Torggler Vocal Institute - Christopher Newport University Torggler Vocal Institute - Christopher Newport University
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Torggler Vocal Institute

Sometimes, sadly, the show can’t go on. Due to COVID-19, we aren’t going to be able to offer the week-long residential Torggler Vocal Institute this summer. We are so sorry — but don’t worry, we are working hard on creative ways to re-imagine Torggler. We are hopeful that if the situation allows as we move into the summer, we will be able to offer an alternative opportunity to get together so you can take masterclasses, receive world class vocal instruction and perform!

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Keep singing — now more than ever, the world needs the gift of your music! Tag us in any performance videos you post online using #torggler so we can enjoy your offerings, and, when we can, share your voice with our audience, too!

Why Torggler?

The prestigious Torggler Vocal Institute (TVI) is an immersive, one week residency program at Christopher Newport University for emerging high school vocalists.

Throughout the program, students work daily with leading professionals from the world of opera and broadway to learn the valuable tools and techniques they need to have a successful career in the world of singing.

Torggler provides a wonderful opportunity for young vocalists who are ready to take their performance to the next level. If you wish to elevate your voice and unleash your talent by training with world-renowned vocal teachers, performers and industry professionals who will prepare you to take the stage, Torggler is the program for you.

  • An unforgettable week of fun with a focus on musical theater and classical voice at the Ferguson Center for the Arts, one of the finest performing arts venues on the East Coast
  • One-on-one and group voice lessons, workshops and masterclasses with renowned opera singers, Broadway stars, industry pros and teachers completely devoted to you.
  • Time with New York City music and casting directors and choreographers so you can experience firsthand what it’s like to be in a professional rehearsal environment
  • The peace that comes with knowing your young artist is at Christopher Newport University, one of the nation’s best small colleges. We have beautiful residence halls, great food and round-the-clock security.
  • Confidence that you’ve made the right investment in quality vocal education and training that will fully prepare your artist for what’s next, whether an audition, a performance, college or the big stage.
  • A closing program just for you – we call it the parent talk-back. You’ll get a recap of the program and tips on how to continue to elevate your young artist’s talent.
  • An extra pair of ears and eyes — you want the best for your students and you know that sometimes means having them hear another perspective
  • Students who are even more devoted to their craft after spending one week developing the soft skills it takes to become a well-rounded performer
  • Broadway stars and master teachers who will build on your hard work, inspire your students to fulfill their potential and see just how far their talent can take them.
  • An established program you can send students to year after year at the No. 4 public university in the South*, with a dynamic performing arts program and a top 20 college theater program**.

"I made life-long friends. The masterclasses and instructors were incredible!"

- Charlie, Virginia

Our program

Elevate your voice

It’s already inside you — a voice that stuns the room and lifts everyone up, emotion so raw the audience can’t help but feel each note, and a passion that has the potential to transform your future.

At Torggler, you'll take your performance to the next level with:

  • Hours of stress-free instruction, rehearsal and performance doing what you love with people who love it as much as you do
  • Broadway choreography and musical theater dance alongside other talented young performers

Unleash your talent

Don’t hold back. It’s time to show the world you’re more than just another great singer. You have to know how to work in a team, how to rehearse, how to sing if you’re a dancer and how to dance if you’re a singer.

You’ll learn from masters and stars who know the struggle. They’ll help you build confidence so strong, nothing can stand in your way.

  • Audition like never before. Learn about building a book, knowing your type, making cuts – and best of all – working with an accompanist as if you’ve been a duo for decades.
  • Dance like never before. Understand the language choreographers use and develop what it takes to pick a winning combination quickly.
  • Speak like never before. Get inside insight into cold readings and monologues.

Take the stage

Get ready for the spotlight. You'll really shine once you conquer what’s beyond the bright lights: how to take a headshot and conduct yourself in rehearsal, who gets the part and why and what sets winners apart. At Torggler, you’ll learn the arts business from the people who know the secrets of success.

  • Learn how to look good when it matters most. Make your resume sparkle and your headshot stand out.
  • Know what it takes to stand out at an audition. Learn how to build your audition book and communicate with your accompanist.
  • Stand out from the pack. Gain a deeper understanding of why work ethic and reputation matter and how to handle the rejection that's a part of the process
  • Develop a personal action plan for your future. What you experience at Torggler will help you shine for years to come.

The stage is waiting. Make it yours.

Sample Classes


Guest Masterclass

Learn from the best of the best in our guest masterclasses where you will receive the individualized attention and detail of a private voice lesson all while being able to learn from your peers! During these sessions, our amazing guest artists will work with each student one at a time to provide the valuable tips, tricks, and secrets needed to elevate your voice and unleash your talent! Your group of peers will not only get to see you transform on your way to taking the stage, but will also be able to learn while watching our faculty at work!

