Palm Beach Atlantic University’s School of Music and Fine Arts hosted the Schmidt Vocal Competition, a prestigious singing competition for sophomore, junior and senior high school singers, on January 19. This year’s first prize winner was Sarah Johnson, of Largo, Florida, who was awarded $2,500 for her performance of “Porgi amor” from Le Nozze di Figaro by W.A. Mozart.
Additional winners were: Samantha Sosa, second place; Laura SantamariaMendez, third place; Kacie Galarce, Jacqueline Kaskel, Lorenzo Larios, Biana Pinchuk, Wooldjina Present, Hope Sears and Shayna Singer, finalists; Christopher Alfonso, Lorenzo Larios, John Valencia and Katherine Zeda, encouragement awards; and Biana Pinchuk, best sophomore. Kacie Galarce and Wooldjina Present received Broadway bound awards.
“Congratulations to Sarah Johnson and the many other talented singers who participated in this year’s Schmidt Vocal Competition,” said Ben Smolder, director of the Schmidt Vocal Competition. “These students work hard to practice and prepare for the competition. We’re committed to helping them pursue their passion. The Schmidt Vocal Competition offers students the opportunity to perform in front of live audiences, receive invaluable instruction from world-renowned artists and professionals, and connect with mentors and experienced singers to explore a career in classical singing.”
About Schmidt Vocal Competition
The Schmidt Vocal Competition has impacted the lives of thousands of young students over the past two decades, offering awards, scholarship and educational experiences for more than 150 students annually. The Schmidt Vocal Competition is held annually in 16 locations throughout the U.S. in partnership with regional colleges and universities, and is open to sophomore, junior and senior high school singers. Competitors perform in front of a live audience in two rounds and participate in educational master classes with some of today’s most renowned professionals between the preliminary and final rounds.
Schmidt Competition participants have gone on to gain entrance into the world’s finest music schools and include winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the George London Competition, the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Competition, Classical Singer, and the National Opera Association Award. The Schmidt Vocal Competition is funded by the William E. Schmidt Foundation, which encourages aspiring young singers to pursue their passion in vocal arts and provides support and inspiration to future generations of singers.
Photo: From, left, Samantha Sosa, second place; Laura Santamaria-Mendez, third place, and Sarah Johnson, first place, show off their awards at the Schmidt Vocal Competition. Credit: LILA PHOTO