Faculty & Staff Profiles

Caroline Helton

Associate Professor of Voice

Caroline Helton, soprano, joined the voice faculty at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance in the fall of 2000. An artist who enjoys the entire gamut of classical singing, from opera and oratorio to recital and chamber music, she has been described as displaying “masterful” artistry and a “clear, bell-like soprano.”

Highlights from Dr. Helton’s performances include a recital of French song with colleagues Scott Piper, tenor, and Martin Katz, piano, in December of 2012 on the University of Michigan campus; and a program in May of 2011 titled “Voices of the Holocaust” at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage, in which she and pianist Kathryn Goodson performed repertoire from their 2009 CD of the same name. Along with U-M faculty Stephen West, baritone, Chad Burrow, clarinet, Andrew Jennings, violin, Diana Gannett, double bass, DMA student Pia Greiner, cello, and the composer at the piano, Helton performed the New York premiere of Paul Schoenfield’s Ghetto Songs on the second half of the program. Helton also sang Alberto Ginastera’s rarely performed Cantata para América mágica for soprano and percussion orchestra with the U-M Percussion Ensemble, conducted by Jonathan Ovalle, as part of the Ginastera Festival presented by the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance in December of 2011.

Helton’s regular performances with the Michigan Chamber Players on their University of Michigan concert series in the past year included another of Paul Schoenfield’s chamber works, Camp Songs, again with the composer at the piano. Helton has also appeared numerous times with the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, a dynamic and innovative chamber group founded by pianist Jeff Sykes and flutist Stephanie Jutt in Madison, Wisconsin. New music is an important area of interest for Helton. She performed Joseph Schwantner’s Wild Angels of the Open Hills with the Brave New Works Ensemble, and premiered Three Spanish Songs by Matthew Tommasini with the University of Michigan Symphony Band (conducted by Michael Haithcock), who commissioned the work.

In addition to their 2009 CD, Voices of the Holocaust, (recorded on the Block M record label and currently available on iTunes), Helton and Goodson recorded a second CD, La Tregua: Songs from a Lost World of Italian Jewish Composers (2013), with works by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Vittorio Rieti, Leone Sinigaglia, and Guido Alberto Fano, whose lives and careers were irrevocably altered by the Holocaust. Since many of the pieces on this disc had not been previously recorded, this CD represents an important addition to the discography of lost music by Jewish composers from the interwar period. The duo was invited to perform this program at the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C. to commemorate International Holocaust Memorial Day in 2014.

Dr. Helton is an associate professor of music (voice) in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance as well as an associate of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan.

All faculty profiles