Prelude … CAM’s Monthly Newsletter November 2016

Dec 11, 2016 | Posted by | 0 comments

The 2016 Heida Hermanns International Voice Competition Helps Launch the Careers of Six Finalists

Of the record-breaking 63 applications received, our Preliminary Judges had the challenging task of winnowing the list down to 16 contestants to participate in the Heida Semi-Finals on Saturday, November 5th.  Our distinguished panel of judges – John Macurdy, Patricia Schuman and Martha Sharp – watched and listened intently as these 16 extremely talented singers from around the country each performed an approved repertoire.  After careful deliberation, six vocalists were chosen to return for the Finals the next day to present a mini-recital before the judges and a ticketed audience.  After thoughtful consideration, while the audience attended a reception, the judges returned to present prizes to the following recipients:

First Prize – Bryan Murray, Baritone ($5,000 cash prize)

Second Prize – Cody Quattlebaum, Bass-Baritone ($2,500 cash prize)

Third Prize – Zaray Rodriguez, Mezzo-Soprano ($1,500 cash prize)

Honorable Mention Prizes (3) – Sandra Hamaoui, Soprano; Jennifer Russo, Soprano and Karolina Wojteczko, Mezzo-Soprano ($500 cash prizes)

In an unusual  gesture, the judges also gave a precedent-setting Judges’ Encouragement Award to  Elijah McCormack, Male-Soprano, acknowledging his extraordinary talent and to encourage his continued artistic development.  You can watch the Finalists perform HERE.

CAM Honorary Member and Advisor, Gayle Martin, has Released a New CD and Heida Winner Josh Wright performs with Great Falls Symphony

Pianist Gayle Martin’s new CD, “To Keep the Dark Away”, is out and garnering amazing reviews!  Gayle and Composer Judith Shatin were recently interviewed by Colin Clarke in Fanfare Magazine. To quote Gayle, “This interview is so thoughtful.  The incredible composer Judith Shatin and I were both intrigued by his probing questions.  We think he captured the essence of this recording … Music that spans the ages and is ALIVE!!!”  Read the article in its entirety HERE. Josh Wright, 2013 Heida co-First Prize winner, recently performed Liszt’s diabolic Totentanz with the Great Falls Symphony to the acclaim of a standing audience.  You can watch his performance on YouTube.

What Some of The Heida Competitors Had to Say About Their Experience

“I am very grateful to have been selected among such talented colleagues for the finals.”

“Everyone involved in the competition was incredibly kind and supportive, and it was really the best competition I have had the pleasure to take part in.”

“Thank you for this experience.”

“Thank you very much for your hospitality and for your consideration.”

“I am elated to be one of the winners.  I had such a wonderful experience and I thank you for the opportunity.  And especially to my hosts Gary and Marjie Katz.  They treated me like family, and made me feel so at home. It truly makes a difference for us singers who travel so much!”


November 22, 2016

After going to press with prelude last week, we realized that there were a few errors, a couple of typos and some major omissions.  Our apologies. A sincere thank you to … CAM’s Artistic Director, Wendy Morgan-Hunter for lining up such talented judges and making the Competition a stellar event.  We could not have done it without her.  And to Pat Durner, CAM’s go-to gal for just about everything; Anneruth Serman, who made sure out-of-town contestants had shelter and everyone was well fed; Steve Sharp for providing the judges and staff with a fabulous lunch and to all of the other Board members and volunteers who assisted in making the weekend a success. To our hosts – Marjie and Gary Katz, Roe and Chuck Halper, Kurt Rosenfeld, Steve and Julie Sharp and Wendy and Jeff Hunter – who opened up their homes for rehearsals, contestants and accompanists. And our prize donors – The Artur and Heida Hermanns Holde Bequest, Roger and Nancy Sachs, Marion and Joe Wertheim, John and Cindy Vaccaro, Friedman & Friedman Agency, Inc. and Doris Goltzer – we are deeply grateful for your continued support of CAM’s mission to champion young musicians and the live performance of fine music. A heartfelt thank you to one and all.

November 2016

Dear Members and Friends of CAM,

It says a lot when Competition competitors think of sending notes of appreciation to us, especially when they did not win one of the top prizes.  It also says a lot about our hosts and I want to take this opportunity to personally thank all of our hosts and the volunteers who gave above and beyond!  It showed!  And to all our members and friends – you have given six young emerging artists the opportunity to take one step closer to a successful career on the concert, opera, recital and theater stages.   We are going to keep you informed of advances they make professionally and you will be very proud of the support that you gave them when.  This is CAM’s mission and it could not be done without your encouragement and support.

As always, thanks for your continued interest and support,


Barry Persky, President

Connecticut Alliance for Music, Inc


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