Classical singers hit the high notes with awards

Students and alumni from York’s Classical Vocal Performance Program in the Faculty of Fine Arts have been hitting the high notes with scholarships, accolades and awards from competitions both local and south of the border.

Alumna mezzo-soprano Melissa Davis (BFA Spec. Hons. ’04) is the recipient of the $20,000 Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship from the School of Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the top prize winner in the recent First National Solo Voice Spirituals Competition in Buffalo, NY.

Closer to home, fourth-year student soprano Tyana O’Connor won the French Song Prize and the Opera Prize from the Peel Music Festival. Second-year student soprano Joyce Goh won the prestigious Silver Tray Award from the Kiwanis Music Festival of Greater Toronto.

Another fourth-year student soprano, Gabrielle Crawford, earned merits of another sort by organizing and performing for the second annual Benefit Concert Classical Recital at Belleville’s Westminster United Church, which took place on Saturday, May 30. The recital raised funds in support of the Canadian Cancer Society. 

“I am tremendously proud of these fine young singers and their accomplishments,” said Professor Catherine Robbin, internationally renowned mezzo-soprano and director of the Classical Vocal Performance Program. “These accolades are not only a testament to their inherent talent and abilities, but also to their dedication, hard work and drive to be the best performer they can be. Bravo to the singers and their teachers for this success.”