Contact Us

Alabama College for Professional and Continuing Studies
Request More Info
Apply Now
Contact Us

Alabama College for Professional and Continuing Studies
Request More Info
Apply Now

Master of Music in Performance – Vocal

The Master of Music in Vocal Performance is designed to train students to become professional singers. This degree will prepare you to go directly into a professional singing career, or to pursue graduate studies in voice.


Chair of Graduate Programs and Professor of Voice and Vocal Pedagogy

In demand as one of the finest vocal coaches of belt, legit and classical vocal technique, Maryann Kyle has dedicated her professional life to guiding singers and teachers in their pursuit not only of exceptional singing, but also captivating performance. Kyle has extensive experience teaching, coaching, and performing opera, recitals, concerts and Broadway shows. Additionally, she actively mentors over twenty teachers of voice and theatre in various universities across the United States, and her students can be found on the stages of the finest opera and musical theatre companies, conservatories and training programs across the globe.

Kyle was the vocal coach for the musical Twist, a new show by composers Tena Clark and Gary Prim, and directed by Debbie Allen, which opened in Atlanta in 2010 at the Alliance Theatre, and opened at the Pasadena Playhouse in 2011.  Kyle is the creator of the COMMAND PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP and COMMAND PERFORMANCE BROADWAY INTENSIVE, both young artist and teacher training programs for musical theatre performance.

Maryann Kyle is an active performer of opera, concert, and recital repertoire, and has shared the concert stage with some of world’s greatest artists, having sung the role of Micaela in Carmen opposite internationally known mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves; performing as a guest soloist with The Miami Festival opposite famed bass-baritone William Warfield; and singing the soprano solos in Mendelssohn’s Elijah opposite baritone Timothy Noble and mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson. Kyle has appeared as a soloist on the pop music stage with famed artists Patti Labelle, Patti Austin, Dionne Warwick, Ann Nesby and Vesta Williams. Kyle’s one-woman-show, Sondheim in the City, premiered in NYC at the Laurie Beechman Theatre/West Bank Café in October, 2011, and she premiered the title role in Daniel Lincoln’s show, Calixte and Tosca with Mississippi Opera.

Specializing in belt and legit style Broadway technique, Kyle has had a tremendous success in training singers in the best and healthiest use of their voice, and in integrating the function of singing with their character and physical acting process. She maintains a studio in New York City and has worked with the NYU-Tisch, Playwrights Horizons Studio, and the musical theatre apprentice program as a part of the International Performing Arts Institute.  Additionally, Kyle has presented workshops in musical theatre belting at the 2017 Florida Thespians Conference in Tampa, Florida and over thirty universities and colleges across the United States.

Kyle’s coaching talents are not restricted to Broadway musicals. Her students are successful in the classical realm as well, many of whom have performed leading roles with New Orleans Opera, Seattle Opera, Oper Frankfurt, English National Opera, Virginia Opera. San Francisco Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Sarasota Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Mississippi Opera, Mobile Opera, The Center for Contemporary Opera (NYC), Kommische Oper Berlin, Opera Cologne and the Badisches Staatsheater Karlsruhe. Her students have garnered numerous awards including top placements at state and regional Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, Sullivan Award, Savannah VOICE Festival Opera Idol, Washington International Competition, Palmai Tenser/Mobile Opera Competition, and the John Alexander Vocal Competition (Mississippi Opera,) Les Azuriales Opera Competition (France)

Her students have earned apprenticeships with Seattle Opera, Lake George Opera Festival, Aspen Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, Ohio Light Opera, Brevard, Wolf Trap, Ashlawn Opera, Opera North, Utah Festival Opera, Opera Saratoga, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Opera, Chatauqua Opera, Central City Opera, Savannah VOICE Festival, Crested Butte Opera, Opera Breve, Harrower Opera program, Cincinnati Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera in the Ozarks, Emerald City Opera, Fort Collins Opera, International Performing Arts Institute and Operafestival di Roma; many continue to pursue their studies in major conservatories and schools including Juilliard, Indiana University, San Francisco Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory, Oklahoma City University, Florida State University, Fordham University, Louisiana State University, the University of Illinois and New England Conservatory of Music.  She has students performing throughout the world in Germany, France, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand and Italy in musical theatre, opera and commercial music.

Kyle has dedicated her life to mentoring and training performer teachers.  Those for whom she has mentored are teaching in universities, colleges, and performing arts schools.  Placements include Colorado State University, Colorado Mesa University, University of Mobile, University of Louisiana Monroe, Northwestern State University, New Saint Andrews College, Augustana College, LaGrange College, Shorter University, Oklahoma State University, University of Mississippi, William Carey University, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Sight and Sounds Theatre and numerous community college programs.

