Monthly Archives: March 2012

BGSU Student Christine Amon, MM ’12, Finalist in 2012 Lenya Competition





12 Finalists Selected; Rebecca Luker, Rob Berman & Theodore S. Chapin Will Judge


BGSU Graduate Student Christine Amon, MM in Vocal Performance ’12, is Finalist

Twelve exceptionally talented young singer-actors have made it through two rounds of auditions for the 2012 Lotte Lenya Competition and will compete for top prizes of $15,000, $10,000 and $7,500 in the finals, to be held on April 21, 2012, at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Three-time Tony Award nominee Rebecca Luker, Broadway and Encores! music director Rob Berman, and Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization President and American Theater Wing Chairman of the Board Theodore S. Chapin will serve as judges.

Held annually by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, the Lotte Lenya Competition is an international theater singing contest that recognizes talented young singer-actors, ages 19-30, who are dramatically and musically convincing in a wide range of repertoire, and emphasizes the acting of songs within a dramatic context.

Finalists were selected from a group of twenty-nine semi-finalists after auditions in New York on March 9-10, 2012. Contestants were required to prepare four selections: an aria from the opera or operetta repertoire; two songs from the American musical theater repertoire (one from the pre-1968 “Golden Age” and one from 1968 or later); and a theatrical selection by Kurt Weill. Tony Award winner Victoria Clark and Vicki Shaghoian of the Yale School of Drama faculty served as coach-adjudicators, evaluating and working with each of the contestants.

The 2012 finalists are: Christine Amon, mezzo-soprano (Bowling Green, Ohio); Natalie Ballenger, soprano (Santa Cruz, Calif.); Douglas Carpenter, baritone (Woodbridge, Conn.); Maria Failla, soprano (Scarsdale, N.Y.); Matthew Grills, tenor (Rochester, N.Y.); Justin Hopkins, bass-baritone (Philadelphia); Briana Elyse Hunter, soprano (New York); Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano (Malvern, Penn.); Cecelia Tickton, mezzo-soprano (Roosevelt, N.J.); Mollie Vogt-Welch, soprano/belt (New York); Jacob Keith Watson, tenor (Wynne, Ark.); and Nicky Wuchinger, bari-tenor (Berlin, Germany).
The twelve finalists will perform their entire programs for the judges on April 21 between 11 am and 3 pm. At 8 pm, the competition will culminate in an evening concert featuring all of the finalists, followed by the announcement of the winners. Both the daytime finals and evening concert are free and open to the public, and will take place in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs Street, Rochester, New York.
The Kurt Weill Foundation will award special prizes in addition to the top prizes, and has already presented an Emerging Talent Award to Robert Ariza, tenor, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Grace Keagy Award for Outstanding Vocal Promise to Kate Tombaugh, mezzo-soprano, of Streator, Illinois.

Previous Lenya Competition winners perform regularly in major theaters, opera houses, and concert halls around the globe. This season alone, their credits include performances on Broadway (Kyle Barisich, Morgan James, Zachary James), in national tours (Richard Todd Adams, Cooper Grodin), and at the Metropolitan Opera (Paul Corona), Covent Garden (Noah Stewart), Carnegie Hall (Amy Justman, Lauren Worsham), Arena Stage (Justin Lee Miller), Centerstage (Erik Liberman), Los Angeles Opera (Liam Bonner, Jonathan Michie), San Francisco Opera (Lucas Meachem), Lyric Opera of Chicago (Elaine Alvarez, Rodell Rosel), Florida Grand Opera (Margaret Gawrysiak, Jonathan Michie), and Oper Frankfurt (Elaine Alvarez, Elizabeth Reiter).

About the Kurt Weill Foundation
The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc. ( is dedicated to promoting understanding of the life and works of composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950) and preserving the legacies of Weill and his wife, actress-singer Lotte Lenya (1898-1981). The Foundation administers the Weill-Lenya Research Center, a Grant Program, the Kurt Weill Book Prize and the Lotte Lenya Competition (, and publishes the Kurt Weill Edition and the Kurt Weill Newsletter.

Composer Libby Larsen visits BGSU as McMaster Professor in Vocal and Choral Studies

Works by Grammy Award-winning composer Libby Larsen will be the focus of a special concert Friday (March 16) at Bowling Green State University’s Kobacker Hall. Larsen is in residence at BGSU this week as the McMaster Professor in Vocal and Choral Studies.

The free concert, at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, will feature works by Larsen including vocal and piano duo selections and “She piped for us” with the University Women’s Chorus.

Larsen’s residency will include meetings with composition students, a visit to a theory class, coaching of vocal and piano duos, sessions with the University Women’s Chorus and a speech with a question-and-answer session at 2:30 p.m. Friday in Bryan Recital Hall, also in Moore Musical Arts Center.

Larsen is one of America’s most performed living composers. She has created a catalogue of over 400 works spanning virtually every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and 12 operas. Widely recorded, she is constantly sought after for commissions and premieres by major artists, ensembles and orchestras around the world, and has established a permanent place for her works in the concert repertory.

A vigorous, articulate advocate for the music and musicians of our time, in 1973 Larsen co-founded the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composers Forum, which has become an invaluable aid for composers in a transitional time for American arts. A former holder of the Papamarkou Chair at John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, Larsen has also held residencies with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony and the Colorado Symphony.

Her visit is supported through funding established for the endowed professorship by Helen and the late Harold McMaster in spring 2000. Helen McMaster, a longtime Perrysburg resident, has supported the arts at BGSU for many years. In 1992 she served as honorary chair of Bowling Green’s Campaign for the Arts, to which the McMasters donated $150,000.

Generous friends of BGSU, she and her husband previously donated to programs in music, business, science and the Center for Photochemical Sciences. They established the Harold and Helen McMaster Professor of Photochemical Sciences position in 1993, helped to purchase a photoelectron microscope for the center in 1992 and gave the University a $1 million gift for the McMaster Endowment Fund, which supports the chemical sciences, in 1985. Guest artists are nominated by college professors in vocal, choral or opera to be approved for visits to the campus.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Christopher Scholl, associate professor of music performance studies, at 419-372-2287.

CMA Freshman Student as Featured Soloist with Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestra

Meredith Bixel, a BGSU freshman piano major and winner of TSYO Young Artist Competition, will perform Edward MacDowell’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestra at the Peristyle Theater on Sunday, March 18. Meredith studies with Dr. Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu.

See the link below for more information:

Prof. Melton to perform and teach in Michigan

Dr. Laura Melton will perform the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor with the Warren Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, April 1st at 3:00pm in the Macomb Center for Performing Arts in Clinton Township, Michigan. The concert will also feature Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra and Put’s Millenium Canons. Melton will teach a master class on March 31, 1:30-3:00pm for Detroit-area pre-college pianists at Warner Hall, Oakland University. The link for ticket information is

BGSU oboe students selected to perform at IDRS conference

Dr. Jacqueline Leclair and her oboe studio have been selected to perform at the International Double Reed Society’s annual conference. They will perform world premieres by BGSU composition faculty member, Christopher Dietz, and BGSU composition graduate students, Viola Yip and Jonathan Fielder. The concert will take place during the IDRS conference at Miami University in Oxford OH on July 8, 2012. Performers will include Dr. Leclair and members of the BGSU oboe studio.