The 2021 Orpheus Vocal Competition.


Final Competition Presented March 7th
3PM (Central)  


(Alphabetical Order)

Gabrielle Barkidjija, (Mezzo Soprano) “Am I in Your Light?” Adams
Blake Denson (Baritone) “È sogno? O realtà” Verdi
Allison Fahey (Mezzo Soprano) “Mon cœur s’ovre a ta voix, Saint-Saëns
Caleb Killingsworth (Counter Tenor) “Soumis au Silence” Gluck
Solène Le Van (Soprano) “Una voce poco fa” Rossini
Ellen Robertson (Soprano) “Ach, ich fühl’s” Mozart
Olivia Schurke (Mezzo Soprano) “La Chevelure” by Debussy


(Alphabetical Order)

Danielle Beckvermit (Soprano) “Ernani, Ernani, involami” Verdi
Eric Delagrange (Bass) “Son lo spirito” Boito
Véronique Filloux (Soprano) “Se giunge un dispetto” Handel
Mariya Kaganskaya (Mezzo Soprano) “Smanie implacabili” Mozart
Jacqueline Piccolino (Soprano) “Ó marno te je” Dvořák
Alexandra Razskazoff (Soprano) “Ah! Je ris de me voir” Gounod

Please contact Raphael Bundage at (615) 898-2849 or (615) 898-2694, MTSU School of Music, with any questions.

Contest Details

The Orpheus Vocal Competition finals will be aired March 7th 2021 at 3pm on and  Contestants will be informed of their acceptance by February 15th, 2021.

There are 2 categories in Orpheus:

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


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. 


Note:  The Orpheus Vocal Competition finals will be held March 7th, 2021.

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.

Student category ages 19-24 (by application deadline January 8th, 2021).

Young Artist category ages 25 to 30 (by application deadline January 8th, 2021).

In the application, you will need to submit a link to your audition video in .mp4 format in recital attire. 
Please host the video on YouTube if possible.  Please note that your video will be used for all rounds of the competition.

Repertoire Requirements:

– In the Young Artist category: 2 arias.

– In the Student category: 1 aria and 1 art song.

Important Dates

  • Application deadline January 8th, 2021.

  • Semi-finalists announced February 1st, 2021.

  • Finalists announced February 15th, 2021.

  • Final competition presented online March 7th at 3pm on and

Please note that your original video submission will be used at all levels of the competition.

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

 We will adhere to all COVID recommendations and restrictions during the competition

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

1.  Two recordings from your repertoire ready for upload in 256 kbps or 320 kbps mp3 format.

2. A link to your audition video in recital attire.  A video hosted on YouTube if possible.

3.  An updated Résumé in MS Word, pdf, or Open Office format. 

4.  A payment method (Paypal or Debit / Credit card) for the non-refundable application fee of $75  


• Only singers who are seriously pursuing careers as vocal artists need apply. 

• Afternoon recital attire is standard.

Judges for the 2021 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.

Ted D. Wylie

Belmont University School of Music

Dr. Wylie is Professor of Music and Coordinator of International Studies in Music at the Belmont University School of Music. He teaches studio voice, vocal diction, opera literature and graduate song literature. He received his Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Indiana University and his Bachelor of Music w/Honors from Oklahoma Baptist University. He was a student of Eileen Farrell at Indiana University and has had further study with Carol Smith-Zanforlin (Zurich), Paul Matthen, Walter Bricht, Frank St. Leger, Edwin McArthur and Margaret Harshaw.

Dr. Wylie’s coordination of the International Studies Program has resulted in study opportunities for students at the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow, the St. Petersburg Conservatory, the Hochschule fuer Musik in Dresden, Germany, Conservatory of Angers, Angers, France and the Center for Music Studies in Florence, Italy.

Dr. Wylie has performed with the Indianapolis Opera, the New Orleans Opera, Gulf Coast Opera, the Nashville Opera, Tennessee Opera Theater, the Nashville Symphony, the New Orleans Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Oklahoma City Symphony, Symphony Ecoutez of New Orleans and several European venues. Among his roles are Max (Der Freischuetz), Manrico (Il Trovatore), Des Grieux (Manon Lescaut), Pinkerton (Madam Butterfly), Dick Johnson (La Fanciulla del West), Tamino (Die Zauberfloete) as well as numerous comprimario roles.

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.