Kyle continues to sing leading operatic roles with professional opera companies throughout the United States. She will sing the role of Liu’ in Turandot in 2018 with Mississippi Opera and is a frequent performer and soloist with music festivals and opera companies in the United States and beyond. She has toured extensively with John Wustman in the Songs of Franz Schubert Recital Series, who described her as “a lyric soprano of great and unusual gifts: an extremely musical singer that brings great beauty and style to all music that she performs,” and opera conductor Kurt Klippstatter said she “…possesses a beautiful soprano voice which is both expressive and technically well founded. Her combined vocal and dramatic talents make her a natural…”

Kyle’s main opera roles include Mimi and Musetta in Puccini’s La Boheme, the title role in Tosca, Countess and Susannah in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, Violetta in La Traviata, Pamina in Die Zauberflote, Lady Billows in Albert Herring, Micaela in Carmen, the title role in Floyd’s Susannah, and the Evil Queen in the world-premiere of Snow White.

Dr. Kyle is currently professor of voice and pedagogy at The University of Southern Mississippi. She has served as director of the Apprentice Artist program with Mississippi Opera, and vocal coach with Festival South. Kyle also served on the faculty of the International Performing Arts Institute, Germany, Operafestival di Roma, Italy and was a featured clinician at the Festival Musica nas Montanhas, Brazil.  Having a passion for the art of teaching, Kyle has launched a website entitled THE PEDAGOGY OF STYLE which features videos, books, workshops and retreats for performers and teachers of singing.  Her upcoming book, THE PEDAGOGY OF STYLE will be released in July of 2018 and will include article contributions from University of Florida professor of musical theatre voice, Matt Morgan.  Kyle co-hosted the first Pedagogy of Style conference in 2017 and is excited to host the 2nd annual Pedagogy of Style conference on the campus of the University of Mobile in February of 2018.  In 2017 Kyle was chosen to present at the national convention of the National Opera Association (NOA) in Santa Barbara, California and was the featured master class presenter at the NOA Regional Conference in Atlanta.  In 2015 she was named director of musical theatre voice with IPAI in Germany as well as the director of the Teacher Fellowship Program. The 2016 Teacher Fellowship program of IPAI chose five university professors and six were chosen for the program in 2017.  These professors spent three weeks studying Kyle’s method of teaching technique and vocal style as well as serving as artist performers.  She has been named director of vocal studies with the newly formed IPAI, Thailand for 2017.

Dr. Patrick Jacobs is an established veteran of hundreds of performances in opera and musical theater. He excels as an actor and singer “with a smooth baritone and a special talent for shifting from comedy to darker mischief.”
Born in Louisiana, Dr. Jacobs attended Loyola University in New Orleans, and The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music before he finished his education in New York at SUNY Stony Brook. He is a two-time Metropolitan Opera regional finalist and winner of the Orpheus National Vocal Competition, Dr. Jacobs has performed principal roles with opera companies throughout the United States, including: New Orleans Opera, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Fresno Grand Opera, and many others. He is a featured soloist on the debut opera recordings of Hangman, Hangman! and The Town of Greed by Leonardo Balada on the Naxos recording label.
As a stage director, Dr. Jacobs has worked with the University of Mobile, the International Performing Arts Institute (Kiefersfelden, Germany), LOOK Musical Theater (Tulsa, OK), and the Joe Jefferson Players (Mobile, AL). In June of 2018, he will direct Ragtime for the Joe Jefferson Players.Recent singing engagements include Simone in Gianni Schicchi with Mobile Opera, Baron Gondremarck in La Vie Parisienne with First Coast Opera, George Benton in Dead Man Walking with Pensacola Opera, as well as solos in Handel’s Messiah with Choral Society of Pensacola and a concert of contemporary art song with Crescent Chamber Artists in New Orleans.During the 2017-18 season, Dr. Jacobs will sing Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte with Mobile Opera, solos in Messiah with the New Orleans Symphony Chorus, and Bach’s Wachet auf, BWV 140 at Christ Church Cathedral (Mobile, AL).Dr. Jacobs is the Director of Vocal Studies and Opera at the University of Mobile and the Classic Worship Leader / Choir Director at Saraland United Methodist Church. He lives in Saraland, AL with his wife, Stephanie, and their two children, Samuel and Allison.For more information on Dr. Jacobs, including audio recordings, visit:

Soprano Kathryn Drake Hedlund joined the voice faculty at University of Mobile as Assistant Professor of Music in Voice in 2012. A native of Big Rapids, Michigan, her recent performances include La Suora Infermiera in Suor Angelica with Mobile Opera, and the soprano soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Eastern Shore Choral Society. Dr. Hedlund represented the Southeastern region last summer at the the NATS Artist Awards National Semifinals in Chicago,IL. An active local and regional performer, other recent performances include Mobile Opera’s Winter Gala Concert, singing the role of La Ciesca in Mobile Opera’s Gianni Schicchi, as well as soloing with the Eastern Shore Choral Society, Mozart’s Requiem with Florence Camerata, and a Valentine’s Day concert for Mississippi Opera with tenor Robert Grayson. Favorite performances include Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust with Opéra Louisiane, the soprano solo in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, the role of Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette with LSU Opera, and the soprano solo in the Brahms Requiem with the Memphis Symphony under the baton of Dr. Kenneth Fulton. She was the soprano soloist in the Fauré Requiem and Handel’s Messiah with Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and sang the roles of Pamina in The Magic Flute and The Sandman in Hansel and Gretel with Opéra Louisiane.

