Contest Details

The Orpheus Vocal Competition will be held March 1-3, 2019, in the T. Earl Hinton Music Hall, Wright Music Building on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Contestants will be informed of their acceptance by January 16, 2019, and will receive information on area hotels, restaurants, and transportation to the contest site. Each contestant must provide his or her own lodging, transportation, and meals.

There are 3 categories in Orpheus:

  • Young Artist: for ages 25-30
  • Student: for ages 19-24
  • High School – students grades 10-12

About

Since 1996, the Middle Tennessee Choral Society has sponsored the Orpheus Vocal Competition. It exists to provide financial support and encouragement to singers up to age 30 from around the United States who are pursuing careers as Vocal artists. Orpheus is the only competition of its kind in the south central United States.

This year the Society will be awarding grand prizes of $3,000 for the Student winner and $5,000 for the Young Artist winner. Additional prizes will be awarded by individuals and corporations ranging from $300 to $2,500.  In addition, 1st and 2nd place winners in the High School division will also recieve cash awards. For a listing of prizes awarded in past Orpheus Competitions, visit the Awards page.

 

Note:  The Orpheus Vocal Competition will be held March 1-3, 2019

About

Since 1996, the Middle Tennessee Choral Society has sponsored the Orpheus Vocal Competition. It exists to provide financial support and encouragement to singers up to age 30 from around the United States who are pursuing careers as Vocal artists. Orpheus is the only competition of its kind in the south central United States.

This year the Society will be awarding grand prizes of $3,000 for the Student winner and $5,000 for the Young Artist winner. Additional prizes will be awarded by individuals and corporations ranging from $300 to $2,500.  In addition, 1st and 2nd place winners in the High School division will also receive cash awards. For a listing of prizes awarded in past Orpheus Competitions, visit the Awards page.

Note:  The Orpheus Vocal Competition will be held March 1-3, 2019

Please contact Raphael Bundage at (615) 898-2849 or (615) 898-2694, MTSU School of Music, for further assistance.


Requirements and Application

The Young Artist and Student Competition is open to any singer who has completed or is in the process of completing an accredited music education.
All High School Students may apply.

 

Repertoire Requirements:

– In the Young Artist category: 4 arias in varied styles and languages (one of the four from standard Oratorio*)

– In the Student category: 2 art songs in various styles and languages, and 1 operatic or standard Oratorio* aria.

-In the High School category: 1 Art song in English and one selection in Italian (from standard Italian aria repertoire suitable for this age category) All selections must be performed from memory.

*Your Oratorio selection does not have to be memorized.

 

All Performers

Student category ages 19-24 (by application deadline December 1st, 2018).

Young Artist category ages 25 to 30 (by application deadline December 1st, 2018).

High School student category grades 10-12.

All Applicants must completely fill out the online application by the deadline.

 

You will need the following materials ready in order to fill out the online application:

1.  Two recordings the from the applicant’s list of repertoire – ready for upload in 256 kbps or 320 kbps mp3 format.

2.  An updated Résumé in MS Word, pdf, or Open Office format. Young Artist and Student only.

3.  A current photo in digital format. (JPEG preferred)  Young Artist and Student only.

4.  Recommendation Letter.  High School only.

4.  A payment method (Paypal or Debit / Credit card) for the non-refundable application fee of $65  Young Artist and Student only.  High School application fee is $40.

Important:

• Only singers who are seriously pursuing careers as vocal artists need apply. Young Artist and Student only.

• Afternoon recital attire is standard.

Information regarding housing, transportation, and performance dress will be included with semi-finalist notification.


The application period for the 2019 Orpheus Competition is over.

Apply for the 2019 Orpheus Vocal Competition

Young Artist: for ages 25-30 & Student: for ages 19-24

This will take you to the online application for the Orpheus Competition.  There is a $65 application fee.  The application takes major credit cards as well as PayPal.

Apply for the 2019 Orpheus Vocal Competition

High School Students

Find more information on the High School Competition page. There is a $40 application fee.  The application takes major credit cards as well as PayPal.  Apply directly with link below:

Please contact Raphael Bundage at (615) 898-2849 or (615) 898-2694, MTSU School of Music, for further assistance.


Important Dates

December 1, 2018 Application Deadline

January 16, 2019
Announcement of selected applicants for the semi-finals

February 7, 2019
Confirmation due and accompanist fee due

Friday March 1, 2019 – 12pm-6:30pm
Registration and rehearsal for Young Artists and Student participants.  You will be assigned rehearsal times with your accompanist shortly after confirmation of your acceptance.

