The Young Artist Award Program has provided professional training, performance opportunities and scholarship assistance for local singers under the age of 32 since 1989.  Singers gain experience covering solos in major works, present and annual recital and perform frequently at fundraising and education events throughout the season.  We have served over 60 aspiring musicians, and many have gone on to have illustrious careers.  Previous winners have:

– appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in New York
– regularly performed internationally
– sung with the San Francisco Opera
– performed with significant groups like American Bach Soloists
– returned as featured soloists in Bach Society concerts

Award Benefits and Details

The Young Artists Awards were established to enhance professional training for career-oriented singers. Recipients receive an annual stipend of $2,500 payable over ten months and are provided with experiences to strengthen their development as soloists and professional choral singers.

The Young Artists gain experience covering solos in major works and attending dress rehearsals with visiting guest artists, giving them the opportunity to observe and interact with professional soloists. Young Artists also present an annual recital and perform at other Bach Society events including education concerts and fundraisers.

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

Young Artists rehearse as members of the Bach Society Chorus 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.

Eligible Young Artists:

– have completed a minimum of three years of undergraduate study in music
– are pursuing a professional vocal career
– are currently in private vocal study
– are under the age of thirty-two

2018-19 Young Artists: Freddie Rice, Danielle Feinstein and Chris Stanfill
Photo by Kris Bueltmann

Audition Format

Panel auditions of approximately 20 minutes will take place on the afternoon of Monday, June 3rd, 2019, at the Church of St. Michael and St. George in Clayton, MO, and will include evaluation of sight reading, tonal memory and vocalization.  Singers should present three vocal selections from memory which demonstrate their range, timbre, flexibility, diction, expressiveness and stage presence:

– a Baroque aria from a cantata, oratorio or mass in any language (music can be used for this selection)
– an operatic aria in a foreign language
– an operetta/musical theatre song in English, suitable for informal entertainment

An accompanist will be provided.  Please bring music for the accompanist marked for tempo, dynamics, ritards, etc.

A letter of recommendation from a voice teacher or choral director giving a professional evaluation of your musicianship, leadership abilities, dependability and vocal potential is also required for those who are granted an audition.

Audition Panel

Young Artist Award recipients are chosen by a panel of highly-regarded, accomplished professional musicians and educators. The 2018 panel of judges included: 

Dr. A. Dennis Sparger, Music Director and Conductor of The Bach Society of Saint Louis
Mrs. Jennifer Johnson Cano, world renowned operatic mezzo-soprano
Dr. Jim Henry, Director of Choral Activities at UMSL and the Co-director of Ambassadors of Harmony.

Recent Young Artist Award Recipients:

2018-19 Danielle Feinstein, Freddy Rice, Chris Stanfill
2017-18 Madalyn Mentor, Emerald Barbour, Kurtis Heinrich, Chris Stanfill
2016-17 Madalyn Mentor, Katherine Menke, Kurtis Heinrich, Tyler Green
2015-16 Madalyn Mentor, Katherine Menke, James Stevens, Ravi Raghuram
2014-15 Mary Beth Freitag, Lori Hoffman, Anthony Heinemann, Ravi Raghuram

For a complete list of award recipients, click here.

Funded in part by: