Dr. Jessica Schwefel, mezzo-soprano, holds degrees in Voice Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (DMA and MM) and a Bachelor of Music Education Degree the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She is currently an Associate Lecturer of Voice at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, teaching studio voice. She is also a part time instructor at Madison College, where she teaches Class Voice and directs the Madison College Chorale and Madison College Choral Collective. Her prior teaching experiences include teaching applied voice at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and UW Summer Music Clinic, and the Madison Academy of Music. Jessica's articles have been published recently in the Wisconsin School Musician Magazine and the NATS Journal of Singing.
Dr. Schwefel has performed in over 35 operatic productions with Madison Opera, Opera for the Young, Fresco Opera Theatre, UW Opera, Music By The Lake, among others. She has been a member of the Florentine Opera Chorus since 2008, where she has been involved in many productions and outreach performances. She also participated in the Florentine's recordings of Elmer Gantry and Rio de Sangre, which collectively earned three Grammy Awards in 2012 and 2013. In recent seasons, Dr. Schwefel appeared in performances with the Florentine Opera, Present Music, Madison Bach Musicians, Madison Choral Project, Fresco Opera Theatre. For the 2018-2019 season, she performed the role of “Female Emilia” in the Midwest premiere of Prince of Players with the Florentine Opera. She will also be singing with Madison Choral Project for their upcoming concert 2019-2020 season.
An accomplished solo singer, Dr. Schwefel has had recent engagements with the Oshkosh Chamber Singers, UW Summer Choir, South Shore Chorale, UW Choral Union, UW Symphony Orchestra, UW-Oshkosh Choirs, and UW-Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra. Her singing has also been heard on WPR programs such as “University of the Air”, "On Higher Ground" and "The Midday."
Dr. Schwefel was one of 11 teachers chosen to attend the "The Naked Voice Institute" at Northwestern University studying directly with Prof. W. Stephen Smith in 2014. As a clinician, Dr. Schwefel has given master classes and presentations at UW-Eau Claire, UW-Whitewater, as well as many high schools across the state of Wisconsin. Additionally, she is an active promoter of music by the composer Paul Bowles. She has produced a critical edition of Bowles’s unpublished songs, presented lectures about Bowles’s musical output, and performed many of his works.
Dr. Schwefel has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Voice Excellence Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, Opera Props award, and Dara Welty Memorial Award at UW. She was also a recipient of a UW Oshkosh Professional Development Grant in 2014. Dr. Schwefel is a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). She serves as member-at-large on the board of the Wisconsin Chapter of NATS and is the marketing manager for Madison Choral Project.