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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.

Next Year's Competition

Information about the next competition will be posted here in January of 2018.

2017 Results

The 2017 competition was held at New Covenant Presbyterian Church, 916 Western Avenue, Albany, on Saturday, April 1, 2017. There were ten singers in the Novice division, three in the Intermediate division, and four in the Advanced division. The judges this year were again Alexina Jones and Kevin Kees.

The winner of the Novice Division was, for the 2nd time in a row, Marissa Scotti of Slingerlands, a student of Corine Salon and Rae Jean Teeter. Marissa sang Widmung by Robert Schumann and Laurie's Song by Aaron Copland.

The winner of the Intermediate Division was, also for the 2nd time in a row, Monica Enright at the College of St. Rose and a student of Susan Boddie. Monica sang Si mes vers avaient des ailes by Reynaldo Hahn and Chi sà, chi sà, qual sia by W. A. Mozart.

The winner of the Advanced Division was Savannah Gordon of Clifton Park, a student of Frances Wittman Savannah sang Deh vieni non tardar by W. A. Mozart and Er, der Herrlichste von Allen by Robert Schumann.

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