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Singers take top honors at regional competition

Two voice students from the UT Department of Music won first prizes at the Great Lakes Regional Auditions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing held at Youngstown State University in early March.

Barbara Rondelli Perry posed for a photo with her students Sam Mason, left, and Dusty Selman.

Barbara Rondelli Perry posed for a photo with her students Sam Mason, left, and Dusty Selman, who took first place honors in their respective categories at the Great Lakes Regional Auditions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Sam Mason, tenor, and Dusty Selman, baritone, were both first-place winners in their respective categories. Mason also received the Jon Vickers Award as the most promising student in first- and second-year undergraduate studies. The honor is named after one of the great Canadian opera tenors.

At the competition, Mason sang “En fermant les yeux” from Jules Massenet’s opera, “Manon,” Samuel Barber’s “Sure on This Shining Night,” and “Heavenly Grass” from Paul Bowles’ “The Blue Mountain Ballads.”

Selman sang “Cangiò d’ aspetto” from Handel’s “Admeto,” “Im wunderschönen Monat Mai” from Robert Schumann’s “Dichterliebe,” and Roger Quilter’s “Go, Lovely Rose.”

Mason and Selman study with Barbara Rondelli Perry, UT professor of music. Robert Ballinger, UT lecturer in music, served as the coach/accompanist for the five UT students who participated in the competition.

“The University wants to be known for excellent programs regionally, nationally and internationally,” Rondelli Perry said. “Sam and Dusty certainly placed the University’s voice program at the top of the list in their categories for this region that consists of three states and a Canadian province.”

The Great Lakes Region includes contestants from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Ontario, Canada, from colleges, universities and individual professional voice teachers.

There were seven contestants in Mason’s category, and eight in Selman’s category.

Mason is a freshman studying vocal music education. He started his music education at Owens Community College under the direction of UT Music Department alumna Jodi Jobuck. After two years of study at Owens, Mason transferred to The University of Toledo, where he began studying with Rondelli Perry. He was the first student ever to perform a recital at Owens Community College and is also a recipient of the Dorothy MacKenzie Price Music Scholarship.

Selman is a junior majoring in music education. A native of Iowa, he went to Iowa State University, where he studied voice under the direction of James Tener. During his second year of study, he transferred to Northwest Missouri State University and studied voice with Dr. Stephen Town. Since arriving at UT in 2008, he has studied with Rondelli Perry. He is the recipient of the Lempert Talent Scholarship and was the first-place winner of the 2009 UT Concerto & Aria Competition.

“I have no hesitancy in stating the pride that I have in my students who year after year win prestigious awards in competition with other students from major universities with programs far beyond our enrollments and facilities,” Rondelli Perry said.

Also competing at the event were Brittoney Roane in the third-year college women category, Hillarie Meiring in the first-year college women category, and Dr. Craig Black, UT associate professor of health professions, in the advanced men and women category. All three study with Rondelli Perry.

Travel and competition expenses were covered by the Richard R. and Barbara R. Perry Program Excellence Fund.

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