Meet Dr. Sentgeorge
Faculty Profile by Daniel Mollenkamp
Photography by Emily Jordan
Professional bio for programs and publications
Dr. Sentgeorge received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Indiana University, where he studied with Mary Ann Hart, with a dissertation focused on the songs of Charles Ives. He performed several roles at the Indiana University Opera Theater, including Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Rev. Horace Adams in Peter Grimes, Vasek in The Bartered Bride, and Ko-Ko in The Mikado. Recently he has served as the musical director for the UCM productions of "The Drowsy Chaperone", "A Chorus Line", and "Oklahoma!", as well as the recent productions of the summer Central Missouri Repertory Theatre at UCM. Dr. Sentgeorge has premiered many new works, and enjoys bringing the canonic repertoire to life for new audiences. In summer 2013 he plans to tour Missouri and Indiana with a recital of art and popular songs of World War I.
As a small child growing up in Florida, Jake’s parents were always involved in music at their church. If it were possible to wear down a CD by repeatedly playing it, he would have done so to several recordings of classical piano. Whether it was recorded, on the radio, or live, the music always made him happy, and he sensed there was more going on than just pretty sounds.
Jake always enjoyed singing, and high school brought several opportunities to act and sing. College introduced him to opera. From his first semester in the chorus, when he saw the huge amount of people involved, his curiosity exploded, and he realized how much he loved it.
For Jake, music has the power to stop time, speed it up, or squeeze it. It can take someone who is depressed or apathetic, connect with them, and revive them. Tapping into that connective power as a performer isn’t easy. It takes a special kind of dedication and preparation that Jake emphasizes with his students.
Jake finds it an exhilarating challenge to discover a student's voice with them. He pushes them to outdo themselves and find the courage to extend their connection with others. However, they can’t do that reliably unless they maintain a well-prepared self. You wouldn’t wake up in the morning to find your saxophone is a different size, but your voice is a living instrument that is always changing. A singer has to fight against sickness, inflammation, fatigue, and other throat inhibiting conditions. So Jake stresses getting proper sleep. Proper nutrition. Emotional well-being. Simple things that aren’t always associated with the average college lifestyle, but are necessary in keeping a healthy vocal instrument and a mind that is relaxed and focused.
When something very good happens in a lesson, Jake celebrates it thoroughly with his students. He believes that when trust and good communication are tended, then respect, courage, excellence, beauty, and many other values come rushing in. When one of his students begins to discover a passion for classical singing, when they begin to drive their own education, and when they begin to find their voice—those are the moments Jake Sentgeorge lives for.