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SRU voice students join
Williamson Memorial Competition

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Hope Koehler, a member of the voice faculty at West Virginia University, will be the judge when 19 Slippery Rock University students participate in the 18th annual Chad Williamson Memorial Scholarship Competition at 2 p.m., Oct. 31, in Swope Music Hall.

The annual event, which honors Williams's memory, requires each participant to present a classical and a popular music selection. The event is one of the most competitive within the music department.

The scholarship was established in 1992 by the Williamson family and friends to recognize and support talented vocalists pursuing their academic ambitions at SRU. Williamson was the son of Karen Legato and the late Fred Williamson.

   KOEHLER Participating students are: Jennifer Nyce, mezzo-soprano from Schwenksville; Patrick McGill, baritone from Washington, Pa.; Kara Patton, soprano from Freeport; Kevin Adamik, tenor, and Cecelia Bartosiewicz, mezzo-soprano, both from Tarentum; Jamie Hulick, soprano from Ellwood City; Sean Douglas, tenor from Shinglehouse; Lauren Franks, mezzo-soprano from Waynesburg; Haley Mundis, soprano from Huntingdon; Zachary Thompson, tenor from Boswell; Cara Udy, soprano from Grove City; Trevor Greenfield, tenor from Grove City, John Burgh, baritone from Swickley; Katy Capestrani, mezzo-soprano from Butler; Eric Kochanowski, tenor, and Sarah Mientus, soprano, both from Sarver; Angela Fenk and Amy Cecala, both sopranos from Pittsburgh; and Zachary Wood, bass-baritone from Waynesboro.

Koehler has appeared with opera companies and orchestras throughout the U.S., including such productions as "Carmen," "Il Trovatore," "Lucia di Lammermoor," "Rigoletto," "The Impressario," "The Old Maid and the Thief," "Amahl and the Night Visitors," and "Gianni Schicchi." She has appeared in the title roles of "Tosca," "Carmen," "Fidelio" and "Madama Butterfly." In addition, she has appeared in "La Bohème" (Musetta), "Der Freischütz" (Agathe) and "The Tales of Hoffmann" (Giulietta).

She is also a seasoned performer in oratorio and choral/orchestral works and is a regular performer and featured soloist with the American Spiritual Ensemble, a group that performs around the world with a mission of keeping the American negro spiritual alive. She can be heard on the CDs "The Lily of the Valley," and "The Spirit of the Holidays," and the DVD "The Spirituals," recorded with the American Spiritual Ensemble.

In June 2008, Albany Records released Koehler's recording of John Jacob Niles songs titled "The Lass from the Low Countree," performed with James Douglass at the piano.

Koehler serves on the voice faculty of the prestigious Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts and also of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.

She received her bachelor of arts degree in vocal performance and music education at Lipscomb University and her master of music degree in vocal performance at the University of Alabama. Her doctor of musical arts degree was completed at the University of Kentucky.

Eva Tsuquiashi-Daddesio, dean of SRU's College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Art, will offer opening remarks.