Past Competitions


2016 National Vocal Competition




Perform at Symphony Space on Broadway

Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 2:30PM




Perform at Symphony Space on Broadway

Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 2:30PM



Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 2:30PM

Symphony Space on Broadway



Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 8:00PM


Weill Recital Hall  



2016 National Vocal Competition  



"1st Place" Caitlin Chisham 
"2nd Place" Erich Schuett
"3rd Place" Amanda Swickle
"1st Alternate" Grace Hoffmann
"2nd Alternate" Nicole Minar

High School Division 

"1st Place" William Desbiens 
"2nd Place" Morgan Mastrangelo 
"3rd Place" Shereen Pimentel
"1st Alternate" Kerrigan Bigelow 
"2nd Alternate" Abigail Harnum 

Division I
"1st Place" Maria Brea
"2nd Place" Alex Boyd
"3rd Place" Meghan Anthony
"1st Alternate" Gabriella Moscoso
"2nd Alternate" Melisa Bonetti

Division II
"1st Place" Jonathan Tetelman
"2nd Place" Jennifer Noel
"3rd Place" Christine Capsuto
"1st Alternate" Holly Flack
"2nd Alternate" Danielle Davis





National Finalists  

(in alphabetical order)


Junior High division
Brand, Amy
Chisham, Caitlin
Hoffmann, Grace
Korman, Daisy
Malley, Cecilia
Schuett, Erich
Swickle, Amanda
Takacs, Christin
Alt. 1: Sara Zerilli
Alt. 2: Nicole Minar
High School Division 
Cooney, Carlyle
Desbiens, William
Mantilla, Adriana
Mastrangelo, Morgan
Mellman, Rachel
Pimentel, Shereen
Scott, Isabelle
Wenzelberg, Benjamin
Alt. 1: Kerrigan Bigelow
Alt. 2: Abigail Harnum

Division I
Meghan Anthony
Alex Boyd
Maria Brea Moeller
Melisa Bonetti
Shin Hyun
Min Jee Kim
Gabriella Moscoso
Samantha Scully
Alt. 1: Carolyn Aguirre
Alt. 2: Lieve Buzard




NATIONAL FINALIST JUDGES (in alphabetical order)  



Native of Korea, Saffron Y, Chung considers New York City her home.  She received her Bachelors of Music from Oberlin College, where she was the first recipient of a double major in Piano Performance and Vocal Accompanying. She also has Master’s of Music in Accompanying from University of Cincinnati, College- Conservatory of Music.  She has been an assistant conductor of opera companies such as Chautauqua Opera, El Paso Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Madison Opera, New York City Opera, Sarasota Opera, and Utah Festival Opera Company, under the baton of Harry Bickett, Richard Buckley, Barbara Day-Turner, Victor De Renzi, John DeMain, Raymond Harvey, Kynan Johns, David Larsen, Robert Lyall, Stewart Robertson, Luis Salemno, Steven Sloane, Bob Tweeten, and Steven White.  She is not a stranger to the world of academia and education.  She is a former Adjunct Faculty in Accompanying at William Paterson State University, and a former staff accompanist at Harlem Boys Choir, Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and Mannes School of Music.  She led a workshop of Brahms lieder for the voice department at Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts.  Her recent performance was in Paris, France, where she was a guest artist for the Atelier Concert Series.  She currently resides in New York City where she works as coach/accompanist in Metropolitan area.  



David Commanday is the founding Artistic Director and Conductor of the Heartland Festival Orchestra. In 2011, Commanday was named Professional Conductor of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras. He has performed with illustrious soloists as both cellist and conductor; among them Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Josh Bell, and Jason Vieaux. His earlier posts include Associate Conductor of the NJ Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director of the Boston Ballet, Boston Youth Symphony, and Peoria Symphony Orchestras. Active as guest conductor, he has recently directed the Southwest Florida Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, and the Singapore National Youth Orchestra. Commanday has conducted orchestras around the world, including the National Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, American Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Belgian Radio Orchestra, Vienna Pro Arte Orchestra, and the Seattle, Atlanta, and Richmond Symphonies, Ballet West (Salt Lake City, UT), and the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago.



