Lyric mezzo soprano Valerie Oyen’s musical experience runs the gamut from principle roles in regional oratorio, opera and musical theatre performances to entertainment for nightclubs, organizations and groups such as the U.S. Embassy as well as U.S. Bankers in Seoul, Korea. She has been a featured soloist with numerous regional orchestras, including the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and others in the south and southeastern U.S. In 2007, she performed two principle roles in Chancel Operas by living composers for the national conference of the National Opera Association in New York City, and she has had several opera and musical theatre roles written specifically for her. Her repertoire also includes extensive art song, oratorio roles and sacred literature, and she is an avid performer of new compositions.
An engaging recitalist, Oyen has been heard by audiences in Austria, South Korea, and numerous U.S. states. Notable guest artist performances have included events such as the National Music Teachers Association’s North Carolina State Conference, Foxtrot Festival (Marion, SC) and Sewanee Music Conference, among others. She has also performed live on television and radio broadcasts in various musical genres. Oyen sings (and plays) with jazz ensembles and combos with equal ease, in addition to being a vocal/piano solo artist. She has frequently recorded for St. James Music Press, including live and recorded premiers of their works.
A versatile musician, Ms. Oyen is an accomplished singer, pianist, organist, harpsichordist and arranger/composer, and is a published composer. She has directed numerous semi-professional, university, youth and church vocal ensembles, and is the founding conductor of the Clarksville Community Chorus. Currently, she is the Director of Music/Organist at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Throughout her life, Ms. Oyen has been active in many kinds of vocal and instrumental music, including church music, and is an avid supporter of the arts and arts education.
At the university level, Ms. Oyen has taught Applied Voice, Class Voice, Singers’ Diction courses, Ear Training/Sightsinging (Aural Skills), Musical Theatre Workshop and Lab, Music Appreciation, as well as directing several choral ensembles, including the APSU Concert Choir for one semester, as well as Opera Workshop Coaching plus Applied Piano and accompanying responsibilities. She has held Adjunct Music Faculty positions at Austin Peay State University (Clarksville, TN), Methodist College (Fayetteville, NC), and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Belton, TX); she is currently Adjunct Professor on the music faculties of Belmont University (Nashville, TN), and Trevecca Nazarene University (Nashville, TN).
Ms. Oyen received, with honors, her Bachelor of Music degrees (Vocal Performance and Music Education) from the University of North Dakota and her Master of Music degree (Vocal Performance) from Austin Peay State University, where she studied with Dr. Carol Irwin and Dr. Sharon Mabry, respectively. She was subsequently awarded a full tuition scholarship to study at the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden bei Wien, Austria, where she earned a Performance Diploma, magna cum laude. Her coaches there included renowned artists such as Elly Ameling, Dalton Baldwin, Walter Berry, Jorg Demus, Ernst Haefliger, Hans Hotter, Walter Moore, and Erik Werba, among others. Since then, she has coached with musician/pedagogues and composers such as Richard Miller, Libby Larsen, Lee Hoiby, and David Burge, and avails herself of workshops and other continuing education opportunities.
Professional affiliations include memberships in NATS (National Association for the Teachers of Singing)--for which she served on the 2008 National Conference Planning Committee—and PAM (Presbyterian Association of Musicians), plus ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) as well as serving as an active board member of the Clarksville Community Concert Association. She has served as a clinician and adjudicator at various vocal competitions and choral workshops, and has been distinguished as a winner in NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and composition regional competitions.