Dr. Hedlund completed her Master’s of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees from Louisiana State University, studying under soprano Patricia O’Neill. Roles with LSU Opera include Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia, Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice, Violetta in La Traviata, Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief, Anne Stanton in Willie Stark (on DVD by Newport Classic, Ltd), the title role in Suor Angelica, Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Micaëla in La Tragédie de Carmen. Other roles include Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Beth in Little Women. She earned her Bachelor of Music from the University of Michigan in 2003, where she studied with soprano Shirley Verrett. Dr. Hedlund spent the summers of 2007 and 2008 as an apprentice artist at Des Moines Metro Opera. She was chosen as a Gulf Coast Regional Finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions from 2006 through 2008. She served as Associate Director of Opéra Louisiane until 2012.

Dr. Hedlund resides in Mobile with her husband Ryan, son Theo, and grumpy, giant cat Micio. She frequently adjudicates for local competitions, enjoys working with area high school choirs, and will begin her certification process in the Alexander Technique this fall. She serves in the choir and as a soloist at All Saints Episcopal Church. Other interests include running, soccer, languages, and enjoying the great outdoors with her family.


Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs and Director of Musical Theatre

Associate Professor of Music and Musical Theatre Producing Artistic Director, International Performing Arts Institutes B.A., Westfield State University, M.M., University of Miami, A.B.D., University of Southern Mississippi

Mr. Earnest is CEO and Producing Artistic Director of the International Performing Arts Institutes in Germany, Thailand and New York City. He serves as casting/musical consultant for Stage Entertainment International and has collaborated on past European productions of AIDA by Elton John, Mama Mia, Wicked and Phantom of the Opera. He serves as President of Mobile Opera.

As a singer-actor, he has performed in more than 60 operatic and musical theatre roles in Europe and the United States with the Theater August Everding, Stadt Theater Passau, Opera Roanoke, The Berkshire Opera, Dayton Opera, Orlando Opera, Florida Grand Opera, The Vienna Volksoper, Virginia Opera, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Berkshire Theatre Festival, The Springfield Symphony, the South Dakota Symphony, the Hamburg Musical Orchestra, the Orlando Philharmonic and others. Mr. Earnest has produced or directed more than 75 musicals and operas including: Side by Side by Sondheim, Big River, Little Shop of Horrors, Lend Me A Tenor, My Way, Tin Types, Into The Woods, The Fantastiks, Baby, Oklahoma, Chicago, Camelot, Phantom of The Opera, The Saint of Bleeker Street, La Rondine, Don Pasquale, Tosca and The Impresario.

Earnest is a frequent presenter of master-classes and workshops on musical theatre singing styles, opera, and acting interpretation in the United States and Europe. He has current students working in major opera and musical theatre productions in the UK, Europe, on Broadway and in National tours throughout the United States.

Professor Earnest earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music Administration from Westfield State University and a Master of Music Degree in Opera from the University of Miami. Prior to his appointment at the University of Mobile, Bruce was Director and Associate Professor of Musical Theatre at the University of South Dakota, Associate Professor of Voice at Folkwang Universität, Essen, Germany; Guest Professor of Voice at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich, Germany and Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Musical Theatre at the University of Central Florida. He is the co-author of “A Beginning Actor’s Companion,” published by Kendall Hunt.

Hailed by Opera News as an “excellent mezzo,” Indiana native Lori Guy has created a diverse career for herself by training and singing in operas, operettas, and musical theater productions. Lori has sung a variety of roles, including Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Mother in Ragtime, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Kathy in Company.  She has been seen most recently as Mercedes in Mississippi Opera’s performance of Carmen and as Maddalena in the Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company’s Production of Rigoletto. Lori can be heard on the Albany Record’s recordings of Victor Herbert’s The Fortune Teller and Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance with the Ohio Light Opera Company. An active teacher, Lori maintains a successful private voice studio, is a voice instructor at The University of Mobile and has also recently completed a fellowship with the International Performing Arts Institute in Kiefersfelden, Germany. Thanks to technology, she also has a growing online voice studio with students throughout the US taking lessons via FaceTime.
She specializes in teaching both classical and belt voice techniques and her students have been hired to sing nationally and internationally in operas, musical theatre productions and as worship leaders in major churches throughout the US. Lori Guy received her undergraduate degree from the University of Indianapolis where she studied with Dr. Kathleen Hacker and coached with Amy Eggleston and master’s and doctorate of music in voice performance from the University of Southern Mississippi where she studied with Dr. Maryann Kyle.