The Burnt Hills Oratorio Society Awards $1750 to 2018 Vocal Scholarship Winners

The Burnt Hills Oratorio Society (BHOS) hosted its 21th Annual Vocal Scholarship competition at Calvary Episcopal Church in Burnt Hills on March 4th. Seniors from high schools across the Greater Capital Region were invited to compete. Of the ten applicants performing selections from the standard song repertoire, Phoebe Reuther from Shaker High School and runner-up Nicholas Contois from Shaker High School won $1000 and $750 scholarships respectively. The students’ music teachers are Dan Foster and Tyler Thomas.

Ms. Reuther was selected to the concert choir of the Suburban Council Music Festival in 2016 and 2018 and the Area All State Music Festival in 2016. She has participated in many charity events and sang for “Raise Your Voice: Sing for Kids” to benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), the Center for Disabilities Telethon and the Hope Seven Food Pantry Benefit in Troy. As a performer she appeared with the Saratoga Children’s Theatre as a beggar woman in Sweeney Todd.  Ms. Reuther will pursue studies to become a music educator “to bring music into children’s lives.”

Mr. Contois is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. He was chosen for the 2017 All-National Honor Ensembles as well as All-Eastern and participated in the NYSSMA Area and All State Music Festivals. In February 2018 he was WMHT Student of the Month, and he performed in a Schenectady Light Opera Company (SLOC) youth production as Tony in West Side Story. Mr. Contois plans are to pursue a career in musical theater.

Jurors for the awards were Robert Reeves, Megan Wilson and Yiping Wu. Mr. Reeves was BHOS’s music director for two decades and started the scholarship competition in 1997. Mrs. Wilson is a member of the music faculty of Emma Willard School and Russell Sage College and maintains a private voice studio. Mr. Wu is a professor at Schenectady County Community College where he directs the SCCC choruses and teaches aural skills and voice.

Funded as a component of the organizations operating budget, the Vocal Scholarship Program is fundamental to BHOS’s community outreach endeavors. BHOS is working to extend the reach of this competition within the Capital Region. For information: www.bhos.us.

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