Wednesday, October 14, 2015

VOCAL WINNERS: women in art song/oratorio, 2015

Friedrich Schorr as Wotan, Bayreuth
The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and special citation recipients in the women's art song/oratorio divisions of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2015. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.  

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
PROFESSIONAL ART SONG/ORATORIO DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
TANIA COAMBS
Champaign, IL
TANIA COAMBS
Born in Cumaná, Venezuela, soprano Tania Arazi Coambs is a passionate and versatile performer, stage director, and writer. Recognized for her “searing and intense acting and singing”, Tania was one of the recipients of the 2015 American Prize Chicago Music Theater Award and made her début at Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall last April singing the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein.  With her strong interest in Spanish music and art song, as well as in jazz, French cabaret, and tango music, she performs regularly in concert. Notable roles include Aline in The Sorcerer, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Edith in The Pirates of Penzance, Annie in The Game of Love, Aldonza in The Man of La Mancha, Linfea in La Calisto, Gretel in Hansel und Gretel, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Arsena in Der Zigeunerbaron, Wren in A Body of Water, Nurse Ruth Kelley in Harvey, Mrs. Webb in Our Town, and the role of Dr. Vivian Watson in a three-country performance tour of the play Preemptive that took her to Barbados, the United Kingdom, and Nigeria. Tania is currently completing her doctoral studies in Vocal Performance and Literature at the University of Illinois. http://www.taniaarazicoambs.com/

On accepting The Prize, Ms. Coambs wrote: "Wow, what great news.  Thank you so much again for this wonderful opportunity.  I am so honored!"


2nd Place:
CLARA OSOWSKI
Brooklyn Center, MN
CLARA OSOWSKI
Hailed for her artistry and rich mezzo color, Clara Osowski shares her musicianship equally between solo and ensemble engagements. Active as a recitalist, she recently completed the Vancouver International Song Institute, was a featured young artist at the Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival, and traveled to Tours, France to attend the Académie Francis Poulenc. In recent competition success, Clara was named the winner of the 2014 Bel Canto Chorus Regional Artists Competition in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2015, she was the only American Finalist at Thomas Quasthoff’s Das Lied competition in Berlin, Germany. Clara’s passion for contemporary music is exhibited in the song-cycles she has premiered by numerous composers. She performs with several ensembles throughout the Twin Cities, the Oregon Bach Berwick Chorus, teaches adjunct voice at the University of Minnesota-Morris, and is the Associate Artistic Director of Source Song Festival. For more information, visit www.claraosowski.com.


3rd Place
TAMI PETTY
New York, NY
TAMI PETTY
Tami Petty is the 2014 Winner of the Joy in Singing Award. In 2010 The New York Times hailed her "powerful soprano" at Lincoln Center for Rossini's PETITE MESSE SOLENELLE with Voices of Ascension. She has performed as soloist at Carnegie Hall with American Symphony Orchestra and at Avery Fisher Hall with New York Philharmonic. Winner of career grants from Richard Tucker Foundation, Lotte Lehmann Foundation, Chautauqua Opera Guild, Lotte Lenya Competition, and Merola Opera Program, Ms Petty is the first Emerging Artist Award recipient of the Sorel Organization honoring women in music. She received the Jessie Kneisel Prize in German Lieder while a student at Eastman School of Music. Upcoming engagments include Beethoven SYMPHONY NO. 9 with Altoona Symphony, Duruflé REQUIEM with the Choral Society of Grace Church, Vaughan Williams's DONA NOBIS PACEM with Manchester Choral Society and A SEA SYMPHONY with Manchester Choral Society. www.TamiPetty.com


CITATION for EXCELLENCE in the PERFORMANCE of 
NEW MUSIC:
KATHRYN FINDLEN
Austin, TX
KATHRYN FINDLEN
Kathryn Findlen, mezzo soprano  “has a rich, lush vocal quality and an incredible stage presence” (Austin Post.) Awarded Best Classical Vocalist of the Year in Austin by the Austin Critics Table Awards, the mezzo’s collaborations place her at the forefront of new American concert repertoire. She has worked with Pulitzer Prize winning composers John Harbison, Robert Ward, and most recently with George Crumb, bringing their works to life on the concert stage.  Recent projects include the Verdi "Requiem" with Austin Symphony Orchestra, and the New York premiere of Kenneth Frazelle’s autobiographical “Songs in the Rearview Mirror” in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall.  Findlen began her training in the Brevard Music Center Opera Program, holds a Bachelor of Music from UNCSA where she also attended High School, a Master of Music from the University of Texas at Austin, and completed her opera apprenticeship at Austin Lyric Opera.  KathrynFindlen,com


