Vocal Arts

The Vocal Arts program at UTA provides a nurturing and challenging environment where students can grow as artists, teachers and performers. The outstanding faculty provides enriching and supportive study, and the department offers rewarding performing opportunities that prepare students for future careers as professional musicians.

UTA choral ensembles are dynamic and growing. The A Cappella Choir offers 40-50 select singers the opportunity to tour, record, and perform in regional and national venues, while the University Singers offers talented students from the greater UTA campus community a high quality ensemble experience. Both ensembles perform two concerts each semester on the UTA campus and periodically collaborate with orchestra.

Future choral music educators will find a comprehensive curriculum designed to prepare them for real-world teaching. Students receive quality mentoring, frequent opportunities to practice-teach, periodic podium time with UTA choral ensembles, and student teaching experiences in some of the best music programs in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

Individual voice instruction is at the heart of the vocal arts program. Weekly intensive, individually tailored lessons with caring professionals, preparation for solo recitals, and frequent performances develop students into mature artists with the skills necessary to pursue musical careers or continue their studies at the graduate level.

Performance opportunities for UTA vocal students are plentiful. Students may participate in music department recitals, as soloists in choral concerts, opera workshops, UTA musical theatre productions, the National Association of Teachers of Singing conferences and student auditions, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. UTA’s central location makes it easy for students to audition for and perform with the Dallas and Fort Worth Opera companies, as well as local church, community and professional choirs. UTA choral and voice faculty offer students additional opportunities at the national and international level by recommending festivals, honor choirs, study abroad, and artist-in-residence programs.


Dr. Karen Kenaston-French, D.M.A. University of North Texas

Department of Music

Professor, Director of Choral Activities, Vocal Arts Area Coordinator

Area: Vocal Arts

Karen Kenaston-French

Email: kenaston@uta.edu

Phone #: 817-272-2435

Office: FA 243

Bio: Karen Kenaston-French is Professor and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Texas Arlington, where she conducts the A Cappella Choir, teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting, and heads the Vocal Area. Under her direction the UTA A Cappella Choir given invited performances at prestigious conferences including National Collegiate Choral Organization (2019), Southwestern Division American Choral Director’s Association (2022 & 2016), the Texas Music Educators Association state convention (2019 & 2014), and served as Choir-in-Residence for the undergraduate and graduate conducting competition at national ACDA (2015). She has prepared the choir for numerous regional guest appearances, including with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Texas Ballet Theatre, Fort Worth Chorale, the Rolling Stones and The Eagles. Under her direction, the UT Arlington A Cappella has been named a finalist in the American Prize for Choral Performance in 2021 and 2014. In 2019 Dr. Kenaston-French assumed the position of Artistic Director/Conductor of the Fort Worth Chorale, only the fifth conductor in the organization’s 57-year history. Prior to her arrival at UTA, Dr. Kenaston-French served as Director of Choral Activities at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, where she led the Chamber Singers in two appearances at the Tennessee Music Education Association state conference, and in master classes with Chanticleer, Cantus, and Libby Larsen. She taught conducting at Southern Methodist University and the University of North Texas, and served as director of music ministries at Plymouth Park United Methodist Church in Irving, Texas from 1986-1998. Dr. Kenaston-French has been guest conductor for honor choirs in Colorado, Tennessee, and for many TMEA region choirs. A frequent lecturer and adjudicator, she has given presentations on choral tone, conducting, rehearsal technique and performance practice for SMU, Choristers Guild, Texas Choral Directors Association, and various universities, school districts and local churches. A native of Huntington, WV, Dr. Kenaston-French holds a B.A. in vocal performance from West Virginia Wesleyan College, M.M. and M.S.M. degrees in choral conducting from Southern Methodist University, and a D.M.A. in choral conducting from the University of North Texas, where she was named outstanding graduate student in conducting and ensembles and the Pi Kappa Lambda outstanding doctoral student. She studied conducting with Jerry McCoy, Mel Ivey, Lloyd Pfautsch, Jane Marshall, and Larry Parsons, and in 2011 was a conductor for the Choral/Orchestral Master Class of the Oregon Bach Festival, under Helmut Rilling and Jeffrey Kahane. Vocal studies include graduate work with Lynn Eustis at UNT and Linda Baer at SMU. Her article “The Teachings of Jean‐Antoine Bérard” was published in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Journal of Singing in November 2009. She sang in the Dallas Symphony Chorus from 1993-2003, and was selected for the first Robert Shaw Festival Chorus at Carnegie Hall in 1991.

Dr. John Wayman, Ph.D., Fine Arts, Texas Tech University

Department of Music

Associate Professor, Associate Director of Choral Activities, Music Education Area Coordinator

Area: Choral Music Education

John Wayman

Email: john.wayman@uta.edu

Office: FA 367-D

Bio: Dr. John Wayman is the Associate Director of Choral Activities, Associate Professor, and Area Coordinator for Music Education at the University of Texas at Arlington. He conducts the University Singers and helps guide future choral music educators. He is in great demand as a conductor, adjudicator, and clinician. Dr. Wayman has appeared as a guest conductor and adjudicator at numerous state and regional events. He has given frequent clinics at the state, national, and international platforms on choral pedagogy for the maturing adolescent voice, programming, and rehearsal strategies for choral music educators. Much of Dr. Wayman’s research focuses on the changing male voice and teacher preparation. He has presented at the state (Alaska MEA, Georgia MEA, Louisiana MEA, New Mexico MEA, Oklahoma ACDA, Tennessee MEA, and Texas MEA), national (National Association for Music Educators, National American Choral Directors Association, Society of Research for Music Education, Society of Music Teacher Educators, Southwestern American Choral Association) and international venues (Greece, Brazil, England, Uganda, China and most recently in Scotland and Ireland). He has published in the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing, the Journal of Research in Music Education, the Teaching Music, Texas Music Educator Research, Missouri Journal of Research in Music Education, Kansas Music Review, the Ala Breve: Alabama Music Education Journal, and Georgia Music News. Dr. Wayman also serves on the Editor Advisory Board for the national Music Educators Journal. In 2019, Dr. Wayman was selected as the 2019 Sunrise Rotary Professor of the Year Award for the College of Liberal Arts. Above all, he loves teaching and inspiring those who love to sing!

Dr. Soo Hong Kim, D.M.A. University of North Texas

Department of Music

Associate Professor, Director of Opera/Music Theater Workshop

Area: Vocal Arts

Soo Hong Kim

Email: soohong@uta.edu

Phone #: 817-272-2431

Office: FA 241

Bio: Soo Hong Kim, a lyric soprano, is recognized for her full, warm and expressive voice, and her moving interpretation of many opera roles such as Mimi (La Boheme) and Nedda (I Pagliacci). She has performed major rolls in many professional opera companies such as Dallas Lyric Opera and Shreveport opera. She made her New York debut as soloist in Mozart’s Vespers at Lincoln Center. Graduated from the University of North Texas with the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance, Dr. Kim has been teaching at The University of Texas at Arlington as an assistant professor of voice since 1998. Along with applied voice lessons, she also teaches Voice Class, Vocal Pedagogy, Vocal Literature, and Opera Workshop. Dr. Kim conducts a weekly Studio Class open to all voice students. Recently she was appointed as the vocal division coordinator. Dr. Kim has received many awards and recognition as the winner in competitions such as the Metropolitan Opera Guild Audition (Southwest Region winner) and the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards (National winner, Mary Wolfman Award). The Hemphill-Sorantin Competition named her the overall winner of the competition and the vocal division winner. Early recognition of Dr. Kim’s abilities earned her the International Rotary Club Scholarships and the Dallas Opera Career Development Grant. In addition to her many solo recitals and guest artist presentations, she has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival, with the San Angelo Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and the Texas Wind Symphony. As a clinician, Dr. Kim has presented master classes and lecture recitals at local, national and international venues. In Seoul, Korea, she presented several master classes and a recital in summer 2002. She recently performed in a recital at the Regional Conference of the College Music Society in Oklahoma City, and is a regular adjudicator at State and Regional NATS competitions. Her current performance engagements include solo recitals and soprano soloist for oratorios in many cities nationwide, such as South Bend, Oklahoma City, Dallas and Austin.

Jing Ling-Tam, M.M., Vocal Performance, University of North Texas, M.M., Piano Performance, New England Conservatory of Music