Richard Cordova made his professional debut conducting the Scandinavian Premiere of Bernstein's Candide in Bergen, Norway, and has subsequently conducted productions for Oper der Stadt Bonn, Opera North (New Hampshire), Sarasota Opera, Opera Company of Boston, Long Beach Opera, Berkshire Opera, Florida Grand Opera and Baltimore Opera. He has collaborated with such artists as Martina Arroyo, Frederica von Stade, Renato Bruson, Florence Quivar and Julia Migenes, and has worked in this capacity for such organizations as the Istanbul Opera, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Tulsa Opera, New Orleans Opera, New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Dallas Opera, Chautauqua Opera, the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and Des Moines Metro Opera.  For the past twenty years he has toured internationally with various productions of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, conducting the work on four continents.  He was recently appointed Music Director of The Little Opera Theatre of New York, for whom he conducted the New York stage premiere of Mozart's early opera seria, Mitridate, re di Ponto, and the Gustav Holst double bill of The Wandering Scholar and Savitri. He recently conducted Porgy and Bess with the European National Tour in addition to conducting 10 Opera Premiere under the direction of the most famous opera composer alive today, Carlisle Floyd.



Renowned American operatic soprano Patricia Craig made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1978 as Marenka in The Bartered Bride, and has performed leading roles in Madame Butterfly, Dialogues of the Carmelites, La bohème and Mahagonny. Her performing career spans over three decades of major roles in the world's leading opera houses, specializing in Puccini and Verdi heroines. Credits include performances with the New York City Opera; Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Italy; the Festival of Two Worlds in both Spoleto, Italy, and Charleston, South Carolina; L'Opera de Marseilles; Frankfurt Opera, Frankfurt, Germany; and the companies of Cincinnati, Miami, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. A faculty member of the New England Conservatory from 1990 to 2009, Craig also teaches at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, the Chautauqua Institution and the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute. She received a B.S. from Ithaca College, pursued postgraduate studies in opera at the Manhattan School of Music, and gained her first critical vocal acclaim as a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.



Andrea DelGiudice celebrates a full career in Europe and the United States as a leading international soprano. Theaters include the Scottish National Opera, Munich State Opera, Liege Opera, Bonn Opera, Edmonton Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, DiCapo Opera Theater and Arizona Opera. Her roles include the leading heroines in the Verdi and Puccini operas singing with renowned artists Johan Botha, Sherrill Milnes, Greer Grimsley, Rene Kollo, Alexei Steblianko, Vladimir Atlantov and Nicola Martinucci. Ms. DelGiudice performed and recorded at Boston’s Jordan Hall, and WGBH's “Morning Classics” with Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs, and the beautiful song series Shema by Simon Sargon. She serves currently as director of music at the Neighborhood Playhouse Theater in New York City and enjoys her highly successful private studio working with her internationally acclaimed students.



Ronald Hedlund made his professional debut in 1965 and Metropolitan Opera debut in 1966. He has earned accolades singing leading roles in every major American Opera House (NYC, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, St. Louis, Miami, Vancouver, among others), and U.S. Festivals in Aspen, Santa Fe, and Lake George. International festival and recital appearances include Canada, Spoleto (Italy), Austria (Vienna, Salzburg, & Eisenstadt), Hungary, Scotland, Mexico City. Listed in “Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s who in Entertainment”, his repertoire includes more than 70 opera roles and over 30 orchestral, oratorio and chamber works.  He has premiered numerous 20th century operas and song cycles by noted composers Samuel Barber, Benjamin Britten, and Thomas PasatieriWhile teaching at the University of Illinois, he remained an active performer appearing with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Carnegie Hall, Chicago Opera Theatre, Dayton and Michigan Operas, Vancouver Opera. Washington (DC) Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Klassiches Musik Festival in Vienna and Eisenstadt, Austria.



Elizabeth Heuermann was appointed General/Artistic Director in June 2011. Since then, she has made it her mission to keep opera vibrant and relevant in this New Millennium not only in the New York area but on a global level. With the NY Lyric, she has produced over 250 performances to sold-out audiences at locations such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, National Opera Center, Symphony Space Theatre on Broadway, and DiMenna Center for the Performing Arts. Under her leadership, she has developed NY Lyric’s Annual National Vocal Competition to award excellence in music and opera. Singers ages 10-35 (four age categories) compete across the country to perform at Carnegie Hall and Symphony Space on Broadway and for thousands of dollars in cash prizes. In addition, she has created the Summer Program, where singers from all over the world participate in performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the National Opera Center. She is currently coordinating with regional opera companies/orchestras, high schools & colleges, and choruses throughout North America, which is the first phase of NY Lyric’s N. American tour. As a performer, her recent Carnegie Hall credits include Gilda (Rigoletto), Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), the Title Role in Manon, Juliette (Roméo et Juliette), Musetta (La Bohème) and Adele (Die Fledermaus), Contessa Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro). Other performances: Juliette in Roméo et Juliette (NY Arena in Times Square), Title Role in Rusalka (AIMS Festival in Graz, Austria), Title Role in Manon (NYC’s prestigious 92nd Street Y), Lisa in Das Land des Lächelns (AIMS Festival in Graz, Austria). Musetta in La Bohème (Symphony Space on Broadway, Apollo Theatre, Kaliope Opera of Long Island), Gilda in Rigoletto (Austin Lyric Opera, Opera Illinois, Symphony Space), Soloist in St. John’s Passion (St. Paul’s Orchestra), Norina in Don Pasquale (Milwaukee Opera), Gretel in Hansel and Gretel (Opera Illinois), and Contessa Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro (Apollo Theatre).



Argentinean conductor, Jorge Parodi has worked at the Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires), Buenos Aires Lírica, Volgograd Opera (Russia), The Banff Centre (Canada), Encuentros Internacionales de Opera (Mexico), Opera Tampa, Connecticut Grand Opera, Lake George Opera Festival, Hofstra University and New York University. He has collaborated with such artists as Sherrill Milnes, Tito Capobianco, Gerald Finley, Isabel Leonard, and Rufus Wainwright; and he has assisted conductors of the caliber of Julius Rudel and Lorin Maazel. Jorge Parodi is the Music Director of the Senior Opera Theater at the Manhattan School of Music, where he has conducted its productions to critical acclaim; and he is also the Artistic Director of Opera Hispánica. Reviewed as having “the most expressive conducting hands since Stokowski’s,” (New York Daily News), he has performed with such artists as Eglise Gutiérrez and Metropolitan Opera star, Isabel Leonard at the at the inaugural Opera Hispánica Festival. Mr. Parodi has been a faculty member at The Juilliard School for over a decade and is Vocal Coach of the premier Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division. He spends his summers as a faculty member of Artescenica (Mexico), and of VOICExperience, a vocal workshop under the direction of Sherrill Milnes. He has offered master classes at the Teatro Colón, Manhattan School of Music (as co-teacher with opera legend Martina Arroyo), and the Escuela Superior de Canto de Madrid.



Peter Randsman has managed artists that include: Deborah Voigt, Allan Glassman, Brian Montgomery, Stephen Powell, Delores Ziegler, David Malis, Cheryl Parrish. Native of Long Island, New York.  He has performed Billy Bigelow (Carousel), Tommy (Brigadoon), Dr. Einstein (Arsenic and Old Lace), Clifford Bradshaw (Cabaret), Charley (Charley’s Aunt), Dick (Dames at Sea) and Gabey (On the Town). He was chosen as the “Burger King boy” in a series of commercials, which would air on national television for several years, and was featured as Minolta’s “Camera Boy” in dozens of national magazines.  He spent several days filming Brighton Beach with Ruth Gordon and Lee Strassburg. He participated in several national tours performing both operetta and Gilbert & Sullivan. Appearing on Broadway, he both sang and danced LizaLiza with film legend, Ruby Keeler at a tribute to the Ziegfeld Follies.  Shortly after, he joined the New York City Opera chorus, and for the next three years appeared in many Lincoln Center productions and several national tours.  He sang in a LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER telecast in scenes from Mefistofele with Samuel Ramey, conducted by Julius Rudel, and the great Triumphal Scene from Verdi’s Aida under the direction of Anton Guadagno.   After nearly fifteen years as a professional singer /actor, he has fulfilled two life-long dreams by being appointed artistic director of an opera company (National Grand Opera, at The Tillis Center for the Performing Arts at C.W. Post Campus in Long Island) and by starting his own company, Randsman Artists Management. 



