Out of 250 applicants, 21 undergraduate and graduate students stepped into the spotlight at the 12th annual Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition to sing for a chance to win scholarships and prizes that will jump start their operatic careers. “Competitions can bring out the best in us, as well as our visions, and all of these young people here have a vision,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech. “When we combine these things, we can change lives.”
Featuring two of the First Place Winners:
* First Place Alltech Graduate Winner: Jessica Bayne, University of Kentucky, Christiansburg, Virginia (currently resides in Lexington, Kentucky)
* First Place Alltech Undergraduate Winner: Parker Van Houten, Youth Performing Arts School, Louisville, Kentucky
The 21 finalists were scored on voice, technical skill, interpretation, accuracy and appearance by six judges: Marcus Küchle, the director of artistic operations at the Cincinnati Opera; Ian Derrer, who recently joined Kentucky Opera as the newly appointed general director; Dr. Thomas King, who has sung in five world premier operas in the last 20 years; Corey Crider, alumnus of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center; Susanne Marsee, one of the New York City Opera’s leading mezzos for over 20 years; and Amanda Balltrip, director of music education for McNeil Music Center.
“I’m speechless,” said Bayne. “This means that I can continue my education and career — I wouldn’t be able to go to graduate school without Alltech. I’m so grateful for Alltech’s support of this program.”
The competition, held March 5 at the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts, featured a pool of $500,000 in prizes. Launched in 2006, the annual competition at the University of Kentucky marks a continued partnership between Alltech and the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre department. This partnership has created the largest vocal competition in Kentucky and positioned UK Opera Theatre as a Richard Tucker Music Foundation top recommended opera program. Alltech’s support of this competition also led to Alltech being named one of the top 10 “Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America” by the Americans for the Arts in 2012.
Alltech Vocal Scholars have contributed to Alltech’s philanthropic efforts in Haiti by teaching music to Haitian primary school children. They have also performed at numerous Alltech events, including the Alltech FEI World Equestrian GamesTM in 2010 and 2014, the company’s annual international conference, Ambassador dinners around the world, the annual Celebration of Song and The Gathering Ireland 2013.
For further information, visit: www.alltech.com/news
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