CITATION for EXCELLENCE in the PERFORMANCE of ORATORIO:
PENELOPE SHUMATE
Macomb, IL
PENELOPE SHUMATE
Penelope Shumate’s singing has been described by The New York Times has having “bell-like clarity and surpassing sweetness.” Her recent engagements include her debut and return appearances in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City, where she has also appeared in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. She has appeared with opera companies and orchestras across America including Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Roanoke, Opera Saratoga, Des Moines Metro Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, Annapolis Opera, Opera on the James, Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra, Berkshire Choral Festival, Distinguished Concerts International New York, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra, and Kennett Symphony Orchestra. She has won numerous vocal awards from many organizations including the Gerda Lissner Foundation, The MacAllister Awards, and the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, among others.


The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY ART SONG/ORATORIO DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
PAULINA NASTASHA YEUNG
New York, NY
PAULINA NASTASHA YEUNG
Soprano Paulina Nastasha Yeung is currently pursuing a Masters degree at Manhattan School of Music, under the tutelage of Patricia Misslin. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from De La Salle University-Manila. This summer, she participated in The Naked Voice Institute lead by renowned vocal pedagogue, W. Stephen Smith. She has won several awards including 3rd place in the 2015 NFMC Women’s Collegiate Voice Division - New York District, and the Phyllis Bryn-Julson Award at the Civic Morning Musicals Voice Competition in 2014. Past credits include Ozia in La Giuditta with the Manhattan School of Music Baroque Aria Ensemble, Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel with the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater, Peep-bo in The Mikado with The Philippine Opera Company, and Cosette in Paris 1832/Les Misérables with Repertory Philippines. Operatic scene work includes Rigoletto (Gilda), Carmen (Frasquita), Die Zauberflöte (Papagena), Le Nozze di Figaro (Susanna), and Così fan tutte (Despina).

Upon winning The Prize, Ms. Yeung wrote: "Thank you so much for this wonderful news! It is with great pleasure and honor that I accept this award. Thank you for supporting young artists and giving us a platform to share our endeavors in music."


2nd Place:
CLARE DEMER
Tucson, AZ
CLARE DEMER
Clare is a distinguished 21-year old undergraduate vocal performance major at The University of Arizona, where she will perform the role of Monica in Menotti's "The Medium" this Spring.  Other training includes the Aspen Music Festival and School, SongFest at Colburn, Saarburg Chamber Music Festival and Walnut Hill Summer Opera Intensive. American Prize recognitions include finalist in Opera (2013,2014), second place in Art Song (2013), and first place Arts Song Division (High School) in 2012.   Among her many other awards are recipient of an Encouragement Award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions - Arizona (2014), winner of both the undergraduate and graduate divisions of the Amelia Rieman Opera Competition (2012,2014), and a winner of the Shirley Rabb Winston Voice Competition (2012).  In the summer of 2015, Clare will continue her vocal training as a fellow at the Art of Song Program - Toronto Summer Music Festival and at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal, Canada.


3rd Place:
BRIANNA MEESE
Franklin Lakes, NJ
BRIANNA MEESE
A New Jersey native, Brianna Meese is a recent graduate from the University of Virginia, where she was a Distinguished Major in Music and studied French, Italian, and German. While attending the University, Brianna was a member of The University Singers, OperaViva, Chamber Singers, and a soloist with the Baroque Ensemble.  She has performed with the Franco American Vocal Academy, OperaFest Italia, Ash Lawn Opera; and this summer will be attending the Opera Workshop at the Atlantic Music Festival. In addition to performing, Brianna is passionate about arts administration and advocacy and has worked closely with the Charlottesville Symphony, and the historic Paramount Theater of Charlottesville. Brianna plans to begin her graduate studies at The Boston Conservatory in Fall of 2015, working toward her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance.


