Academy students will be learning French and also taking voice and dance lessons. The students will be will preparing to perform the opera La Belle Helene by Jacques Offen Bach.
Though Bader has turned down the position, both Milton and Meyer are looking forward to the experience in Paris.
“I’m hoping to pursue opera and I’m excited to experience a full fledged opera,” Milton said.
Both students are involved in the choral programs.
“Trey is a baritone. He is known for his wide range. Katy is a soprano,” said Laura Diddle the director of choral activities and a professor of various vocal classes.
Both Milton and Meyer have been a part of choir throughout their college career.
Milton, a junior vocal music education and music performance major, is from Astoria, South Dakota. She is part of the SDSU’s concert choir and women’s choir.
Meyer, a junior music education major, is from Brookings. He is a part of SDSU’s concert choir.
“We are very proud of them,” Diddle said.
Milton said that she got the idea to apply to the vocal academy because of Diddle.
To be accepted into the program the applicants had to audition.
“I had to make a recording and then send it in via email,” Milton said.
According to Diddle, the students had to audition by singing a French aria and art song in French. An aria is a short piece used to highlight a single singer. An art song is a poem that is sung by a vocal musician and it is usually paired with piano accompaniment.
Auditioning for this program required the individuals to practice.
“We rehearsed a lot on those pieces that we auditioned with,” Meyer said. “We did a lot of work with Dr. Diddle and practicing with the accompanist.”
“I’ve been practicing the aria since last semester and the art song I got right before Christmas break,” Milton said.
Milton sent in her audition tape on the Feb. 6 and found out that she was accepted into Franco American Vocal Academy one day later.
“It’s [FAVA] about $6000 and we have to pay for our own plane tickets,” Milton said.
In addition to preparing and performing for the opera, the students have a chance to experience international travel and French culture.
“I am probably looking forward to spending six weeks in Paris and Perígueux,” Meyer said.
“It allows us to say that we have students singing in one of the best overseas programs,” Diddle said. “Getting accepted for FAVA is an indicator for future success.”