Soon Cho

Associate Professor of Music - Voice

Office Location: Mary Baker Russell Music Center - 335

Office Hours: (On Campus) Mon - Fri: By Appointment

  • Professional
  • Biography


  • D.M.A., Voice, cognate fields in vocal pedagogy and opera directing, University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, 2011
  • A.D., Opera, University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, 2005
  • M.M., Voice, Rice University, Shepherd School of Music, 2002
  • B.M/B.A., Voice, University of Washington, 1999


Applied voice lessons, vocal pedagogy, and French and German diction.


  • 2013, Songfest Mentor Program, Colburn Conservatory of School
  • 2012, Summer Faculty Institute, Baylor University
  • 2012, Teaching Grant, Baylor University
  • 2011, National Association of Teachers of Singing Intern Program


As an artist teacher deeply committed to education, lyric mezzo-soprano Soon Cho joined the voice faculty at Pacific Lutheran University in 2017, having previously taught at Texas State University and Baylor University. At PLU she teaches private voice (both classical and musical theater) as well as courses in diction and vocal pedagogy. Dr. Cho received her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Voice and Artist Diploma in Opera from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), M.M. from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and B.A./B.M. from the University of Washington. Dr. Cho was selected nationally to participate in the prestigious NATS Intern Program (2011), Songfest Mentor Program (2013) at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, and workshops with master teachers Barbara Honn (CCM) and Dr. Joyce Farwell (Rice University).

Acclaimed by Opera News for her “potent presence” and praised by the Cincinnati Post as “regal in bearing, with vocal endowments to match,” Dr. Cho maintains an active professional career. She has performed in recitals, concerts and operas in Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Canada, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States. Her vocal and dramatic repertoire is unusually wide ranging; she is equally at home singing the music of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven as well as works by Mahler, Stravinsky, and living composers. Among her operatic roles are Der Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos), Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), Costanza (L’Isola Disabitata), Mao’s 2nd Secretary (Nixon in China), Adalgisa (Norma), Mercedes (Carmen), Zita (Gianni Schicchi), Mother Goose (The Rake’s Progress), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), L’Enfant (L’Enfant et les Sortilèges), Mother Marie (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Hermia (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and Vera Boronel (The Consul).

On the concert stage as a mezzo-soprano soloist, Dr. Cho has performed Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and May Festival Chorus, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and O’ahu Chorale Society, Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra, Bach’s St. John Passion with Vocal Arts Ensemble and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, A Salute to Opera with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Berlioz’s Les Nuit D’Eté with Opera Philharmonic of Bourgas in Bulgaria, and John Rutter’s Feel the Spirit with the Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorale. Other concert performances as a soloist include Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Magnificat, Corigliano’s Fern Hill, Falla’s Three Cornered Hat, Handel’s Messiah, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and Um Mitternacht, Mozart’s Requiem, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Saint-Saëns’s Messe, Verdi’s Requiem and Vivaldi’s Gloria.

As a recitalist, Dr. Cho has performed on the Les Arts George V Recital Series at the Paris American Cathedral and Beaune International Baroque Festival in France, Ghent New Music Festival in Belgium, King Charles the Martyr Falmouth Summer Series in England, Grandin Music Festival in Cincinnati, International Viola Congress in New Zealand, and Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival in Leavenworth. An advocate of new music and aficionado of chamber music, Dr. Cho has premiered worked by such living composers as Dominick DiOrio, Michael Fiday, Joel Hoffman, Michael Ippolito, Scott McAllister and Jake Heggie.

While maintaining an active performing career, Dr. Cho also serves as a clinician and adjudicator. She has presented master classes at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Ithaca College, Florida State University, Hawaii Pacific University, Houston Grand Opera High School Studio, and Royal Conservatory of Ghent in Belgium. She adjudicates the Schmidt Vocal Competition, which reaches over 5,000 high school students throughout the U.S. annually, and brought the competition to Pacific Lutheran University as a host institution. Her students have been accepted into prestigious music programs, including Oberlin, Indiana University, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and San Francisco Conservatory. In addition, they have won such prestigious competitions as Edward Baird Singer of the Year and Texoma NATS Student Auditions Competition and been selected to attend opera training programs at the Opera Training Institute of Chicago, Opera Works Advanced Artist Program, Cincinnati-Conservatory of Music Opera Studio, Houston Grand Opera’s Opera-to-Go, CoOPERAtive Young Artist Program, and many international summer opera programs.

In her studio and classes, Dr. Cho creates a nurturing, inspiring environment by getting to each singer as an individual. She challenges her students to pursue excellence by working mindfully, strategically, and consistently to develop their vocal abilities. She aims to help singers become self-sufficient so engages her students in open conversations, always asking probing and leading questions. Students learn how to self-diagnose and develop a flexible set of strategies to overcome technical as well as musical challenges so that they graduate her studio as self-reliant musicians prepared to achieve their artistic goals.