Graduating with a college degree will always be an incredible feat in an individual’s lifetime, whether it be in-person or online. The moment one is able to move their tassel from the right side to the left is cherished by all, and for Orianna Gutierrez and Adam Levine, this moment was even more special as they would cohort to do so. During the spring installment of FIU’s virtual commencements (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), the FIU School of Music graduated its first class of students from their 4+1 program. The 4+1 options allow students to get both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years.
“The vocal performance area is the first to offer a performance 4+1 combined Bachelor of Music (B.M.)/Master of Music (M.M.) degree within the FIU School of Music. It was incredibly satisfying to see our first cohort graduate this spring,” said Vindhya Khare (coordinator of vocal performance and instructor of voice).
The 4+1 combined degree program is designed for serious singers and students who wish to complete both their B.M. and M.M. in vocal performance at FIU. Being among one of the fastest-growing vocal programs in the region, students who participate are trained by internationally acclaimed performers and professors. They also are able to perform in award-winning choral ensembles, the dynamic FIU Opera Theater, and a wide variety of specialty ensembles like the New Music Ensemble, Collegium Musicum, and the Jazz Vocal Ensemble.
One graduate, Adam Levine, attested to having access to these great opportunities and how unforgettable they were.
“The 4+1 program was a great addition to the School of Music. Not only was it cost-effective due to taking master’s level classes during my bachelor’s degree, but I was able to keep the same faculty, who knew me well, and learn more from them as they taught to my strengths.”
During his fifth year, Levine was able to be a part of an opera, sing under the baton of Maestra Guinand in the Concert Choir, be a part of the first semester of Musical Theatre Workshop with Ann Anello, do research on a dying language and perform two different recitals.
“I don’t think I can get that at many other master’s degree programs,” he observed.
Last summer, another 4+1 grad and first-generation college student, Orianna Gutierrez, traveled all across Europe, making her musical debut in Mad Hatter: The Musical in West-End’s Leicester Square Theatre in London.
“Thanks to the FIU 4+1 accelerated Master of Music degree in vocal performance, I was able to attain a master’s degree swiftly and at a minimal cost. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to do so, as well as all of the wonderful opportunities that it has brought my way!” Gutierrez exclaimed.
“Both Orianna, soprano, and Adam, baritone, came to the FIU School of Music as freshmen. They are both exceptionally talented artists, scholars, and leaders among their peers,” Khare explained. “They both demonstrated the rigorous discipline and dedication required for the demands of a graduate-level music degree. At the age of 21, Adam is likely the youngest recipient of a Master of Music degree at FIU.”
Even in the midst of the pandemic, our trailblazing students continue to make us proud!
To learn more about the 4+1 vocal performance master’s program, click here.
The FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA), and the School of Music also offer many scholarship opportunities for those in need of assistance; click here to learn more.