The Sentinel Tribune writes –
Just as it takes two to tango, it takes two to perform an art song.
The Dr. Marjorie Conrad Art Song Competition at Bowling Green State University honors not just the singer out front, but the pianist who provides the instrumental support.
On Saturday College of Music crowned the 16th set of winning musical teams.
The winners in the undergraduate division were soprano Autum Cochran-Jordan and pianist Qincheng Zeng. In the graduate division the winners were soprano Desiree Johnson and pianist Alphonsus Kiu.
Both sopranos study with Myra Merritt, and both said the chance to study with Merritt was what brought them to BGSU.
Zeng studies with Laura Melton and Kiu, who plans to specialize in collaborating with vocalists in his doctoral program, studies with Robert Satterlee.
Both duos had an international flavor Johnson and Cochran-Jordan are both from Ohio and Zeng is from Chion and Kiu from Malaysia.
They were elected in the finals Saturday night. The first round was held earlier in the day with 17 undergraduates duos and nine graduate duos participating.
That field was winnowed to six undergraduate duos and five graduate duos.
Also honored in the undergraduate division were: second place, soprano Rebekah Wehrly and pianist Peng Zhang, and third place, baritone Daniel Baumgartner and pianist Amy Faber.
Other honorees in the graduate division were: soprano Jennifer Cresswell and pianist Chia-Jung Lin, and third place, soprano Elizabeth Hood and pianist Kiu.
The winning duos share the cash prizes: $1,500 for first, $1,000 for second, and $750 for third.
The singers must perform songs from a variety of periods including one by a living composer and at least one each in English, French, German and Italian.
This was the first competition since the death of its founder last October at the age of 92.
Conrad was remembered with a reserved seat and floral arrangement in the center front row of the Bryan Recital Hall.
Christopher School, the voice faculty member who coordinates the competition, said Conrad would always attend the event.
Until last few years she would come to both the first and final rounds.
The winners of the competition will perform March 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Manor House in the Wildwood Preserve Metropark in Toledo.