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Master of Music


  • Kristen Singer '20

Kristen Singer ’20

Class Year



Master’s in Musical Theatre Vocal Pedagogy

Current home

Kenosha, Wisconsin

Current position

Instructor at Harborside Academy; director of Kenosha Youth Performing Arts Company (KYPAC); freelance music director in the Milwaukee/Chicago area.

Kristen Singer graduated from Carthage in 2020 with a master’s in musical theatre vocal pedagogy. Ms. Singer works at Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) Harborside Academy as a theatre and vocal instructor. In the summer, Ms. Singer directs the Kenosha Youth Performing Arts Company (KYPAC), and, throughout the year, works as a freelance music director in the Milwaukee/Chicago area. 

Ms. Singer was recently named the National Society for High School Scholar’s 2020 Claes Nobel Educator of the Year in Band/Music.

“My Carthage experience elevated my skills to a new level. It also instilled in me the value that I bring to the table, and that my skills and talents are unique and worthy of sharing with others.”

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“There is nothing I enjoy more than musical theatre. The art of collaborating with other people to tell stories that are important, entertaining, and thought-provoking brings me great joy and satisfaction. As a very creative individual, having something new to work on constantly is what keeps me motivated and never bored. The exceptional part of theatre education is watching students discover talents and skills they didn’t know they possessed. To see them succeed is the best part of all.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“My Carthage experience elevated my skills to a new level. It also instilled in me the value that I bring to the table, and that my skills and talents are unique and worthy of sharing with others.”

Why did you choose Carthage?

“The master’s program in vocal musical theatre pedagogy was an exciting opportunity that I could not pass by. To be able to earn my master’s while continuing to work at my current position was a lot of work, but 100 percent worth it. I’ve always wanted to get my master’s, but the length of most programs prevented me from pursuing it and also the inability to be able to work simultaneously. This program let me continue my job (which was very important to me) AND earn my master’s, and for that, I’m very thankful.”

What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?

“Earning my master’s at Carthage has opened my eyes to a world of possibilities that now seem more attainable. It gave me a boost, a newfound eagerness, and renewed my creativity and imagination as I continue in my profession.”

How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?

“Because of my education at Carthage in the master’s program, my skills and talents as a theatre artist have flourished. My confidence was boosted which prompted me to audition and book a solo opportunity with a symphony. I have more and more students at RG Performing Arts, the private voice studio I teach at, and I can hear the changes in the voices of my students at Harborside as I share with them the knowledge I received from my education at Carthage.”

What Carthage professors played a part in your success and how?

“A special thanks to Professor Corinne Ness who encouraged us to seek out and apply for grants. Because of her teachings (and the nomination I received from one of my Harborside students), I decided to apply for a grant with the National Society of High School Scholars and won a prestigious honor and $5,000 which will be used to give theatrical/musical opportunities to my students.”

Tips for current Carthage students:

“Do not compare yourself to others. You are unique. Your talents are unique. You bring things to the table that are authentic to you and your experience and it’s important to be true to yourself. Never be afraid to speak up.”

Favorite Carthage memories:

“Earning my master’s during a global pandemic was memorable and shaped me in ways I didn’t expect. Self-discipline was the biggest takeaway for me; it is one thing to show up to class and do the work, but it is another to be thrown into a virtual-only world when working on a master’s degree based on performance. It was a true testament to self-discipline, and it really pushed me to get to the end despite a plethora of outside problems that were out of everyone’s control!”

What role have the values in Carthage's mission, "Seeking Truth, Building Strength, Inspiring Service — Together" played in your life?

“Carthage’s mission is truly how I model myself as a teacher. Honesty is integral. I teach my students to be strong and persevere through hardships even when it feels impossible to do so. I hope to always inspire my students to be better people and to give to others. Harborside is truly special when it comes to service, so as a school and community, we live this every day.”

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    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

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    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …