The Voice Area in the School of Music at Ithaca College presents the Fall 2021 Voice Intensive. Designed in the spirit of collaboration and exchange, it is intended to add depth and breadth to the traditional vocal curriculum. Voice Intensive seeks to promote the School of Music’s mission to educate students who transform the human condition through the art and practice of music. All voice and musical theatre students must attend a minimum of two of the recital and masterclass events from the menu below. All voice lessons and Rep Classes will be cancelled during the week of October 18th to make room for your participation in Voice Intensive.

Please check-in to your chosen events using the QR code displayed in the lobby immediately beforehand in order to receive attendance credit. 


  • Recital:  William Socolof, bass-baritone with pianist Gracie Francis.
    • Wednesday,  9/22 at 8:15pm in Ford Hall. 
  • Masterclass: William Socolof, bass-baritone. 
    • Thursday,  9/23 at 7pm in Hockett
  • Masterclass: Nicole Cabell, soprano.
    • Tuesday, 10/5 from 12-2pm in Hockett
  • Virtual Masterclass: Karen Slack.
    • Monday, 10/25 from 5-7pm in Nabenhauer
  • Masterclass: Howard Watkins
    • Friday, 11/19 from noon-2pm in Hockett


William Socolof, Bass-Baritone

William Socolof

Bass-baritone William Socolof, a native of White Plains, New York, was awarded First Prize in the Young Concert Artists 2020 International Auditions. William began his musical career as a cellist, but had always been drawn to singing, particularly musical theatre, and he began singing classically at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan at age 16. Since then, William has performed with some of the country’s most prestigious classical institutions, in repertoire ranging from chamber music and art song to musical theatre and opera. In the 2020 season, William debuted with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons as a soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, and with The Juilliard Chamber Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall, singing Mozart’s Concert Aria Per questa bella mano, K 162. On the operatic stage, William has appeared as Daniel Webster in The Mother of Us All in collaboration with MetLiveArts and the New York Philharmonic, and as Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte at The Juilliard School. At the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, William was awarded the Alexander Kasza-Kasser Concert Prize, which provides underwriting support for the Kennedy Center debut of a First Prize Winner, established by the Honorable Mary V. Mochary, as well as concert prizes at the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival and the University of Florida Performing Arts.William holds a B.M. and M.M. from The Juilliard School, and is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies with William Burden.

For more information, click HERE.

Gracie Francis (playing for William Socolof)

Gracie Francis

New Zealander Gracie Francis is a student of Dr Lydia Brown at The Juilliard School, where she commenced a Master of Music in Collaborative Piano (Vocal) in September 2019. She is a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship, and studies with the support of a Fulbright General Graduate Award. At Juilliard Gracie is a Diversity Advocate, Gluck Community Service Fellow, and Student Congress representative. Since beginning her studies she has been a winner of Juilliard’s Vocal Arts Honors Recital (2019) with soprano Jessica Niles, and performed with bass-baritone William Socolof for his winning performances in the Young Concert Artists competition (2020).

Gracie received her Bachelor of Music (First Class Honors) in 2014 under Rae de Lisle at the University of Auckland, making professional concerto debuts as both pianist and harpsichordist during her studies. She has also performed in Canada and across Europe.

Before arriving in the US, Gracie worked as répétiteur for New Zealand Opera, university opera productions, National Aria contest, and as Assistant Director of GALS (Gay and Lesbian Singers). For nine years she was a mentor and educator with youth organizations including Opera Factory and the Auckland Youth Choir, touring to Carnegie Hall in 2016 and the Australian International Music Festival in 2019.

Nicole Cabell, Soprano

Nicole Capbell

Nicole Cabell is a soprano faculty member in the Voice, Opera, and Vocal Coaching Department at Eastman School of Music. Named 2005 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, Ms. Cabell’s ensuing career has taken her to the most important opera stages and concert halls in the world, including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; the Metropolitan Opera; Lyric Opera of Chicago; Deutsche Opera Berlin; Tetro Colòn Buenos Aires; and many more. As a concert soloist and recitalist, she has sung throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada. Her recordings include Soprano, an opera recital disc debut for Decca; Silver Rain, songs of Ricky Ian Gordon; Chanson D’Avril; Mademoiselle—Première Audience, Unknown Music of Nadia Boulanger for Delos; and Musetta in La Bohème with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon, as well as in La Bohème: The Film.

Karen Slack, Soprano

Karen Slack

Hailed for possessing a voice of extraordinary beauty, a seamless legato and great dramatic depth, American soprano Karen Slack has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera and San Francisco Opera. In recent seasons she has appeared as Alice Ford in Falstaff, Leonora in Il trovatore and Tosca with Arizona Opera, as Aïda at Austin Opera, Emelda Griffith in Champion with New Orleans Opera, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Nashville Opera, Violetta in La Traviata with Sacramento Opera and Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking with both Minnesota Opera and Vancouver Opera and her Scottish Opera debut as Anna in Puccini’s Le villi.  Additionally, Ms. Slack portrayed a featured role as the Opera Diva in Tyler Perry’s movie and soundtrack “For Colored Girls.” Ms. Slack is an Artistic Advisor for Portland Opera, Co-Director for the 2020-21 Opera Program at the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts, and Co-Chair of the Women's Opera Network with Opera America.

The 2020-2021 season saw her in digital performances with Opera Philadelphia, Houston Grand Opera, Madison Opera, and Minnesota Opera. Additionally, she starred in Driving While Black with UrbanArias. Engagements for the 2021-2022 season include Beethoven’s Egmont with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, her stage debut with the Houston Grand Opera in the world premiere of A Snowy Day, Aïda with Opera Carolina, a recital with pianist Alan Morrison at Atlanta’s Spivey Hall including the World Premiere of a new work by American composer Adolphus Halistork, Verdi’s Requiem with the Highlander Concert Series, and a concert of arias with Omaha Symphony in collaboration with Opera Omaha.

Howard Watkins, Pianist and Vocal Coach

Howard Watkins

American pianist and Juilliard Faculty Member Howard Watkins is a frequent associate of some of the world’s leading musicians on the concert stage; he’s also an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera. His appearances throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, Russia, and Israel have included collaborations with Joyce DiDonato, Diana Damrau, Kathleen Battle, Grace Bumbry, Mariusz Kwiecień, Anna Netrebko, and Matthew Polenzani as well as violinists Xiang Gao and Sarah Chang at such venues as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Spivey Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Pierpont Morgan Library, the United States Supreme Court, Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the three stages of Carnegie Hall, and the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. He has accompanied the classes of legendary artists Renata Scotto, Frederica von Stade, Régine Crespin, Birgit Nilsson, Sherrill Milnes, and George Shirley. Watkins has served on the faculties of the Tanglewood Music Center, the Aspen Music Festival, the Mannes School of Music, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the International Vocal Arts Institute (Israel, Japan, and China), IIVA in Italy, the Brancaleoni Music Festival in Italy, the Tokyo International Vocal Arts Academy (TIVAA), and VOICExperience in Orlando, Tampa, and Savannah. He has also worked on the music staffs of Palm Beach Opera, the Washington National Opera, and the Los Angeles Opera. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Watkins completed his Doctor of Musical Arts in accompanying and chamber Music at the University of Michigan. In 2004, he received the Paul C. Boylan award from the University of Michigan for his outstanding contributions to the field of music, and a special achievement award from the National Alumni Association of the University of Dayton. He is a resident of New York City.