Voice students at the University of Evansville are challenged to perform at the highest level while receiving individual attention within the environment of a small, closely-knit liberal arts institution. Our faculty have years of experience as teachers while maintaining active performing careers in opera, musical theatre, oratorio, chamber music, and art song.
Solo, choral and opera experience
- Our area is large enough (approximately 45 students) to perform major choral works and opera, and yet is small enough that the entire faculty develop relationships with every student without the competition of a graduate program. Our students are given frequent opportunities to perform in weekly activities such as choirs, opera, master classes, studio classes, a concerto competition, and degree recitals. In fact, freshmen have performed lead roles in opera productions and have been chosen as soloists on choral concerts because they aren't competing against students that may be five or six years older.
Competition and young artist success
- UE voice students can be found among the winners of the annual National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) regional and state competitions and rank equally well in other vocal competitions such as the Orpheus and NATSAA. Recently, several of our students have performed with regional opera companies and have participated in summer professional opera young artist programs across the United States and internationally.
Interaction with artists
- Each year the vocal area hosts well-known vocalists to perform in recitals and to coach our students in master classes. Recent guest artists include the King's Singers, David Small, Mary Ann Hart, and John Van Cura.
Alanna Keenan, DMA
Associate Professor of Music
Dr. Alanna Keenan, assistant professor of voice, holds a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in vocal performance with a minor in musicology from Louisiana State University. She teaches applied voice and diction. Prior to joining the faculty of the Department of Music she taught at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, where she directed the vocal program and taught courses in performance, music history, diction, and aural skills.
Dr. Keenan is an active performer both in recital, opera, and oratorio. Among the roles she has sung are Mother Marie (Dialogue of the Carmelites), Mrs. McClean (Susannah), Cathleen (Riders to the Sea), Hermia (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro), and the title role in Carmen. Oratorio credits include Saint-Saëns’s Christmas Oratorio, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Fauré’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Schubert’s Mass in G. Keenan has recently appeared as a soloist with OvreArts, the Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra, and choir of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Keenan’s students have been accepted to graduate schools across the country including Indiana University, Catholic University, Cleveland State University, and East Carolina University. Her students have been accepted into summer programs such as SongFest and the American Singers’ Opera Project. She is a full member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Gregory Rike, DMA
Assistant Professor of Music
Gregory Rike is an Assistant Professor of Music and also serves as Musical Director for the nationally-recognized UE Theater. Prior to coming to Evansville Dr. Rike held teaching positions at the University of Mississippi, The Ohio State University, Ohio Northern University, Heidelberg College, and the University of Findlay.
In demand as a performer, clinician, and coach, Dr. Rike is equally comfortable with opera, oratorio, art song, and musical theater genres. He has been musical director of such shows as A Little Night Music, Follies, Company, Urinetown, Grand Hotel, The Last Five Years, Into the Woods, Parade, Assassins, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Sweeney Todd as well as The Marriage of Figaro, Baby Doe, and Tartuffe. He has performed with various opera companies as well as the Evansville, Toledo, Charleston, Columbus, and Ohio State Symphony Orchestras. He has judged National Association of Teachers of Singing competitions in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Ontario, Canada, as well as the Metropolitan Opera auditions in Memphis, Tennessee.
Dr. Rike currently teaches courses in applied voice, song literature and vocal pedagogy.