By Kate Williams '16
Internationally known soprano, and PLU alum, Angela Meade ’00 offered a rare opportunity for PLU students considering a career as professional vocalists. Meade along with her husband John Myers, also a professional opera singer, established the endowment that made the competition a reality. After an initial review of all applicants, six finalists were invited to perform last Thursday, January 17th at 7:30 p.m. in Lagerquist Concert Hall at PLU.
The six finalists—Jordan Bowles, baritone, Brennan Brichoux, baritone, Gillian Dockins, mezzo soprano, Luke Hartley, baritone, Marissa Moultrie, soprano, and Stephanie Pfundt, soprano— each performed two songs of their choosing in this public competition finale. Three internationally renowned judges determined the competition winners: Leah Crocetto, soprano, and Lester Lynch, baritone, both currently performing in Seattle Opera’s production of Verdi’s Il Trovatore; as well as PLU Voice Faculty member Marlette Buchanan, soprano. PLU Faculty member Sheila Bristow, piano, was the competition accompanist.
Three winners were announced. Marissa Moultrie, soprano, was awarded first place, receiving $1,000, a trip to the east coast to watch Angela in performance, and a voice coaching/lesson from Ms. Meade.
Marissa Moultrie is a senior at PLU, completing her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. At PLU, Marissa has performed the roles of Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart), Dido in Dido & Aeneas (Purcell), Suor Angelica in Suor Angelica (Puccini), and Minerva in Orpheus in the Underworld (Offenbach). A Mary Baker Russell Music Scholar and recent Encouragement Award Winner at the Washington District MONC auditions, Marissa is currently in the process of auditioning for Master of Music programs, hoping to begin her graduate studies in Fall 2019.
The second place winner, Gillian Dockins, mezzo soprano, a senior Music and English double major from Portland, Oregon, was awarded $500. Third place winner Brennan Brichoux, baritone, a Music major and Seattle native, was awarded $250.
Congratulations to all those who participated in this inaugural competition!