Saturday March 2 , 2019
Semi-final Auditions

High School Participants should arrive by 9am.

Sunday March 4, 2019
Final Competition – (open to the public)

High School Contest Dates : March 2nd, 2019

Accompanist

If requested on the application form, an accompanist will be provided by the competition for a fee of $75. Young Artist and Student only. Do not send the accompanist fee until you have been notified that you are a semi-finalist. Semi-finalists requesting accompanists must send clear copies of their competition performance pieces with their confirmation. Otherwise, each contestant must arrange for his or her own accompanist.

Copies of music must be sent for accompanists to Raphael Bundage at the address below:

Raphael Bundage
Orpheus Competition
MTSU SCHOOL OF MUSIC
P.O. Box 47 MTSU
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

GPS – Directions to competition site:

1439 Faulkinberry Drive,
Murfreesboro, TN 37130

Google map link here

Please enter from E. Main St. on the South side of the Campus
Call 615 898 2849 for further information or use our Contact Form.

Judges for the 2018 Orpheus Vocal Competition


John Kramar

East Carolina University

A native of Maryland, Mr. Kramar received his undergraduate degree in vocal performance, as well as performers’ certificates in both voice and opera from the Eastman School of Music where he was a student of Jan DeGaetani. He completed his graduate studies in opera at the Curtis Institute. His various awards and scholarships have included the first Helen Jepson Dellera Award from the Sarasota Opera, second prize in the prestigious Kneisel Lieder Competition, and two Apprentice Achievement Awards from the Santa Fe Opera. Mr. Kramar joined the voice faculty of East Carolina University School of Music in 1998, where he is an associate professor of voice, and also serves as chair of the Department of Vocal Studies, and director of the East Carolina University Opera Theater. From 2005 until 2008 he served as interim Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at ECU. He teaches voice and theater arts at the New York State Summer School of the Arts and is a member of the voice faculty of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts. Mr. Kramar was on the directing staff of the Chautauqua Opera from 2003 to 2008.

Tyler Nelson

Associate Professor of Voice – Blair School of Music

Tyler Nelson is one of America’s most promising young tenors. He already enjoys success in a wide variety of concert repertoire, with recent engagements including debuts with New Orleans Opera as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Dayton Opera as Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, the Utah Symphony & Opera as Le théière/ Le petit vieillard in L’enfant et les sortileges, Opera Naples as Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Opera Omaha as Trin in La fanciulla del West, Wide Open Opera in Ireland as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and in Handel’s Messiah with Augustana College, as well multiple performances with Le Festival Lyrique International de Belle-Île en Mer as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Ferrando in Così fan tutte and as the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C and Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore and Requiem.

Recent seasons have included debuts with Chicago Opera Theater in the role of Delfa for their production of Giasone, and a return for their production of Médée. Of his performance in Giasone, Mark Thomas Ketterson of Opera News commented: “Tyler Nelson was hilarious as a travesti Delfa, managing the passaggio of his tenor with notable skill and looking for all the world like Mollie Sugden’s Mrs. Slocombe on Are You Being Served?” Venus Zarris of Chicago Stage Review stated: “Tyler Nelson commits comic operatic highway robbery by embodying all that is hysterical about drag, as Delfa the maidservant to Medea, while simultaneously delivering some of the production’s most superb singing.”

Anna Young

Director of Education and Outreach| NASHVILLEOPERA.ORG

Anna Steenerson Young accepted the position of Director of Education and Outreach for Nashville Opera in 2015 and runs the prestigious Mary Ragland Emerging Artist Program. Numerous opera companies in the United States have produced Anna’s original youth opera: The Enchanted Forest (a choose-your-own adventure opera) and Nashville Opera premieres her second creation, Bear Hug/Abrazo de oso (a bilingual opera sung in both English and Spanish) during the 2019 education tour. Anna is the project manager for Nashville Opera’s All-Access Opera Education Program, a national initiative making opera performances accessible to children with special needs. Prior to this, she was the Assistant Director of Opera for the College of Charleston, a position she held following a successful career as a singer with opera companies across the United States. She was honored to create the role of ‘Emily’ in the world premiere of Ned Rorem’s opera Our Town for which she received glowing reviews in the National and International press, including The New York Times. She earned a Master of Music degree on full scholarship from the prestigious Jacob’s School of Music at Indiana University, and her Bachelor’s degree from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.