Private Lessons

Private Voice Lessons

Your private voice lessons are where you get into the nitty-gritty of your vocal production! You will work diligently with our Torggler voice faculty one-on-one to uncover your full potential as a singer and to take what you learn back home to your teachers, coaches and directors. This is your time to learn how to navigate the waters of vocal production and apply that knowledge to your performance!


Audition Techniques

Whether you're auditioning for college or auditioning professionally, this class will equip you with the tools needed to ensure confidence in the audition room. From building your BOOK, knowing your TYPE, and being open to adjustments, this class is essential for every successful performer. In this class you will learn how to build your BOOK, choose the right music and how to organize it, and why your accompanist wants it that way. We will discuss YOUR TYPE and you will learn how to choose and prepare the right audition material and how to make proper cuts in your music. Most importantly you will learn how to effectively communicate with your accompanist at an audition.

"This experience changed my life"

- Hannah, Virginia

Guest Artists

Tiffany Haas

Tiffany Haas


Tiffany Haas is an acclaimed Broadway performer and concert vocalist. During her 10-year career on Broadway, Tiffany starred as Glinda in the Broadway and National Tour production of "Wicked", and also toured with the Tony Award-winning musical, "The Drowsy Chaperone." Tiffany continues to perform regularly with orchestras and regional theaters, and also teaches masterclasses at colleges, conservatories, performing arts schools and summer intensives throughout the U.S., working with students at some of the most prestigious music programs.

Christopher Stephens

Christopher Stephens

Music Director

Christopher Stephens, a voice teacher and music director, is a graduate of the University Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Credits include Wicked and Matilda (Broadway), Carnegie Hall with the Broadway Stars (starring Tony Award winner Jessie Meuller), and off-broadway shows, including Captain Louie, Shout! the Mod Musical, Bells Are Ringing, and Anything Goes. Alan Menken, Emily Skinner, and Adam Jacobs are several of the artists for whom he has served as pianist. Clients from have appeared in Hamilton, Kinky Boots, School of Rock, Anastasia, Book of Mormon, and many other shows.

Colin Ruffer

Colin Ruffer

Guest Artist

Colin is an Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre at CNU specializing in musical theatre singing. Recently Colin has performed with the Virginia Symphony and appeared as Albert Lennox in the Virginia Stage Company’s concert production of The Secret Garden. Equally comfortable in Musical Theatre, Opera and concert work, Colin strongly believes in the importance of vocal cross-training. Colin is a proud graduate of the Boston Conservatory of Music and Penn State University.

Jim Gandolfo

Jim Gandolfo

Guest Artist

Jim Gandolfo is a veteran performer and director with over 300 titles to his credit and is currently an adjunct instructor in theatre at CNU. Jim trained with Groundling’s founder, Barbara Contardi at First Amendment Improv of NYC, New York’s first improv troupe. He founded the comedy troupe In All Seriousness, distinguishing their brand of performance improv while performing with Ellen DeGeneres, Lewis Black, Sinbad, Jeff Dunham and others. A winner of The Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, Eastern States Regional and Festival of American Community Theater’s Best Acting awards, he has brought his high energy seminars to corporations and educators throughout the U.S.

Erin Wilson

Erin Wilson

Guest Artist

A Broadway/Film/Television Actor & Vocal/Audition Coach in NYC with over 15 years experience in the business and in NYC acting and teaching, Erin performed with Wicked Broadway and all National Tours over a span of 8 years, playing 3 roles throughout the years. She also performed with the 1st National Tour of Sister Act and numerous Regional Theater productions. She has had numerous TV appearances on a variety of networks, including a Hallmark Holiday film that debuted in November. With a passion for teaching young singers, Erin has taught master classes and private coaching for prestigious programs throughout the country including Broadway Workshop, Broadway Classroom, Destination Broadway, Omaha Conservatory Institute, Junior Tours NYC and countless colleges, including her alma mater BYU.

Affiliated Artists

Constanza Cuccaro
Gary Kline
Twyla Robinson
Ryan Speedo Green
Patti Lupone
Nathan Gunn
Brian Stokes Mitchell
The Manhattan Transfer
Ben Heppner

Michael Rose
Lilli Cooper
Megan Hilty
Heather Parcells
Mandy Patinkin
Christine Brewer
Deke Sharon
Bobby McFerrin
Kelli O'Hara

Lawrence Browlee
Timothy Noble
Janis Seigel
Liz Caplan
Spider Saloff
Ray Fellman
Brent Wagner
Straight No Chaser
Kirsten Scott

"Reignited my passion for singing. Best teachers I've ever had!"

- Casey, Alabama

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Christopher Newport University Department of Music
1 Avenue of the Arts
Newport News, VA 23606-3072

Phone: (757) 594-8196


TVI is made possible by a generous gift from George and Mary Torggler, retired entrepreneurs and longtime supporters of the arts and education.

*2019 U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges
**2018 Princeton Review Best Colleges