a master class for classical singers in exploring and sharing the meaning and life of song and aria texts

For more than four decades BARBARA HOCHER has devoted her professional life to the classical vocal arts. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree and a Master of Arts degree in vocal performance, and then studied technique, repertoire, and language in Europe. Living the life of a professional singer (seventeen years), she performed leading roles in opera, recitals, and concerts with prestigious companies and symphonies throughout the United States. After earning a Master of Arts degree in arts administration, she became the Executive Director of the Marilyn Horne Foundation, working closely for over twenty years with one of the great masters of classical singing, Marilyn Horne; she continues that work as a consultant to the Marilyn Horne Legacy at Carnegie Hall.

Also, with a whole-istic approach to sharing her wealth of knowledge and experience, Ms. Hocher devotes her energies and passion to teaching singing (both privately and at Mannes College the New School for Music in New York City), adjudicating vocal competitions, leading repertoire/master classes in song and opera repertoire at universities and vocal institutes, lecturing university students on arts management and career planning, and mentoring aspiring singers.

In her repertoire/master classes – Inside the Words – for voice students of any age, she leads each singer in exploring the essential meaning and expression of each song or opera-aria text, and then helps the young artist to convey that meaning and expression with honesty, commitment, and spirit. Afterwards students are invited to ask questions regarding career and related topics.

At Manhattan School of Music  Ms. Hocher coached precollege student Melanie Berman, with pianist Ruiqi Fang.

At Manhattan School of Music
Ms. Hocher coached precollege student Melanie Berman, with pianist Ruiqi Fang.

Ms. Hocher has given master classes for the following institutions:

Opera New Jersey Young Artist Program – Opera repertoire
William Paterson University – German Lieder
SUNY/University of Buffalo – Song repertoire
SUNY/University of Fredonia – Opera repertoire
Eastman School of Music – Opera repertoire
University of Houston – Opera and song repertoire
University of North Texas – Opera and song repertoire
Si parla si canta (Urbania, Italy) – Opera and song repertoire
DePaul University – Opera and song repertoire
Illinois Wesleyan University – Opera repertoire (1) and Song repertoire (1)
Manhattan School of Music Precollege – Opera and song repertoire
American University in Rome’s Summer Vocal Institute
University of Louisville

Barbara Hocher has such a wonderful gift of connecting with young voice students and putting them at ease–imparting information and ideas; not overwhelming them by trying to fix everything in the moment, rather giving students food for thought and tangible concepts that they can continue to work on; and being honest and truthful without being the least bit threatening to the students or to their teachers.  Striking this balance is a great talent — one which Barbara has in abundance.

Dr. Carren Moham, Professor of Music
Vocal Techniques/Vocal Pedagogy
lllinois Wesleyan University

I am so thankful to have had the pleasure of working with Barbara Hocher at the American University of Rome summer vocal institute. Barbara is a wonderful teacher who helped me really get in touch with the meaning of the music and the text. I really appreciated the thoughtful individualized attention she gave to me, as well as the technical and artistic knowledge she was able to impart.  Working with her was always exciting and engaging, and she always showed me something new to learn about myself and the music.

Maria, age 20


Barbara Hocher brings together the background and knowledge necessary for a successful Master Class: a distinguished career as a professional singer and an extensive background in the teaching studio.  As the head of the Marilyn Horne Foundation, she advised and championed young singers. Her Master Class at UNT was a wonderful combination of practical information gleaned from her own experiences; her sound technical and interpretive advice was invaluable to our career-bound singers.

Dr. Carol Wilson
Soprano, and Professor Vocal Studies
University of North Texas

Barbara Hocher’s Master Class in German Lieder at William Paterson University was a model of thoughtfulness, grounded in her years of vocal experience, her deep knowledge of the German language and its specialized literature, and her wisdom in listening attentively, allowing herself time to reflect before rushing in to ‘fix’ things musically, vocally, or interpretively. She came with genuine interest in helping young singers find the heart of expression in this repertoire, deep passion for the music and the text, a sense of adventure in exploring each piece, impassioned encouragement for total engagement on the part of the singer, and plentiful patience for inspiring desired results. The under-graduate students felt challenged, yet safe enough to risk moving outside their own comfort zones to make new discoveries.

Nan Guptill Crain
Professor of Voice
William Paterson University

I had the pleasure of working with Ms. Hocher during a month long summer program and it was an overwhelmingly positive experience. I experienced a great amount of progress for such a short time, and she was incredibly supportive throughout. I always left lessons feeling better than when I walked in.

Oriana, age 21

Barbara has done wonders for my voice and confidence as a singer. My technique has improved dramatically and the quality of my voice is so much better. She has taught me how to sound present, unforced, and resonant while I’m singing. She is a dedicated teacher, wonderful friend, and I truly appreciate having the opportunity to work with her.

Marcus, 26
“Thank you for being such an extraordinary teacher!”
Morvarid, student, Mannes College



Spring 2017