Artistic Director of Orchestra Miami, Elaine Rinaldi is fast making her mark among the ranks of rising young American conductors.  Lawrence A. Johnson of The Miami Herald writes, “the orchestra’s playing was consistently energized, polished and responsive…showing some of the fire and excitement of the [former Florida] Philharmonic on its best nights”. Critic Lawrence Budmen wrote, “Rinaldi showed real affinity for Gershwin’s bluesy brand of Americana, and drew supple playing from the hard-working orchestra…” With Orchestra Miami, she has collaborated with international opera stars such as Mark Rucker, Eglise Gutierrez, Eduardo Villa, Indra Thomas, and Gregory Schmidt.  She has conducted La Traviata with Teatro Lirico Europa, Schumann’s 4th Symphony and Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 with Vidin Philharmonia (Bulgaria).  In addition, she has conducted La Perichole, Rigoletto, L’elisir d’amore & Street Scene with DiCapo Opera in NYC, L’elisir d’amore and Die Fledermaus with the National Lyric Opera Tour, L’elisir d’amore and Dido & Aeneas with the Albany Symphony, as well as Amahl & the Night Visitors with Opera Company of Brooklyn.  Additional companies include: Florida Grand Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Birmingham, Utah Opera Festival, Palm Beach Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Festival of New Jersey, and Valley Lyric Opera. Former music staff of University of Miami.



Pianist/Conductor, Michael Sheetz serves as Music Associate at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, where he conducts the choirs for the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space concert series and for its liturgical music program. A recording of his playing with the St. Ignatius Children’s Choirs was regarded as “consistently excellent” by the American Record Guide Review. He is the Assistant Conductor of the Fairfield County Chorale, and Assistant Music Director of Musica Sacra, and through this organization he assists Music Director Kent Tritle in performances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. He has collaborated with the New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s and New York City Ballet, and released a recording on the AMR label, “Eternal Reflections: The Choral Music of Robert Paterson.” He made his Musica Sacra conducting debut in 2014 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine with Judith Lang Zaimont’s Parable: A Tale of Abram and Isaac. He is on the faculty of the Berkshire Choral Festival, the United Nations International School, and La Lingua della Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy. He has served as a Teaching Fellow at The Juilliard School and as a vocal coach and accompanist at Manhattan School of Music, as well as Assistant Choral Director at the New York Philharmonic, Lincoln Center Festival, and Weill Music Institute. He has performed live broadcasts on WQXR and Vermont Public Radio, and in concert at Weill Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and The Kennedy Center. He has worked with the Oratorio Society of New York, Voices of Ascension, New York Choral Consortium, Aspen Opera Theatre Center, Middlebury Opera, and the College Light Opera Company.



César Ulloa has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, NY City Opera, Washington Opera, Canadian Opera, L’Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony and Cleveland Symphony, among numerous others. An international recognized teacher whose students perform regularly at the major operatic and concert stages of the world, Mr. Ulloa presently the Chair of the Voice Department at San Francisco Conservatory of Music and also holds the position of master teacher at the renowned Adler and Merola opera programs of the San Francisco Opera.   In 2014, he was awarded the Sarlo Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, an award that has never been given to any voice teacher in the history of the conservatory.   He has been on the voice faculty at the University of Montreal, as visiting professor of voice, Palm Beach Atlantic University, New World School of the Arts, as well as holding the position for several years as master teacher at several young artist programs including, Los Angeles Opera, Montreal Opera, Palm Beach Opera and IVAI/International Vocal Arts Institute for ten years.  He has also been on the teaching staff for the eighteen years at SIVAM, Mexico’s most prominent young artist program.  His students appear in virtually every major young artist program including, Merola, Santa Fe, Glimmerglass, Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia, Minnesota, Domingo-Thornton, MET Lindemann, Wolftrap and Domigo-Cafritz, among others.  His students have been First Prize winners in numerous competitions including Operalia, Monseratt Caballé, Loren Zachary, George London, Iturbi, Veronica Dunne, Richard Tucker and most recently finalist in the 2013 Cardiff Singer of the World, and most recently two of his students were winners in the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.





