Professor Victoria Vargas Wins UMN Unit Service Award

Victoria Vargas

Congratulations to Assistant Professor of Voice Victoria Vargas for being selected as a recipient of the University of Minnesota Unit Service award! The Awards for Academic Unit Service are an initiative of the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, in consultation with the Faculty Consultative Committee and the Faculty Senate. These awards recognize faculty for exceptional service that has strengthened the functioning and climate of their local unit or department. The University of Minnesota Unit Service award is the highest of these awards, with nominees from across the University. 

In collaboration with Senior Lecturer Preston Duncan (saxophone), Prof. Vargas developed Music Without Barriers this year, a free program aiming to help high school musicians take their first steps towards pursuing music studies in college. Additional significant achievements include service as Division Head of Voice/Opera, work as inaugural chair of the SoM Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force, work on behalf of CLA on the Curriculum, Instruction, and Advising Committee, CLA Assembly and service on the Search Committee for the new SoM Director.


Mezzo-soprano Victoria Vargas holds a Master of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music Degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia. She recently taught at Carleton College and MacPhail Center for Music. She has a special interest in cross-training singers from a classical to contemporary commercial music style. 

Professor Vargas has placed seven times at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions at both the district and regional levels. She also placed in the Schubert Club competition and was a finalist in the Irene Dalis Vocal Competition for Opera San Jose. In 2018 she was chosen to be one of twelve participants in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Intern Program. Her opera credits include singing over twenty roles for the Minnesota Opera and performances with the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Chautauqua Opera, Sarasota Opera, Ash Lawn-Highland Festival, and others. 

Equally comfortable in concert work, Professor Vargas has sung with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (NY), Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (MN), Mankato Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, St. Cloud Orchestra, the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, South Dakota Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Wayzata Symphony, La Jolla Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra. 

Professor Vargas is dedicated to equity and belonging in her teaching. To that end her poster presentation "Voice Studios in the Modern Era" which discussed practical tools for voice teachers in creating inclusive studio practices has been presented at a few conferences including the National Association of Teachers of Singing Conference, Minnesota Music Educators Association, and the College Music Society. She has also been published in Classical Singer Magazine on the same topic. More about her can be found at her website.

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