Bach Society Young Artists


The Young Artists Awards were established to enhance professional training for career-oriented singers. Recipients receive an annual stipend and are provided with experiences to strengthen their development as soloists and professional choral singers.

The Young Artists gain experience as understudies in the major works, and perform as soloists as appropriate. They attend dress rehearsals with visiting guest artists and the orchestra to observe and interact with the professional soloists. The Young Artists present an annual recital and may be asked to perform at other Bach Society events including parties and fundraisers. Performance experiences range from the intimacy of fundraising events in homes to the formality of the concert stage.

The Young Artists are also responsible for providing musical leadership in the Bach Society Chorus through exceptional preparation of their parts.


Eligibility: A Young Artist Will

– Have completed a minimum of three years of undergraduate study in music
– Be pursuing a professional vocal career
– Be currently in private vocal study
– Be under the age of thirty

Young Artist Award: Recipients will be awarded a $2,500 cash award, payable over ten months.

Young Artist Auditions: An audition of fifteen to twenty minutes will include sight reading, tonal memory, scales, and three vocal selections including:

– An operatic aria in a foreign language
– A concert aria (oratorio, mass, requiem, cantata) in any language
– An operetta/Broadway song in English, suitable for informal entertainment

The three selections will demonstrate the applicant’s range, timbre, flexibility, diction, expressiveness and stage presence. Memorization is expected but not required.  An accompanist will be provided; please bring a copy for the accompanist that is marked for tempo, dynamics, ritards, etc.

YA photo1

Evaluation: Applicants will be judged on vocal quality, musicianship and sight-reading. A letter of reference (usually from a voice teacher or choral director) will be required that includes a professional evaluation of the applicant’s musicianship, leadership abilities, dependability and vocal potential.

Young Artist Application: To schedule your audition, contact the Bach Society Office or call (314) 652-BACH. Please download the audition info sheet and bring your completed form with you to your audition.

young-artist-mezzo-1Young Artists rehearse with the Chorus and Principal Singers. Rehearsals are held from late August to early May on Monday evenings, 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the Great Hall at the Church of St. Michael and St. George, 6345 Wydown Boulevard, Clayton, MO, 63105. Enter by the door for the St. Michael School at the far west side.

Past Young Artist Recipients:

2015-16    Madalyn Mentor, Katherine Menke, James Stevens, Ravi Raghuram
2014-15    Mary Beth Freitag, Lori Hoffman, Anthony Heinemann, Ravi Raghuram
2013-14    Mary Beth Freitag, Laura Beth Codispoti, Terrince Tackett, Ravi Raghuram
2012-13    Christine Hemphill-Guthrie, Erin Haupt, Terrince Tackett, Matt Pentecost
2011-12    Stephanie Ann Ball, Erin Haupt, Joshua Stanton, Tom W. Sitzler
2010-11    Stephanie Ann Ball, Debra Hillabrand, Joshua Stanton, Tom W. Sitzler
2009-10    Gina Malone, Debra Hillabrand, Joshua Stanton
2008-09    Melissa Payton, Debra Hillabrand
2007-08    Melissa Payton, Debra Hillabrand, Steve Slusher
2006-07    Melissa (Gowen) Payton, Margaret Gitu, Steve Slusher, Scott Levin
2005-06    Melissa Gowen, Alison Neace, Joseph Michels, Scott Levin
2004-05    Melissa Gowen, Alison Neace, Joseph Michels, Scott Levin
2003-04    Alexin Hotz, Laura Case, David Koch, Scott Levin
2002-03    Margaret Hamby, Laura Case, Jeffrey Freuler, Jay Harkey
2001-02    Margaret Hamby, Rachel Edie, Jeffrey Freuler, Jay Harkey
2000-01    Sharen Camille, Alison Neace, Chester Pidduck, Shawn Neace
1999-00    Jennifer Frazer, Alison Neace, Chester Pidduck, Shawn Neace
1998-99    Mary Wilson, Alison (Harner) Neace, Todd Wilson, Shawn Neace
1997-98    Mary Wilson, Alison Harner, Willie Eddie Hitchcock III, Shawn Neace
1996-97    Kristen Frost, Sarah Joy Lawrence, Willie Eddie Hitchcock III, Lance Lancaster
1995-96    Valerie C. Schaefer, Sarah Joy Lawrence, Joseph M. Consiglio, Lance Lancaster
1994-95    Krystiane Cheetham, Leslie K. Remmert, Antoine C. Wallace, Matthew C. Cooper
1993-94    Rosalie H. Toubes, Leslie K. Remmert, Antoine C. Wallace, Michael J. Boschert
1992-93    Rosalie H. Toubes, Kim Loeffler, Antoine C. Wallace, Michael J. Boschert
1991-92    Karen Henrickson, Deborah Good Stinson, Antoine C. Wallace, George Bareford
1990-91    Mary I. Brown, Valerie Graham, Antoine C. Wallace, David Peterson
1989-90    Mary I. Brown