Congratulations to our 2023 YAVC Winners

12th Annual Young Artists Vocal Competition

The 12th Annual Young Artists Vocal Competition sponsored by the Gulf Coast Messiah Chorus was held on Saturday, October 21, 2023 at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College - Harrison County Campus at 11:00 a.m. Those participating were Sopranos Kyra De Oliveira and Katelyn Mobley. A total of $2000 (including $100 each for the Audience’s Favorite Singer) was awarded in scholarships and each singer was offered the opportunity to perform her solo during the Christmas season of the Gulf Coast Messiah Chorus, December 1, 2, and 3, 2023.

Kyra De Oliveira is a 24 year old soprano from D’Iberville, MS. She holds degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance from William Carey University. Kyra has performed lead roles in musical theater and opera at William Carey. Her voice teacher, whom she considers her mentor, is Dr. Susan Ruggiero.

Kyra has won awards from the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Presently she is teaching full time at Biloxi Upper Elementary where she directs choir, show choir and teaches general music. She is working towards a Masters and ultimately a Doctorate in Music, aspiring to teach voice in a college setting.

Kyra performed “Rejoice, Greatly” and received the top prize of $1000 as this year’s Glenn Draper Memorial Scholarship winner.

Kyra De Oliveira

Katelyn Mobley is a 21 year old sophomore at MGCCC-HC from Biloxi, MS. She is working towards an Associate Degree in Music and ultimately plans to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy.

She has a passion for songwriting which she started in middle school to express her feelings through music. She hopes to continue this creative endeavor. Katelyn presently sings in “Coastal Vibrations” and studies voice with Zane Lynn and piano with Patience Pierini at MGCCC.

Katelyn was awarded an $800 YAVC Scholarship. She performed the four soprano recitatives from Handel’s Messiah.

Katelyn Mobley

Guy Bowering, Jr. provided accompaniment for the singers and played “The Pastoral Symphony” during the judges’ deliberation.

Judges for the competition interviewed the participants, provided written critiques for the singers and deliberated on scholarships and solos. The judging committee was headed by Messiah Chorus Director, Joy Mehrtens. Also serving were GCMC Board members Roseanne Johnson-Fazo and Lucille Harrington, both professional musicians and longtime soloists with the Messiah Chorus.

Donna Snell served as Master of Ceremonies.

Many thanks to individual donors who provided funds for the YAVC scholarships this year including Laura Ukura-Leir, Lounelle Draper, Pascal Gill, Debby Levy, Peggy Abshire, Lucille Harrington and Roseanne Johnson. Your financial support has made it possible for the Gulf Coast Messiah Chorus through their Young Artists Vocal Competition Scholarship Fund to award over $37,000 in educational scholarships over the past twelve years!

YAVC History

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