Community over contest: BYU Young Artists of Voice competition

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Holly Duerichen performs “The Apple Orchard” by Lori Laitman at the BYU Young Artists of Voice competition. The competition is an annual event hosted by the BYU School of Music. (Chloe Peterson)

BYU music students showcased their voices in the Young Artists of Voice competition at the BYU School of Music from Jan. 23 to Jan. 27.

The Young Artists of Voice competition is an annual event where students in the classical voice division compete for the Singer of the Year Award.

Each year, the top 25 students from the previous semester’s final vocal juries are invited to participate in three rounds of competition for the winning title and monetary prize.

“Tuesday night was probably the strongest first round I have seen since coming to BYU. The competition is really tough,” Jennifer Youngs, a BYU School of Music faculty member, said. “But we’re trying to instill at BYU that you can be competitive and still be a really great colleague.”

Youngs judged the first two rounds, along with other BYU School of Music faculty members. The final round was judged by professionals outside of BYU.

The competitors prepared multiple songs from their repertoire, showcasing what they have been working on during their time at BYU. Among them were pieces from Puccini’s “La bohème” and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.”

Mckenzie Mulberry performs “An die Nacht” by Richard Strauss. She was accompanied by Molly Smith on the piano. (Chloe Peterson)

The musical pieces were performed in a variety of languages, including French, Italian, German and English. The performances ranged in emotion, from scenes of anger and heartache to scenes of lovesickness and joy.

One competitor, Rachael Anderton, who is in her final semester of a masters degree in music performance, shared how important it is to feel supported by her fellow students.

“Singing for your peers is always scarier than singing for random people,” Anderton said. “It gives us a good opportunity to perform under pressure, but also in a place where we know there’s a lot of support. The music school fosters a lot of camaraderie instead of cutthroat-ness.”

Fellow competitors illustrated Anderton’s point, running over to congratulate her after her performance.

“I feel like this is one of the times that I get to hear my peers in the music classes at their best, and it’s also just fun to perform,” Mckenzie Mulberry, a BYU senior in the vocal performance major, said.

The event was open to the public and many students had friends and family in attendance, cheering them on.

Upcoming events and performances from the BYU School of Music can be found on their website.

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