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Vocal Awards

Joel Dolven & Joy. B. Misenhimer Awards

One of the Mendelssohn Club's main contributions to furthering vocal music is the annual vocal award competition, named for the late Joel Dolven, who conducted the Mendelssohn Club from 1952-1967. Each year, the Club provides cash awards to young male and female vocalists to encourage their study.

Past Winners

Award Categories

The Club offers up to four awards, one in each of three categories: Novice Division, for students aged 16 through 18; Intermediate Division, for students aged 19 through 22; Advanced Division, for students aged 23 through 29; plus the Joy B. Misenhimer Encouragement Award, open to any student in the competition who demonstrates outstanding singing potential. Award winners also receive two tickets to our Spring Concert, where they are recognized and their awards handed out. In addition to the awards, students gain valuable experience through participation in the audition recital. Some past winners have even appeared as soloists with the Club.

Competition Format

Contestants sing two selections. One of the selections should be from the concert, lieder, opera, or art song repertory. There is no language or memorization requirement, although memorization is strongly recommended. Contestants are encouraged to invite guests to attend the audition.

The Club hires two judges who are professional musicians and have extensive experience in the evaluation of vocal skill and musicianship.

This Year's Competition

This year's competition will take place at New Covenant Presbyterian Church, 916 Western Avenue, Albany, NY on Saturday April 1, 2017 (no fooling!) at 9 AM.

Applications may be submitted either by email (as text within the body of the email, please) or by postal mail. For enquiries, email . The application has further contact information.

2016 Results

The 2016 competition was held at New Covenant Presbyterian Church, 916 Western Avenue, Albany, on Saturday, April 2, 2016. There were ten singers in the Novice division, eight in the Intermediate division, and three in the Advanced division. The judges this year were Alexina Jones and Kevin Kees.

The winner of the Novice Division was Marissa Scotti of Slingerlands, a student of Corine Salon. Marissa sang De los álamos vengo, madre by Joaquìn Rodrigo and In the Silence of the Night by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

The winner of the Intermediate Division was Monica Enright at the College of St. Rose and a student of Lucille Beer. Monica sang Una voce poco fa by Gioachino Rossini and A Lucky Child by Jake Heggie.

The winner of the Advanced Division was Rocky Sellers of Clifton Park, a student of Jason Stearns & Mark Oswald. Rocky sang Ol' Man River by Kerns & Hammerstein and La calunnia by Gioachino Rossini.

The winner of the Misenhimer Encouragement Award was Alec Hicks of East Greenbush, a student of Susan Harwood at the College of St. Rose. Alec sang Ch'io mai vi possa by G. F. Handel and Waldesgespräch by Robert Schumann.

Visit our past winners page to see the results of earlier competitions.