Finalists Announced for the 2015 Jensen Competition

POSTED MAY 22, 2015 – NEW YORK, NY – After four days of preliminary auditions this week, finalists to the 2015 Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition have been announced. They are:

Rachel Arky | Mezzo-Soprano
John Brancy | Baritone
J'nai Bridges | Mezzo-Soprano
Carolina Castells | Soprano
Lisa Chavez | Mezzo-Soprano
Allegra De Vita | Mezzo-Soprano
Katrina Galka | Soprano
Phoenix Gayles | Soprano
Geoffrey Hoos | Baritone
Samantha Malk | Mezzo-Soprano
Nathan Milholin | Bass-Baritone
Amanda Opuszynski | Soprano
Rexford Tester | Tenor
Ariana Wehr | Soprano
Christopher Yoon | Tenor

The Finals of the 2015 Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition will be held Saturday, May 23rd at 11 AM at Engelman Recital Hall, Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue, New York. The event is free and open to the public, and the winners will be named at the conclusion of the event.

More than 270 singers applied to perform in the 2015 Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition. One hundred twenty-five singers were heard, and these fifteen finalists were selected. They will compete for more than $36,000 in prize winnings, including:

•    $3,000 for the Munday Encouragement Award winner
•    $7,500 for the Third Prize Winner
•    $10,000 for the Second Place Winner
•    $15,000 for the First Prize Winner, plus participation in OPERA America’s 2016 Emerging Artist Recital Series in NYC

The Jensen Foundation has assembled a distinguished roster of judges for the 2015 Finals Competition. 

  • Ken Benson, CEO of Ken Benson Artists, and previously Vice-President of Columbia Artists Management. He is a Vocal Consultant at Juilliard, and he regularly gives classes and consultations at Yale, UCLA, Mannes, Manhattan School of Music, Boston Conservatory, DePaul, Roosevelt, and Indiana Universities.
  • Peter Russell, General Director of Vocal Arts DC in Washington, DC. He previously served as General Director of Wolf Trap Opera Company and the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Peter is a frequent guest lecturer for Georgetown University’s Continuing Education Series.
  • Diana Soviero is one of the most recognized American opera singers of the twentieth century, a compelling interpreter of the verismo repertoire. She now gives private lessons in her Manhattan Studio and Master Classes across the country. Diana has been awarded the Voice Education Research Award from The Voice Foundation, a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Giulio Gari Foundation and a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Gerda Lissner Foundation.

About the Fritz & Lavinia Jensen Foundation
Fritz and Lavinia Jensen were lifelong supporters of the arts who benefited many musicians and musical organizations during their lives. The Jensen Foundation is dedicated to continuing their philanthropic vision of support for the musical arts. The centerpiece of the Foundation’s efforts, the annual Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition, supports young artists pursuing a career in opera. Since the Competition’s inception in 2000, and including this year’s award winners, 99 singers have received more than $500,000 in support. To learn more, visit