CAREER ENCOURAGEMENT CITATION: 
TASCHA ANDERSON
Helena, MT
TASCHA ANDERSON
Montana native, mezzo-soprano Tascha Anderson has most recently been seen performing the title role in L'Italiana in Algeri under the direction of maestro Andrew Altenbach and Johnathon Pape in Boston. Also in 2014, Ms. Anderson performed the role of Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia with maestro Altenbach, under the direction of Nathan Troup. Additionally, she sang the alto solo in BWV 12 with The Boston Conservatory Baroque Ensemble with Altenbach. In 2013, she performed the role of Mrs. Pasek in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen; again with maestro Altenbach and Pape, director.  Ms. Anderson has recently performed many roles internationally, as well, most notably a performance as Flora (La Traviata) at Flagstaff in Fidenza (Italy). Ms. Anderson obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Pepperdine University, with a focus on music, and a Master's of Music degree from The Boston Conservatory. This summer, Ms. Anderson will be a Young Artist at Seagle Music Colony, performing the roles of Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) and Cinderella's Stepmother (Into the Woods). Ms. Anderson currently studies with Rebecca Folsom in Boston.


The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
HIGH SCHOOL ART SONG/ORATORIO DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
NICOLE KOH
Daly City, CA
NICOLE KOH
Nicole Koh, soprano, is from Daly City, California. From 2011-2015 she attended Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts high school and studied voice with Todd Wedge. She has placed in every year that she has competed in the NATS competition and was the first place recipient in the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition in the Early Teen Division in 2012 and High School Division in 2015. She won first place in the Pacific Musical Society Competition (high school division) in 2014 and was a winner of the YoungArts Competition (HM) in 2015. In 2012, she was casted as the Second Woman in the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts opera "Dido and Aeneas." She is currently a freshman at UCLA and studies voice with Michael Dean.


2nd Place:
SARAH AALDERING
Los Gatos, CA
SARAH AALDERING
Sarah Aaldering is a 15 year old Sophomore at Los Gatos High School in California. She Began private Voice lessons at the age of 11. She has won 1st Place in NATS Art Song Division for 3 years, and recently placed 1st in the Aria Division(21 years & under). She recently won 2nd and 3rd place for both Musical Theater, and Art Song in the Cal Western Region Division of NATS, and now qualifys to audition this Spring for the National NATS Competition. She recently won 1st place in her local VOCE MTAC(Music Teachers Association of California) competition, and will now compete at Chapman University at the VOCE State Finals in April. She recently was given a CMEA award for her singing with a Superior Command Performance in vocals. She has appeared in 11 musicals, of which her favorite roles being Griddlebone(CATS), and Barnum(Jenny Lind).


3rd Place:
TAYLOR SEE
Las Vegas, NV
TAYLOR SEE
Taylor See is a sixteen year old junior at Faith Lutheran High School in Las Vegas, NV.  She has always loved music!  Taylor began studying piano when she was five.  She tried her hand at singing while playing piano when she was twelve.  Her piano teacher suggested she study voice, which she began doing just three years ago with LaDonna Young.    In the short time she has been singing, she has been named a regional winner and national qualifier for the Music Teacher’s National Association competition, a Nevada State Command performance vocal finalist, and has received the highest honors in numerous local and regional festivals and competitions.  Taylor has also sung with the Nevada All-State Choir.  She serves as first soprano section leader for her high school women’s and vocal ensembles, and plays piano and sings in the praise band.  Taylor also enjoys performing in musical theatre productions at school.


CAREER ENCOURAGEMENT CITATION:
GYWNETH CAMPBELL
New York, NY
GYWNETH CAMPBELL
16-year-old American Gwyneth Campbell is a rising lyric coloratura soprano. Recently won the role as Drusilla in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea at the NY Lyric Opera; sang as a soloist with Orquestra Clássica do Centro in the University of Coimbra 725th anniversary celebration; sang at Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York on the National Day of the Russian Federation. Performed in Carnegie Hall 30 times as prize winner in recital and orchestral soloist; sang at Stanislavsky Theater in "Moscow Meets Friends" sponsored by the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation; solo recitalist at the Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Memorial Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Soloist at Merkin Hall, Liederkranz Foundation, Curtis Institute, Peter Norton Symphony Space. At age 12, Gwyneth was accepted as the youngest student of Lorraine Nubar, Head of the Vocal Division, Juilliard Pre-College. She now studies with Maria Lyudko, Head of Vocal Department, St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music, Russia.

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Congratulations!

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