September 22, 2017 at 10:00am
Dane Lisser

Millikin's new Coordinator of Vocal Studies prepares singers for successful careers

The opportunity to join the Millikin University family is a distinct privilege, according to Justin John Moniz. Moniz is the School of Music's new coordinator of vocal studies, overseeing the vocal area at Millikin.

"In the voice area, we have over 200 students taking voice lessons every semester," Moniz said. "It's a good mix of music performance, music education, commercial music and musical theatre. One of my jobs within the area is to make sure all students are assigned teachers and working with different individuals throughout the course of their study at Millikin."

Celebrated for his superb high tenor and commanding stage presence, Moniz has been thrilling audiences in opera houses, theatres and concert halls across the nation. He has had an active career in opera, concert and musical theatre, having sung over 80 roles to date. 

"I think the biggest thing as a faculty member in the School of Music is to really inspire the next generation of storytellers," Moniz said. "So much of what we do as artists and performers is going on stage or performing in front of a classroom, and it's our job to make a difference in these people's lives, whether that would be inspiring them to pursue something that they are passionate about, or to leave the theatre thinking about something in a different way."

A clinician in high demand, Moniz has been invited to present masterclasses and workshops across the United States and Asia. His students have been praised by the media for their ability to bring a veteran performer's assurance and personality to the stage and have gone on to perform on Broadway, national tours and regionally.

An active researcher of the evolving operatic canon and its effect on singer training, Moniz recently presented his ongoing research at two conferences for the National Opera Association. His research is slated for publication this fall.

Justin Moniz

"My goal at Millikin is to empower my students to be comfortable getting on stage and sharing their gifts, both through the voice and physicality, and allowing that combination to inspire anyone that they get in front of," Moniz said.

Moniz currently serves as executive director of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, where he is also a member of the voice faculty and stage director for one of the festival's three mainstage productions. Under his leadership and artistic vision, the festival surpassed recent financial goals, and yielded the highest student recruitment in the festival's 13-year history.

Moniz says he hopes his students feel inspired and empowered to do what they are set out to do.

"I'd like my students to leave Millikin feeling that they have the tools to inspire the next generation," Moniz said.

Moniz holds a holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. Moniz is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Music in Voice Performance at Florida State University.