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Greg Sojka

Teaching Associate of Voice & Choirs
Music Director of Drake Opera Theatre
Conductor of Drake University Community Chorus
Office Location: FAC 240


Greg Sojka, baritone and conductor, is delighted to join the Drake music faculty, where he serves as Music Director of the Drake Opera Theatre, conducts the Drake University Community Chorus, and teaches studio voice and diction. A native Iowan and a Drake alum, Sojka spent most of his professional life teaching and performing in the Pacific Northwest. He has been an adjudicator and national clinician at several high schools, colleges, and universities.

Sojka has been active as a performer, university/private voice instructor, conductor, clinician, writer, and arts administrator. He has sung professionally with several organizations and opera companies (most notably Seattle and Tacoma Operas), been active as an oratorio soloist with various orchestras and choirs, and been a featured soloist and clinician for the internationally-renowned Seattle Men's Chorus, singing to sold-out crowds of thousands in Seattle's Benaroya Hall. He taught on the voice faculty of Pacific Lutheran University (Seattle area) for several years, where his students were named scholarship recipients, featured soloists, and competition winners. While pursuing doctoral studies in vocal performance/pedagogy and conducting at the University of Oregon, Sojka taught studio voice, class voice, conducting, and lyric diction, mentored doctoral teaching fellows in their pedagogy, coordinated the 100-level voice program, and conducted/performed with UO ensembles (including the internationally-acclaimed UO Chamber Choir). Greg served as chorus master for Eugene (OR) Opera company to highly-praised productions of Barber of SevilleBeatrice et Benedict, and Lucia di Lammermoor. Additionally, he has taught voice at Stephens College and the University of Missouri-Columbia; he was featured in several roles with Missouri's Show Me Opera and was named a Tom Mills Scholar at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

As Director of Music Ministries at Eugene's First Congregational and Seattle's Lake Burien Presbyterian Churches, Sojka led large, vibrant, inter-generational communities of volunteer and professional musicians. He conducted several ensembles and supervised immensely talented music staffs. Highlights included conducting several choral/orchestral masterworks, as well as musical styles including Taizé, gospel, jazz, Appalachian/Southern Harmony, contemporary, classical, and more. He has collaborated with some of the NW region's most notable musicians and ensembles.

In 2015, Sojka was named conductor of the Eugene Women's Choral Society; he led this 100-voice chorus in choral/orchestral works (Mozart's Missa Brevis in B-flat, Kean's American Mass, Schubert's Mass in G, Porpora's Magnificat, and pieces by Michael Haydn), selections from Broadway musicals, and in choral works from classic composers to contemporary masters. Sojka's programming choices for the WCS ranged from tributes to the late Lesley Gore, Leonard Cohen, Debbie Reynolds, and Aretha Franklin, to 1930s jazz cabaret, 1940s pop/theater (featuring Eugene legend Siri Vik), mid-century American songbook love songs (featuring international jazz sensation Halie Loren), to a 2016 inauguration weekend concert exploring various aspects of the American Dream (through works notable American musicians and wordsmiths Carly Simon, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Irving Berlin, Sojourner Truth, Emma Lazarus, and Susan B. Anthony).

Professor Sojka's students have gone on to be successful at some of the nation's top graduate schools, and as performers, teachers, composers, conductors, and music enthusiasts across the country. He previously taught voice on the music faculties of Central and Grinnell Colleges, and currently conducts the Chancel Choir at Des Moines' Grace United Methodist Church. His pedagogical mentors include Susan See, Robert Youngquist, Leanne Freeman-Miller, Aimee Beckmann-Collier, Chiu-Ling Lin, Ann Harrell, David Rayl, Julian Patrick, Erich Parce, Eric Mentzel, Royce Saltzman, and Sharon Paul (among others).

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