June 2013: WSNY Gives $12,000 in Awards, Grants to Young Singers
The Wagner Society of New York gave two awards and six study grants totaling $12,000 to eight young singers with Wagnerian potential. Robert Lauch Memorial Fund awards were given to bass-baritone Jason Grant in the amount of $3,000, and to soprano Felicia Moore, $2,000, said Scott Carlton, WSNY Singers Committee chairman.
Mr. Grant is a graduate of the Juilliard Opera Center and Eastman School of Music and is an alumnus of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program and the Merola Program of San Francisco Opera. He sang for seven seasons with New York City Opera. Roles have included Dulcamara in Jonathan Miller’s production of “L’elisir d’amore” and Leporello in “Don Giovanni”. Future appearances include a return to Dallas Opera in “Salome”.
Ms. Moore was a national semi-finalist this year in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and a winner of the George London Award. She has a master’s degree from Mannes College and studies with Ruth Falcon and Lucy Arner. She has performed with Nevada Opera and at Spoleto Festival, and will perform scenes at Crested Butte Music Festival as a Marcello Giordani Young Artist.
A study grant of $2,000 went to Celeste Siciliano, and grants of $1,000 each, to sopranos Natalie Bergeron and Sarah Heltzel, tenors Obed Floan and Mauricio Trejo and mezzo-soprano Milica Nikcevic. The study grants were made possible by a much-appreciated gift from WSNY charter member Verena Kossodo.
The adjudicating panel panel for the May auditions consisted of mezzo-soprano Mignon Dunn, conductor Eve Queler, consultant Ken Benson and Mr. Carlton.
WSNY Endowed Awards and Grants to Young Singers
WSNY’s Endowed Awards are funded by Society members who established the Robert Lauch Endowed Fund, the Ursula Springer Endowed Fund, and a matching fund of the WSNY. Grants are supported by member contributions. Wagner Society of New York has given a total of $33,000 in the past season to aid singers with Wagnerian potential.
Scott Carlton, WSNY Singers Committee chairman, New York City-based voice teacher and coach and member of the Bayreuth Festival Chorus since 2003, chairs the adjudicating panels. Singer Awards are made to performers up to age 40. Auditions are by invitation only and are conducted annually. “We are pleased by the quality of these singers, and glad that we can help them develop their promise. They are after all an investment in the future of Wagnerian performance, and many earlier grantees now are performing on major stages.” said WSNY President Nathalie D. Wagner.
June 2012: WSNY Awards $16,000 in Grants to Eight Young Singers
The awardees were:
Amy Louise Yekel, soprano, of North Canton, Ohio, $5,000 Robert Lauch Memorial Fund Award
Issachah Savage, tenor, of Washington, D.C., $3,000 Ursula Springer Award
Kevin Ray, tenor, West Point, N.Y., $2,000 Ursula Springer Award
$1,500 encouragement grants were awarded to Obed Floan, tenor, Oklahoma City, Okla., and bass-baritone John Dominick III, Mamaroneck, N.Y.
$1,000 study grants were awarded to three mezzo-sopranos: Joanna Dionis, Brooklyn, N.Y., Sarah Heltzel, New York, NY, and Milica Nikcevic, Astoria, N.Y.
The adjudicating panel consisted of Mr. Benson, Ms. Dunn, and Eve Queler, conductor laureate of Opera Orchestra of New York, and Mr. Carlton.
November 2011: WSNY Awards $12,000 in Grants to Seven Young Singers
The awardees were:
Adam Laurence Herskowitz, tenor, of Staten Island, N.Y., $5,000 Robert Lauch Memorial Fund Award
$1,500 encouragement grants went to soprano Hope Osborn, Princeton, N.J.; and tenor Phillip Webb, Valencia, Calif.
$1,000 study grants to tenor Kevin Ray, West Point, N.Y., soprano Amy Louise Yekel, North Canton, Ohio, bass-baritone John Dominick III, Mamaroneck, N.Y., and tenor Jeffrey Michael Hartman, Natick, Mass.
In addition, a one-time scholarship grant of $2,800 was given to the Wagner Intensive Program of Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio (a summer program directed by Jane Eaglen and Dr. Timothy Mussard), and travel and role-preparation grants were given to previous recipients.
The adjudicating panel consisted of Ken Benson, New York-based vocal consultant; Shirley Close, international mezzo-soprano and assistant professor of voice at Florida State University; renowned mezzo-soprano Mignon Dunn; and Mr. Carlton.