Community Music School

WIU Community Music School - Voice Lessons


Voice lessons are currently being offered through the WIU Community Music School for singers of all ages, levels, and styles. Students study in a one-on-one weekly private lesson. Over the course of regular weekly study, students have the opportunity to hone their skills and realize their potential in a non-competitive environment, while receiving guidance in achieving their personal goals. In a space of self-exploration and discovery, learning skills and self-teaching techniques are instilled in order to foster life-long inquiry and passion for singing.

Lesson Times  

Lessons are taught once per week and are arranged with the instructor. Lesson times can be 30, 45, or 60 minutes in length.  

Lesson Locations  

Voice lessons are currently offered in Browne Hall on the WIU Campus in Macomb.


Mary McMurtery is pleased to join the Community Music School faculty this fall. alores  

Having discovered her passion for singing at a young age, Ms. McMurtery has been studying voice and performing actively for 18+ years. Since moving to Macomb in 2012, she has appeared as a soloist with the McDonough Choral Society and the Galesburg Community Chorus.  

In 2011, Ms. McMurtery performed the role of Papagena in a concert version of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte with New York Lyric Opera. In 2010, she performed in St. John's, Newfoundland as a participant in the Opera on the Avalon summer training program. Other operatic roles performed include Susanna (Le nozze di Fiagro, Mozart), Sister Dolcina (Suor Angelica, Puccini), Poppea (L'incoronazione di Poppea, Monteverdi), Héro (Béatrice et Bénédict, Berlioz), Mercedes (Carmen, Bizet), and Ännchen (Der Freischütz, C.M. von Weber). Also a frequent recitalist, she performed as the soprano soloist for the Hugo Wolf/Goethe Project in New York, NY for the (re:) Directions Theater Company in 2010. Other studies abroad include the Florence Voice Seminar, in Florence, Italy (2007 and 2005), and at the Carl Maria von Weber Hochschule für Musik in Dresden, Germany (2002). Ms. McMurtery holds a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College of Rider University (2006) and a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance and German from DePauw University of Greencastle, Indiana (2004).


Ryan Darensbourg has been praised as "the ultimate singing actor." DArensbourg  

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he has performed roles with Ash Lawn Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Mobile Opera Company, Nashville Opera Company, and Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre. His opera roles include Giorgio Germont in La Traviata, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Escamillo in Carmen, Curio in Giulio Cesare, Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, and Baron Douphol in La Traviata. Equally accomplished as a concert soloist, he has appeared in Mozart's Requiem and Vespers, the Duruflé, Fauré, and Bruckner Requiem, and Handel's Messiah. He was the first place winner of the Rose Palmai Tenser Mobile Opera Competition, a two time winner of the Baton Rouge Opera Competition, and the Southern Region Governors Award winner in the NATS competition. During his training at Louisiana State University, he performed the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro, Giorgio Germont in La Traviata, Tony Esposito in The Most Happy Fella, and Marcello in La Bohème. Mr. Darensbourg has studied voice with the internationally recognized voice teacher and author, Cornelius Reed, published author and vocal scientist, Dr. Stephen F. Austin of the University of North Texas, and leading baritone of the Metropolitan Opera, Mark Oswald. He is also a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Mr. Darensbourg currently resides with his wife, Assistant Professor of Western Illinois University, Dr. Penelope Shumate, and their son Thomas, in Macomb, Illinois.

Register now!

Registration Online

All checks made out to "WIU Community Music School"


  • 30 minute lessons - $15
  • 45 minute lessons - $22.50
  • 60 minute lessons - $30

For more information, contact

Richard Cangro, CMS Director
Phone: (309) 298-3114