Dr. Darrell Babidge, School of Music
The objectives of this important visit to New York City was to expose students to the opportunities that can be found by working with the highest caliber of vocal artists and coaches in the world. They also auditioned for national opera companies that were in town the week we were there. Through this intensive week of auditions and coachings, they learned to hone their vocal and auditioning skills to a higher level.
The results from this project were very successful, and were also instrumental in paving the way for students’ successes in the following weeks and months, which are reviewed below. They received world class coaching and teaching while in New York, and this enhanced their preparation for these specific auditions. Current solo artists at the Metropolitan Opera gave master classes to the students while we were there.
This experience was invaluable as they entered the hard and fast paced world of opera and its demands during the week we were there. Their mentoring experiences were life changing for the students, as they absorbed and applied all the things that were required of them. My job was to help them feel safe in a new and yet challenging environment. Some of the master classes were challenging, but they trusted my mentoring and support, and learned much from it. The students were also able to attend the highest caliber of performances at the Metropolitan Opera and the Juilliard School of Music.
I was able to allocate the funding for eight students, including a vocal accompanist, who was able to accompany the vocalists in their auditions. Following are highlights of students’ accomplishments from this mentoring project:
Katie Henly – Katie entered the second year of the Glimmerglass Opera Festival through her audition in New York. They recognized her improvements, and invited her back for the second season. This is a high caliber national opera company, with international artists performing there regularly.
Jubal Joslyn – Within a few weeks of this mentoring experience, Jubal advanced to the regional round of the Metropolitan Opera National Council competition in Denver – the first time a male singer from BYU has entered this round in a few years.
Mason Neipp – While in New York Mason was invited back with a very selected group of candidates for the second round of the Music Academy of the West auditions. This was by invitation by Marilyn Horne who is the world’s leading mezzo-soprano. Back at
BYU, he was also invited to perform professionally with the Utah Festival Opera for their summer season.
Sarah Maxwell – Within a few weeks of this mentoring experience Sarah was invited to perform professionally with the Utah Festival Opera for their summer season.
Tara Austin – Within a few weeks Tara was invited to the Russian Opera Workshop at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. This program is a very prestigious program, attracting students from all the major conservatories in the country. Tara was offered half scholarship.
Joseph Olson – Joseph is now teaching a new ensemble course in the vocal area in the School of Music at BYU, which focuses on operatic chorus repertoire. He coaches the chorus in preparation for the fall production of ‘Cosi fan Tutte’. A concert of varied repertoire will also be performed in the Madsen Recital Hall.
Laura Snow – Laura completed her graduate course successfully, and performed in the annual Young Artists in Voice competition, representing her win of the previous year. Outside judges are invited to attend and judge this prestigious competition. Previous winners have recently sung at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and the Royal Opera House in London.
Aurelia Andrews – Aurelia was accepted to a collaborative piano/accompanying program, and recently accompanied a singer who was preparing for a roles at the Royal Opera House in London, England, and the Semperoper in Dresden, Germany.
The budget was spent accordingly:
|Food and sundries||$520|
|Master Class Studio Rental||$112|
|Tickets for shows||$1,015|
Refund to MEG funds $1,007
The vocal area is indebted to the Orca Grant Office for this grant. It was a wonderful and invaluable experience for these students, and much good has come from it. Thank you so much.