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vocal music 

FACULTY

Shelly Milam

Department Chair

Soprano Shelly Milam-Ratliff has been an instructor in the Vocal Department for nearly a decade teaching  Applied Voice, Vocal Survey, Theory, Sight Singing, Diction, Opera Workshop, Studio Class, Acting and Art Song Literature.  She has programmed concerts and has directed Dido and Aeneas  and conducted The Magic Flute with the Vocal Department.  She attended James Madison University, and has performed both opera and musical theatre with a number of regional companies such as Tidewater Opera Initiative, Virginia Opera, Lyric Opera Virginia, and Opera Roanoke, and has performed with the  Virginia Arts Festival, and Virginia Chorale.  She has also been featured in a number of recitals in the area.  She has directed two productions for Tidewater Opera Initiative and has been associated with that company since its inception.  She maintains a private studio and lives in Chesapeake with her husband and three daughters.

Alan Fischer

Alan Fischer, After 25 years Alan has recently retired as the Chair of the Vocal Music Department.  He began his professional singing career at age of 6 as a soloist with the Metropolitan and New York City Opera Children's Choruses.  He graduated from The City College of the City of New York majoring in Psychology and Education, teaching public school for 11 years prior to returning to active performing. As a performer, he maintains over 50 character and supporting tenor roles in his repertoire and has performed with many American companies including San Francisco Opera, Dallas Opera, the Spoleto Festival, and Virginia Opera, as well as  in Europe.  He has directed productions for Intermountain Opera in Montana, Tidewater Opera Initiative, and has directed and conducted more than 33 opera productions at The Governor's School for the Arts. In 2004, he was recognized by the North Carolina School for the Arts as a Teacher of the Year for contributions to their School of Music, and in 2018, he was recognized as a “Super Teacher” by The Frost School of Music in Miami.

adriane s. kerr

Adriane S. Kerr delights in both teaching and performing and is thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow through both activities. Ms. Kerr received degrees in Vocal Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as the New England Conservatory, and has sung in a variety of venues, from opera houses to school cafeterias. She has sung with Virginia Opera, Berkshire Opera, Wildwood Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and the Tidewater Opera Initiative. She embarked upon her greatest adventure in 2012, when she began teaching at the Governor’s School for the Arts, of which she is a proud alumnae (Class of 1993), where she is an instructor of private voice, theory, and diction.

kelly vaughn

Kelly Vaughan has been a part of the GSA faculty since 2013. She attended the Governor’s School for instrumental music from 2005-2008, and as a student played in the Opera Orchestra for Orfeo ed Euridice.  She currently teaches Music Theory for both the Vocal Music and Instrumental Music Departments, and teaches Sight Singing for Vocal Music.  She also coaches and accompanies concerts and operas with the department.. She has performed with various local groups including the Tidewater Opera Initiative and Virginia Musical Theater. In addition to her work at The Governor’s School, she performs with several local cover bands around the Hampton Roads area.