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

The Young Artist Award Program provides 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 an 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
– performed internationally
– sung with the San Francisco Opera
– performed with significant groups like American Bach Soloists
– returned as featured soloists in Bach Society concerts

Funded in part by:

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 through May on Monday evenings, 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Singers must be available to attend all rehearsals in order to be eligible for an audition. Rehearsals take place in the Great Hall at the Church of St. Michael and St. George, 6345 Wydown Boulevard, Clayton, MO, 63105.

Audition Format

Auditions for the 2019-2020 season took place on Monday, June 3rd, 2019, at the Church of St. Michael and St. George in Clayton, MO, in front of a small panel of judges. Auditions lasted approximately 20 minutes and included sight reading, tonal memory and vocalization.

Singers are asked to present three vocal selections that demonstrate their range, timbre, flexibility, diction, expressiveness and stage presence:

– a Baroque aria from a cantata, oratorio or mass in any language (this does not need to be memorized)
– an operatic aria in a foreign language (this should be performed from memory)
– an operetta/musical theatre song in English, suitable for informal entertainment (this should be performed from memory)

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

Should you be granted an audition, we will require one letter of recommendation from a voice teacher or choral director giving a professional evaluation of your musicianship, leadership abilities, dependability and vocal potential.

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
– can present proof of employment authorization in the United States
– are thirty-two years old or younger
– are available to attend all Monday evening rehearsals from late August 2019 through mid May 2020

Audition Panel

Young Artist Award recipients are chosen by a panel of highly-regarded, accomplished professional musicians and educators. The 2019 panel of judges includes:

Dr. A. Dennis Sparger, Music Director and Conductor of The Bach Society of Saint Louis

Dr. Nicole Aldrich, Director of Choral Activities at Washington University 

Emily Fons, American Mezzo-Soprano

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.