June 2019 – Drew University alum Chris Talbot will continue his education at the Yale School of Music.
Talbot C’13 was accepted into a highly selective program that picks only one singer in each voice part per class. We spoke with Chris about Yale and his time at Drew.
What led you to apply to Yale?
The Yale Master of Music in Early Music, Art Song and Oratorio has been a dream program of mine for years and I was fortunate to have a support system of musicians and conductors—both at Drew and beyond—who encouraged me to apply. I really admire the graduates of the program and the wide variety of music they’re involved in—from historically informed performances of Bach and Handel to singing with cutting-edge contemporary ensembles like Roomful of Teeth.
What will you study?
Voice with both [mezzo-soprano] Bernarda Fink and [tenor] James Taylor, so I hope to absorb as much of their talent and wisdom as possible. In the classroom, I’ll study music theory and history, with a particular emphasis on vocal repertoire and performance practice. Outside the classroom, I’ll perform with the Yale Voxtet with the seven other singers in my program as well as Yale Schola Cantorum—amazing ensembles that I’m really excited about joining.
How did Drew prepare you for Yale?
I took as many courses as I could in the music department in addition to studying voice privately. Plus, I was often in ensemble rehearsals five or six nights a week. I think there’s something really special about the liberal arts music education. I was a double-major in Spanish and music and took courses in anthropology, linguistics, computer science and environmental studies—all of which help me view the music I study within a much larger cultural context.
Which performances at Drew meant the most to you?
A year after graduating, I was invited to come back to sing the bass solos in the Choral Union‘s performance of the Mozart Requiem. I had spent so much time on the Concert Hall stage as an undergrad and it was really special to be invited back as a professional. And that piece has always been a favorite.
Who were your mentors at Drew?
Wow—maybe too many to mention. The music department was so tight-knit, I’d consider them one super-mentor, always offering inspiration and perspective on music. For singing in particular, I was lucky to study with Angelika Nair and the late Garyth Nair, who worked with me throughout my undergrad years and laid the foundation for the vocal technique I have today.
What’s your ultimate career goal?
I hope to be able to perform amazing music around the world with musicians I admire and especially to champion works by new and underrepresented composers.