A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Top vocalists, including one from Independence, win in Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition

Of 300 applicants, 26 undergraduate and graduate students representing four countries took the stage at the 13th annual Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition to sing for their chance to win scholarships and prizes that will jump-start their operatic careers.

Among the winners is taylor Comstok of Independence.

Alltech’s founder and president, the late Dr. Pearse Lyons, who passed away March 8, was an avid supporter of the arts and initiated what has become Kentucky’s largest vocal competition in 2006.

Dr. Everett McCorvey and Dr. Mark Lyons present a first place undergraduate award to Casey Mayo.

“Today we will mourn, but we will also celebrate his and his wife Deirdre’s contribution to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition,” said Dr. Everett McCorvey, director of the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre.

Winners of the 2018 Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition are:

• First Place Alltech Undergraduate Winner: Casey Mayo, Hunstville, Alabama
• Second Place Bryant’s Rent-All and Alltech Crop Science Undergraduate Winner: Samuel Powless, Paducah, Kentucky
• Third Place Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Undergraduate Winner: Ethan Mooney, Lexington, Kentucky
• Barbara Rouse Kentucky Award: Casteel Fullen, Louisville, Kentucky
• Kayfield Academy Encouragement Award: Faith Craven, Fairdale, Kentucky
• Addington and Mills Encouragement Award: Lucy Dever, Wilmore, Kentucky
• Alltech Encouragement Award: Katie Copeland, Lexington, Kentucky
• First Place Alltech Transfer Student Winner: Marquita Richardson, Pottstown, Pennsylvania
• Second Place Alltech Crop Science Transfer Student Winner: Nathaniel Thompson, Mount Vernon, New York
• First Place Alltech Graduate Winner: Jeremy Kelly, Bowling Green, Kentucky
• Second Place Alltech Graduate Winner: Taylor Comstock, Independence, Kentucky
• Third Place Gail Robinson Graduate Winner: Tanyaradza Tawengwa, Harare, Zimbabwe
• Dr. Pearse and Mrs. Deirdre Lyons Performance Encouragement Award: Emily Weaver, La Crosse, Wisconsin
• J. Alexander’s Restaurant Encouragement Award: Kendra Beasley, Madison, Georgia
• ALTOUR Encouragement Award: Gabrielle Fuqua, Florence, Alabama
• The Webb Companies Encouragement Award: Hunter Shaner, Salisbury, Maryland
• McCauley’s Encouragement Award: Tianxi Wang, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China

Finalists were scored on voice, technical skill, interpretation, accuracy and appearance by five judges: Marcus Küchle, the director of artistic operations at the Cincinnati Opera; Ian Derrer, the general director of the Kentucky Opera; Dr. Thomas King, a tenor who has sung in five world premier operas; Susanne Marsee, one of the New York City Opera’s leading mezzos for over 20 years; and Michael Spierman, founder of the Bronx Opera Company.

The competition, held March 11 at the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts, featured a pool of $500,000 in prizes.

From Alltech

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