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 should sing two selections. Both selections should be from the concert, lieder, opera, art song or standard musical theatre repertoire (for musical theatre: legit, mix and belt styles are all acceptable, but must be from musical theatre literature, not rock or pop music.) 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.

2021 Competition

The Dolven Awards competition can't be held in spring 2021 due to continuing COVID-19 concerns. Check back in early 2022, when we hope to host the competition again.

2020 Competition

The Dolven Award competition scheduled for Saturday, March 14, 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

2019 Results

The 2019 competition was held at New Covenant Presbyterian Church, 916 Western Avenue, Albany, on Saturday, March 23, 2019. The judges this year were Dr. Susan Boddie and Dr. Rick Porterfield.

  • The winner of the Novice Division was Maggy Seebode.
  • The winner of the Intermediate Division was Rebecca Farrell.
  • There was no winner of the Advanced Division this year.
  • The Misenheimer Award was presented to Zachary Simpson.

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