The 7th Annual Young Artists Vocal Competition was held on Saturday, October 27, 2018, at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jefferson Davis Campus, at 1:00 pm. Each contestant prepared a solo from Part I of Handel’s Messiah.
Judges for the event were Dr. Paul McGahie, Music Director of the Gulf Coast Messiah Chorus, as well as Lucille Harrington and Roseanne Johnson-Fazo, both YAVC Committee members and local voice teachers. Guy Bowering, Jr., GCMC’s accompanist, served as pianist for the event.
The YAVC Committee thanks all our generous SCHOLARSHIP DONORS! Thanks to individual donors Peggy Abshire, Ed Cake, George Canaga, Pascal Gill, Debby Levi, Carol Mahler, Paul McGahie, Nettie Phillips, Donna and Pete Snell, Lynda Steele and Marcie Wilson.
The YAVC also received a grant of $1000 from the Bacot-McCarty Foundation for which we are very grateful. We especially want to thank MGCCC-JD for hosting our event.
Contestants this year were:
Olivia Alarcon, soprano, is a sixteen year old junior at Our Lady Academy. She has studied voice for several years. She recently attended a vocal master class at the University of Alabama and enjoyed the opportunity to extend herself vocally. Olivia is involved in the music ministry at Holy Family. She enjoys singing at school masses and other events. Olivia was awarded a YAVC scholarship of $600. Olivia will be performing Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion on Saturday evening, December 1, 2018.
Sylvalia Brown, mezzo-soprano, is a twenty year old junior studying Vocal Music Education at USM. She has sung in the USM Women’s Chorus and Concert Choir. Sylvalia was soloist for the Southern International Choral Convention, advanced to semi-finalist round at the regional NATS competition and participated in USM’s Opera Chorus. She is a soloist and scholarship singer at FUMC Laurel. Sylvalia received a $1000 scholarship and also won the Audience‘s Favorite Singer award of $100 during the YAVC. She will perform Behold, a virgin shall conceive and O Thou that tellest good tidings to Zion on Friday and Saturday.
Anna Hopkins, soprano, is sixteen years old and a junior at Grace Baptist Academy. Anna enjoys singing, playing violin and piano, having participated for many years in piano competitions. She is active in the music ministries at First Baptist Church Ocean Springs and assisted with Vacation Bible School music for Evangelista la Biblia Baptist Church. Anna received a $200 scholarship at the Young Artists Vocal Competition where she performed Come unto Him.
Rebekah Hopkins, soprano, is nineteen and a freshman at MGCCC-Jackson County. There she was selected to sing in the vocal ensemble, Voices. Her musical interests and training started as a child. She has participated in piano and vocal competitions. Rebekah has enjoyed performing with her family group, Praise Strings, both singing and playing violin. She aspires to become a nurse and plans to continue using her musical gifts. Rebekah was awarded a YAVC scholarship of $500. On Saturday she will perform the four soprano recitatives: There were shepherds abiding in the field / And lo! The angel of the Lord came upon them / And the angel said unto them / And suddenlythere was with the angel.
Breck Jones, baritone, is sixteen years old and a student at Gulfport High School where he is a member of the Madrigal Choir. He serves as a leader in the GHS Choral Student Committees. Breck has participated in choirs at church and in school choirs since fifth grade. He was selected for ACDA All-State Choir, as well as the Southern Invitational Choral Convention at USM. Breck received a YAVC scholarship of $500. He will perform the recitative, Thus saith the Lord of hosts at Saturday’s perfomance.
Carly Richards, soprano, fifteen year old home school student, has participated for several years with the WINGS Performing Arts Program at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center. She is presently directing a production entitled Trial of William Shakespeare. This past summer Carly traveled to Boston for further study at the Berklee College of Music’s Vocal Summit and also attended Master Classes with the Phantom of the Opera Intensive Workshop in New York City. Carly received a scholarship of $300 at the Young Artists Vocal Competition where she performed the four soprano recitatives, There were shepherds abiding in the field ... and the aria, >Come unto Him
Lauren Roosa-Wise, mezzo-soprano, is twenty-four years old and a senior Vocal Music Education major at USM. Lauren studied at MGCCC-Perkinston and received an AA degree in Music. Her early love of music and performing led to ten years of participation in the Pensacola Children’s Choir. Her goal after graduation is to pursue a Masters in Vocal Performance. Lauren received a scholarship of $700 at the YAVC. She will perform the recitative, Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened and the aria, He shall feed his flock like a shepherd.
Instrumental music provided during the contest was presented by talented young pianist, Isaiah Way and Wheaton College Music graduate, Wesley Newton, as well as Guy Bowering, Jr.
The Young Artists Vocal Competition is part of the Gulf Coast Messiah Chorus’ ongoing educational program for young people (ages 15 – 25), seeking to stimulate interest in classical music among young singers. We also hope to pass down the tradition of singing Handel’s oratorio, Messiah, to succeeding generations. Finally, we wish to encourage exceptionally gifted young singers and help them develop as the vocal leaders of the future.
When details of the October 2019 YAVC are available, the date will be announced on this page with all the forms and information for application. Any questions can be directed to Donna Snell (228-896-4143), YAVC Co-Chair.