(in alphabetical order)


Junior High division
Archbold, Sheridan (Midwestern)
Brand, Liraz (Northern)
Chisham, Caitlin (Midwestern)
Fletcher, Abby (Southern)
Hennessey, Erin (Northern)
Hoffman, Grace (Northern)
Korman, Daisy (Northern)
Malley, Celilia (Southern)
Minar, Nicole (Northern)
Perl, Alexandra (Northern)
Schuett, Erich (Northern)
Sivieri, Sara (Northern)
Sturgeon, Kimi (Northern)
Swickle, Amanda (Northern)
Takacs, Gabrielle (Northern)
Tierney, Kirsten (Northern)
Yochim, Olivia (Western)
Zerilli, Sara (Northern)
**Junior High National Finalists & 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Place winners 
will be announced later in the week.
High School Division 
Bennett, Allyson (Northern)
Berkman, Golda (Western)
Bigelow, Kerrigan (Northern)
Briffault, Jonathan (Northern)
Churchill, Annika (Midwestern)
Cooney, Carlyle (Northern)
Crevani, Amalia (Northern)
Desbiens, William (Northern)
Feder, Jaime (Northern)
Fernandez, Laura (Southern)
Fleiss, Sarah (Northern)
Harnum, Abigayle (Northern)
Hryniszak, Kristy (Northern)
Kraack, Lillian (Southern)
Li, Matthew (Northern)
Mantilla, Adriana (Southern)
Mastrangelo, Morgan (Northern)
Mayo, Isabella (Northern)
Mellman, Rachel (Western)
Oceguera, Ana (Southern)
Orengo, Melinda (Northern)
Pimentel, Shereen (Northern)
Robinson, Catherine (Northern)
Rogers, Emma (Northern)
Scott, Isabelle (Southern)
Smith, Kayla (Northern)
Wenzelberg, Benjamin (Northern)
Yuhas, Audrey (Northern)
Zhang, Ruobing (Northern)

**High School National Finalists & 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Place winners 
will be announced later in the week.

Division I
Aguirre, Carolyn (Northern)
Almonte, Mario (Southern)
Anthony, Meghan (Northern)
Balter, Jamie (Southern)
Bonetti, Melisa (Midwestern)
Boyd, Alex (Northern)
Brabec, Maureen (Northern)
Contreras, Josaphat (Midwestern)
Corrales, Caroline (Midwestern) 
Darmahkasih, Fidelia (Midwestern)
Ferrara, Teresa (Northern)
Hamington, Rosemary (Midwestern)
Hendren, Lieve (Northern)
Hoard, Elizabeth (Midwestern)
Jordheim, Alisa (Northern)
Kim, Min Jee (Northern)
Kucine, Sydney (Western)
Marsh, Amber (Western)
Merz, Callie (Northern)
Mion, Allison (Northern)
Moeller, Maria (Northern)
Moscoso, Gabriella (Northern)
Rathbun, Lauren (Northern)
Rice, Mary (Northern)
Rossiter, Katherine (Northern)
Scully, Samantha (Northern)
Shin, Hyun (Northern)
Simmons, Marissa (Northern)
Sorenson, Emma (Northern)
Steinberg, Nicole (Southern)
Yeung, Paulina (Midwestern)
Division II
Barrera, Megan (Northern)
Belonni, Jorge-Philippe (Midwestern)
Browning, Christine (Northern)
Byerly, Daniel (Northern)
Caldwell, Anna (Northern)
Capsuto, Christine (Western)
Colvin, Cristin (Northern)
Davis, Danielle (Midwestern)
Duika, Jason (Southern)
Flack, Holly (Northern)
Gartner, Magda (Northern)
Gill, Annie (Midwestern)
Gunther, Thomas (Midwestern)
Hayford, Kofi (Northern)
Herman, Allyson (Northern)
Jerinic, Alexandra (Western)
Jordheim, Alisa (Northern)
Kang, Sujin (Northern)
Kim, Chae Seon (Northern)
Kim, Jungyong (Northern)
Knott, Sarah (Northern)
Moulton, Sarah (Northern)
Neill, Carley (Western)
Noel, Jennifer (Northern)
Ortega, Gerard (Southern)
Patrick, Paige (Western)
Schmid, Samantha (Northern)
Smeltzer, Rebekah (Southern)
Tetelman, Jonathan (Northern)
Williams, Erica (Southern)
Yinji, Shim (Midwestern)
Zhu, Chunlin (Northern)