Department of Music


Area: Vocal Arts

Jing Ling-Tam

Email: tam@uta.edu

Office: FA 240

Bio: Jing Ling-Tam, Professor of Music has garnered international recognition in North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. A brilliant conductor, Ling-Tam has conducted over thirty- five All-State Choirs and numerous American Choral Directors Association national and divisional honor choirs. An innovative and much sought after clinician/master teacher, she has been featured as a headliner at prestigious international, national, regional and state choral conferences. As Director of Choral Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington (1999-2009), her choirs have performed at national and regional ACDA conferences, Texas Music Educators Association Conferences (1997 and 2001) and toured in the US, Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Austria. Ling-Tam served as Associate Conductor/Chorus Master /Principal Coach Pianist for the Ft. Worth Opera Association for sixteen seasons, and was on the faculty at the American Institute of Musical Studies, Graz, Austria for eleven summers. Ling-Tam’s recent credits include conducting the Taipei Symphony, the Coro de Madrigalistas of Mexico, and presenting workshops/lectures for the Children’s Palaces of NingBo, Xiamen and GuangZho in China; Festival 500, Newfoundland, the Ontario Vocal Festival & Choral Conductors' Symposium, Toronto, Podium 2008, New Brunswick, Canada; the 2006 International Youth Choral Festival, Hong Kong and the 2007 and 2009 Salzburg Pedagogical Institute Winter Workshops. Ling-Tam also served on juries for the 2007 Third World Children's Choral Festival, Hong Kong, the Spittal an der Drau 45th International Choral Competition in Austria, and the 2008 World Choir Games in Austria. This July she made her Australian conducting debut with the 2010 Australian National Choral Association’s Honor Choir and was a member of the international jury for the 2010 World Choir Games in China. Currently, Prof. Ling-Tam is scheduled to conduct the 2010 New York All-State Choir, 2010 Washington All-State Choir, and 2010 Louisiana Youth All- State Choir. Prof. Ling-Tam serves on the board of Chorus American A choral series in her name is published by Alliance Music of Houston, Texas.

Dr. David Grogan, D.M.A, University of North Texas

Department of Music

Associate Professor

Area: Vocal Arts

David Grogan

Email: dgrogan@uta.edu

Office: FA 242

Bio: David Grogan, baritone, has performed extensively throughout the Southwest to critical acclaim. The Dallas Morning News hailed Mr. Grogan as the “perfect Christus” after a performance of the St. Matthew Passion with the Dallas Bach Society. The Albuquerque Tribune, in reference to a performance of Messiah with the New Mexico Symphony, said, “David Grogan had all the range and power required of the part, sounding like the voice of doom in ‘The people that walked in darkness’ and the light of revelation in ‘The trumpet shall sound.’" A recent performance of Elijah had critics praising his ability to “move easily from stentorian declamation to lyrical aria.” Another critic said that he “….brought an impressive vocal power to the lead role of Elijah, and his rich emotive gift set the level for the other chief performers.” He has performed as a soloist with many Dallas area arts groups including the Dallas Bach Society, Texas Baroque Ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Singers, Mesquite Civic Chorus, and the Allegro Artists, as well as at several Texas universities. Recent performances include Elijah with the New Mexico Symphony, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Arlington Master Chorale, and the Beethoven Missa Solemnis with the Plano Civic Chorus. Grogan looks forward to his performance of the Brahms Requiem under Helmuth Rilling this fall. Grogan joined the faculty at the University of Texas Arlington in the fall of 2009, first as visiting professor and in 2010 as tenure-track Assistant Professor of Voice. In addition to providing private vocal instruction for voice majors, Grogan teaches vocal pedagogy, voice class, and choral methods. His background in choral music education is extensive, including experience directing programs in both private and public schools across the metroplex. As choir director at Dallas Christian School from 1996 to 2000, Dr. Grogan increased choir participation from 15 members to 115, and took the choir to one of the first TPSMEA competitions. He has taught voice and served as assistant choral director in some of the most prominent programs in the area, including at Arlington High School under Dinah Menger, and Manor Middle School under Tommy Haygood. Grogan holds Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degrees from Texas Christian University, where he studied voice with Sheila Allen and pedagogy with Vincent Russo. His love of choral music was solidified under the tutelage of the late Ronald Shirey, who taught Grogan much of his musicality. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy in 2010 from the University of North Texas, where he studied voice with Jeffrey Snider, pedagogy with Stephen Austin, and worked closely with Lyle Nordstrom in the early music program. Dr. Grogan’s dissertation was on the vocal pedagogy of Frederic W. Root, who was an American vocal pedagogue of the 19th century. A shorter version of the dissertation was published in the January 2010 Journal of Singing under the title, “The Roots of American Pedagogy.”

Ron Montgomery, M.M. West Texas A&M University

Department of Music


Area: Vocal Arts

Ron Montgomery

Email: rbm7@uta.edu

Office: FA 239

Bio: A native of Dallas, Texas, Ronald Montgomery has spent most of his professional life in Italy, where he furthered his studies with the bass Enrico Fissore and the soprano Sylvia Rhys-Thomas. He sang in many concerts and recitals, as well as performing operatic roles, most notably at Italy’s famous Teatro alla Scala in Milan. He graduated from S.M.U. in Dallas with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance, where he studied with former Metropolitan Opera tenor Thomas Hayward. He received his Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from West Texas A&M University, where he was a Graduate Teaching Assistant in both voice and music theory. He was a finalist in both the Metropolitan Opera Guild Auditions and the San Francisco Regional Auditions. At The University of Texas at Arlington he teaches Private Voice, Singer’s Diction, and conducts the Women’s Chorus.