Classical Voice and Musical Theater

In Salisbury University’s Classical Voice and Musical Theater academy, students are guided through instruction in vocal techniques, acting and dance, as well as group rehearsals and master classes. Utilizing contemporary musical theater selections that focus on technique and styles, this academy culminates in a final showcase featuring individual and group performances.

What You Need to Know

Audience: Students entering 9th – 12th grades
- Week one: July 6-10
- Week two: July 13-17
- Final showcase: July 18
Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, with the final showcase 5 to 7 p.m. July 17 and 2 p.m. July 18
Cost: $500 total
Qualifications: None

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Program Highlights

Participants in the musical theater academy will:

  • Understand vocal techniques for both musical theater and classical singing
  • Learn strategies for both solo and ensemble singing
  • Experience college-level one-on-one vocal instruction
  • Learn acting and dance techniques used in musical theater productions
  • Collaborate with others to produce stage performances

Academy Instructors

Dr. John Wesley Wright is a director, producer, clinician and tenor known for his creative presentations and soulful interpretations of music from baroque to Broadway. He has performed as a soloist and in professional ensembles throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. A member of the internationally celebrated American Spiritual Ensemble, he also was a gold medalist in the American Traditions Vocal Competition in 2000, with other top prizes from the National Federation of Music Clubs, Metropolitan Opera National Council and International Schubert Competition. He is an active leader of workshops on voice production, interpretation and African American song tradition and was co-director of the musical theatre program at the Maryland Summer Center of the Arts from 2007 to 2014. He is an associate professor of music at SU, coordinating the voice and opera workshop programs.

Jennifer Hope Wills has been performing since the age of 8 months old. Her parents owned their own theater company, Parker Playhouse, where Wills first fell in love with theater and helped inspire, encourage and teach many young performers. She spent several years starring on Broadway, and her performances include runs in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Woman in White,” her critically acclaimed performance as Eileen opposite Brooke Shields in “Wonderful Town” and her nearly four-year run as Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera.” As a solo concert artist, Wills has performed in New York City at Lincoln Center’s Merkin Concert Hall, City Center, Birdland and Town Hall. She has headlined with many symphony orchestras across the country, including in Houston, Portland, North Carolina, Roanoke and Omaha. She currently is an adjunct professor in the Music Department at SU.

Alice Wigfield is a lauded teacher and musician who has served the Delmarva Peninsula for the past 40 years. She is the director of choirs at Allen Memorial Baptist Church and the artistic director and founder of the SU Children’s Choir. Wigfield was the music director and conductor for the MAGI Choral Festival, which included a regional 125-voice adult choir and 180-voice children’s choir. She has been guest conductor for Grammy Award-winning artist Michael W. Smith and for various public school festivals. A 35-year vocal coach, Wigfield also has been a featured soloist regionally, on the East Coast, in Israel and in Europe. A 39-year veteran of public and private school teaching, she received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Eastern Kentucky University and her M.A. from SU.