American soprano Katie Van Kooten (‘01) is Biola University’s Artist in Residence in Voice for the 2023-2024 academic year. During the fall semester of 2023, alumna Van Kooten visited the Conservatory of Music and worked with current vocal students, holding one-on-one coaching sessions as well as master classes. She will also be performing alongside Conservatory students this weekend in Biola’s Christmas Concert. Van Kooten is known internationally for her expressive and heartfelt performances. From her portrayals of Tatyana in Tchaikovsky’s Yevgeny Onegin to Contessa Almaviva in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, she shows audiences the importance of loving your craft through expression.

“Getting to work with Katie was a wonderful opportunity,” said vocal performance major, Jessica Moses. “She is a fantastic performer and it was remarkable to see that entertainers can lead a life with Christ at the center of it, while pursuing their passions in music.”

In 2001, Van Kooten received her bachelor’s degree in vocal performance at Biola where she studied with Dr. Jeanne Robison, and is a perpetual member of the Torrey Honors College. She is also a graduate from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where she studied under Rudolf Piernay.

Many students had the opportunity to work with Van Kooten in master classes and private coachings.

“I learned so many things while working with her, like how to prepare a score and memorize roles as a professional musician,” said Moses. “I especially enjoyed working in our private coaching. She gave me many tips on how to connect with what I am singing.”

Van Kooten led several master classes that took place this semester where students had the opportunity to showcase their talent and receive constructive criticism and professional guidance on how to improve from Van Kooten. Other students were able to watch their peers perform for these sessions and benefit by listening to Van Kooten’s instructions as well.

Additional private coachings were also available to students and are designed to give students a chance to have a personalized experience without the distraction of an audience. The private sessions benefits both students who are not as comfortable performing in front of large groups as well as those who are seasoned performers to focus on their musical technicality.

Van Kooten will return in December to continue working with students to refine their craft. Additionally, she will be the guest artist performing in the Biola Conservatory Christmas Concert, “A Glorious Morn” on Saturday, December 9 at 7 p.m. at the La Mirada Theatre.

Purchase tickets for Biola’s Christmas Concert.

Learn more about Van Kooten and listen to recordings of her performances and more information about her career.