Life-changing $700,000 in scholarships and prizes awarded at 18th annual Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition
[LEXINGTON, Ky.] – The Singletary Center for the Arts was alive with music and hope Sunday as 15 talented vocalists competed in the finals of the 18th annual Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition. The event awarded more than $700,000 in scholarships and prizes and the opportunity to attend the University of Kentucky as part of the UK Opera Theatre program.
Judges selected multiple winners in undergraduate and graduate categories. In addition to cash prizes, winners received scholarships to attend UK, including some full-tuition awards.
The winners of the 2023 Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition are:
Undergraduate student winners
- Pearse and Deirdre Lyons First-Place Undergraduate Award and Scholarship – Max Taylor*
- Alltech Second-Place Undergraduate Award and Scholarship – William Cordier*
- Alltech Feed Division Third-Place Undergraduate Award and Scholarship – Keen Williams
- Alltech Crop Science Encouragement Award – Will Jones
- Barbara Rouse Kentucky Prize – Calia Burdette
- Alltech and Bryant’s Rent-All Encouragement Award – Emily Hayes
Graduate student winners
- Pearse and Deirdre Lyons First-Place Graduate Award and Graduate Assistantship – Sierra Kidd*
- Alltech Second-Place Graduate Award and Graduate Assistantship – Audrianna Hughes*
- Pearse Lyons ACE Foundation Third-Place Graduate Award and Half Assistantship – Kayla J. Wilson
- Stand Energy Graduate Award – Eleanor Wilmes*
- Gail Robinson Performance Award – Katherine Anne Ledbetter
- Reginald Smith Jr. Diversity Scholarship in Opera Graduate Award – Audrianna Hughes
*These winners also received a tuition stipend to study at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria. AIMS is the leading summer music program in Europe.
Finalists were scored based on their voice, technical skill, interpretation and accuracy by five judges:
- Evans Mirageas, who is in his 18th season as the Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera and is widely considered one of the most talented and respected artistic leaders in the classical music industry today.
- Julia Noulin-Merat, general director and CEO of Opera Columbus.
- Barbara Lynne Jamison, general director of Kentucky Opera.
- Dr. Thomas King, who taught the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, for 25 years.
- Karen Slack, celebrated American soprano and artistic advisor for Portland Opera and the co-chair of the Women’s Opera Network with Opera America.
The Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition is one of the largest competitions of its kind in the world. Its winners have traveled the world performing, teaching and providing inspiration to others.
“This program originated out of a friendship between my father, Dr. Pearse Lyons, and Dr. Everett McCorvey of UK Opera Theatre. They wanted to give talented students a chance to pursue their dreams and help UK to build its opera program,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech. “Since it began, this program has allowed nearly 190 students to overcome the financial barriers to pursuing their dreams.”
In addition to performing at UK, the Alltech Vocal Scholars infuse art into our community throughout the year with performances such as “A Grand Night for Singing” and the annual Alltech Celebration of Song, a free holiday concert at Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Learn more about the Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition and watch the livestream of this year’s competition at alltech.com/vocal.
Max Taylor of Louisville, Kentucky, won the Pearse and Deirdre Lyons First-Place Undergraduate Award and Scholarship on Sunday, March 5 at 18th annual Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition. Shown with him are Dr. Everett McCorvey, executive director of UK Opera Theatre, and Mrs. Deirdre Lyons, cofounder of Alltech.