Alan Fischer, Chair, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., has headed the Vocal Music department since 1994. He teaches applied voice, acting, stage direction, vocal music survey, opera workshop, and studio classes, and directs and conducts the spring opera production.

He began singing on stage at the age of 4, and was a soloist in the Children’s Chorus of the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera. As an adult, he has sung over 50 character tenor roles with companies such as San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, Dallas Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Hawaii Opera, the Spoleto Festival US and in Italy, Virginia Opera, and many other regional companies. He also performed as a classical vocalist with Cunard Lines for three years, and concertized in England and France. He co-created the S.T.A.R. (Student Training and Artistic Residency) Program which provides master classes from professionals in, and performance Internships with the two opera companies in Hampton Roads. In 2003 he was recognized by the North Carolina School for the Arts for his contributions to arts education.

With the Governor’s School, he has conducted and directed productions of Amahl and the Night Visitors, Dido and Aeneas, Die Fledermaus, Gianni Schicchi, La Serva Padrona, Mikado, Orfeo ed Euridice, The Ballad of Baby Doe, The Impresario, The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro, and The Medium, and has conducted Carmina Burana. He has directed productions ofThe Ballad of Baby Doe and Hansel and Gretel For Intermountain Opera in Bozeman MT.

Stephen15 Dr. Stephen Z. Cook, DMA, Choral Director,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., joined the faculty of The Governor’s School for the Arts in 2010. He directs the chorus, accompanies all of the students in performance, and teaches classes in theory, music history, and sight-singing. Additionally, Dr. Cook is also on the faculty at Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach, where he teaches classes in theory and music appreciation. As a professional accompanist, he has performed under the batons of Grammy Award winners Sir David Willcocks and Dr. Robert Page. Dr. Cook is a native of Norfolk, Virginia and an alumnus of Norfolk Christian High School. He holds the Bachelor of Music degree, cum laude, in piano performance from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, the Master of Music degree in church music and organ performance from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance and pedagogy from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. As a concert organist, he has performed solo recitals throughout the United States as well as in Paris, France.

Vocal Music Faculty 

Shelly Milam is in her third year teaching Diction, Art Song Literature, Acting, and Voice with the Vocal Music Department. She graduated from James Madison University with honors and later studied and performed in Graz, Austria. She has performed with Virginia Opera, Lyric Opera of Virginia, the Virginia Arts Festival, Virginia Chorale, and has concertized throughout the state

Adriane Kerr- Mezzo Soprano Adriane Shelton holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as a M.M. in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory. She has sung with many opera companies in the US including Virginia Opera and Glimmerglass Opera This is her second year teaching at GSA.

Kelly Vaughan - is an accompanist and music theory teacher for the vocal music department. She has performed with various groups in the Hampton roads area including Tidewater Opera Initiative, Virginia Musical Theater, as well as the Governor's School for the Arts musical theater and vocal departments. She also currently teaches private piano lessons and preschool music classes at The Music Staff, and is a part of the worship team at Grace Bible Church.


Main Office

Main Office: 
757-451-4715 Fax 
254 Granby Street
orfolk, Virginia 23510