Announcing the 2020 Young Artists Vocal Competition Winners!

We are pleased to announce the winners of the YAVC held at First Presbyterian Church, Ocean Springs on October 24, 2020.

Following covid-19 protocols, we were able to have a safe and successful event. Scholarships were awarded to the students and solo winners were also selected by the judging panel of Dr. Paul McGahie, Lucille Harrington and Roseanne Johnson-Fazo.

The Gulf Coast Messiah Chorus will present two digital “hybrid performances” of Handel’s Messiah this season on Friday, Dec. 4 and Sat. Dec. 5. Look for the YAVC participants who will be part of the “Virtual Choir” in both performances! YAVC solo winners will sing with the Southern Strings orchestra as part of the hybrid performance on Saturday, Dec. 5. We are also delighted to welcome back two former YAVC solo winners to perform again this year: Haley Lane, presently teaching music in Gautier,MS and Olivia Alarcon, a freshman studying voice at University of Alabama.

Emily Jellum, seventeen year old alto from Biloxi, sang Then shall the eyes of the blind and He shall feed His flock. Emily has begun singing this year in the St. Martin High School Choir under the direction of Betty Hopkins. She also has an interest in instrumental music, having studied piano, saxophone, and guitar. Emily hopes to continue her musical endeavors and has future goals of composing her own music. She was awarded a $200 scholarship to continue her vocal studies.

Anna Hopkins, eighteen year old freshman at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College - JC Campus, returned to participate in the YAVC after having competed in 2017 and 2018. She is now singing in the MGCCC Choir and special ensemble, Voices, under the direction of Kate Sawyer. Anna is very active in the music ministries at her church, is an award-winning pianist, and performs across the coast with The Hopkins Family. For the YAVC Anna performed Then shall the eyes, He shall feed his flock, and Come unto Him. Anna won a $600 scholarship and will be a featured soloist on Dec. 5.

Hutson Rollins, eighteen year old senior at Gulfport High School, is a leader in the vocal music program there and a member of the Madrigals and the Gulfport Singers. Hutson started his own “Corona Choir” in the spring after the school was shut down because of the pandemic. His friends met virtually and he taught them songs he had composed. His GHS choir director, Daniel Vernon, has provided encouragement to Hutson and has given him opportunities to share his compositions with the choir. Hutson studies voice with Khara Molsbee. He was awarded a $700 scholarship and will be performing Thus saith the Lord and But who may abide.

Rebekah Hopkins, twenty-one year old student at MGCCC-JC, returned this year to participate in the YAVC. She performed the soprano recitatives and Rejoice greatly. Rebekah sings in two groups at her college and has performed from a young age with her family, singing and playing violin. She is also an accomplished pianist and a member of the worship team at the Baptist Student Union at her college campus. Rebekah resides in Ocean Springs and is pursuing a degree in nursing. Rebekah was awarded an $800 scholarship and will be a featured soloist with the Gulf Coast Messiah Chorus on the December 5, 2020 hybrid performance.

Connor Galle is sixteen years old and a student at St. Patrick High School. He lives in Vancleave. Connor was influenced at an early age when he heard a recording of the great Italian operatic tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, performing O Sole Mio. He has loved classical music ever since and hopes to make music his career. Hutson takes cello and piano lessons. He studies voice with J.T. Anglin. Connor was awarded the prestigious Glenn Draper Memorial Scholarship of $1000. For the Messiah performance, Connor will perform the tenor opening recitative, Comfort Ye.