Vocal Music Semifinalists – Orange County Register


From a list of 91 nominees, the following 15 students were selected as semi-finalists for 2022 Artist of the Year in Vocal Music. The students were chosen by a panel of teachers based on written statements, performance videos and artistic CVs.

Included are links to their work, the specialty in which they were nominated, and quotes on how they relate to their craft.

Vocal musicians were appointed in the specialties of classical voice, commercial voice and non-classical voice.

During the final round of selection, students are interviewed by a panel of distinguished arts professionals and faculty members from Southern California universities. Interviews include a live presentation by the students followed by a Q&A session.

A finalist in each specialty will be named as well as an artist of the year in each of the seven disciplines – theatre, dance, instrumental music, vocal music, cinema, visual arts crafts and computer-aided visual arts.

The artists of the year will be announced on May 1.

This program is generously sponsored by Chapman University College of Performing Arts. Additional support is provided by Laguna College of Art + Design and Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the Artist of the Year program, contact Heide Janssen at [email protected]

Mia Paris Baron, junior, Orange County School of the Arts

Speciality: classical voice

“With art, I can let it all go and be a part of it. I can drift into the music and the feelings I’m feeling. I like listening to music that relates to the emotions I’m feeling right now and losing myself in those feelings. Everything is more intense, but somehow, at the same time, I feel as calm as ever. Music allows me to be as much of myself as possible, and that’s the feeling the most incredible in the world.

Colleen Angel Guiral Fano, senior, Mater Dei High School

Speciality: commercial voice

“Music allows me to realize that I am not overwhelmed by my emotions, they are what make me a true artist, unique in my profession. My feelings are not my worst enemy, but my most faithful ally. C t’s a melodic reminder that in every heartache there’s true beauty. To me, that’s true freedom.

Sanjana Khurana, Senior, Sage Hill School

Speciality: commercial voice

“My fondest memories at Sage Hill were my lunch rehearsals for advanced choral ensembles, where I collaborated with talented singers and experienced the camaraderie of team singing. I spent every spare minute at school honing my craft, relishing the satisfaction of rehearsal and the thrill of performance. This summer I was scouted by a talent management agency, recording studio music with established producers and auditioning for theater and film. As I add dimension to my art, each art form challenges me to push the boundaries of my knowledge and experience. Singing will always be a fundamental part of me, something that gives me purpose and fills me with joy.

Olivia Langford, Senior, Mater Dei High School

Speciality: Non-classical voice

“Despite loving to sing and having sung songs for the last 13 years of my life, I want to change things and produce music. With this change, not only will I become a more complete person/artist , but I’ll let other people share their stories with the world. Many were shocked when I wanted to step behind the decks instead of staying behind the mic.

Samara Leilani, Senior, Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts

Speciality: commercial voice

“Being an artist is about more than showing my art form. My art tells the story of my life which continues to change and grow year after year. As a passionate singer-songwriter, I strives to create music that can touch the hearts of those who have been hurt in the past, just as I have been. As an artist, I want to help heal pain and overcome pain.

Zoë Isabella Martinez, senior, Mater Dei High School

Speciality: classical voice

“As a budding professional musician, my goal is to sing in operas and symphonies and to travel around the world, especially in Europe, where the classical voice is highly respected. Opera and instrumental accompaniment will hand in hand, and my interests are deeply rooted in both.The idea of ​​singing along with a symphony has always been a dream, as I am fascinated by all styles of music and their traditional instrumental technique.

Christian D McCleary, Jr., San Clemente High School

Speciality: Non-classical voice

“My definition of being an artist has grown to encompass a connection with my audience and an expression of their emotions as well as mine. Through my day-to-day experiences as an artist, this definition continues to evolve; what i do know is that through my birth experiences i realized that art is simply the common language of emotion.we all talk about art and have the ability to influence n’ anyone and anyone.

Jamie Nguyen, Junior, Los Alamitos High School

Speciality: commercial voice

“The older I get, the more my attachment to music grows. I’m drawn to jazz and I continue to place a lot of importance on show choir, two art forms that allow me to give myself to an audience – and this donation arouses passion in me.

Abby Olson, Senior, Tesoro High School

Speciality: classical voice

“I discovered by exploring my own personal art form, the classical voice, I become. I become better. I become happier. I become more myself. And with hours of rehearsals, lessons and time devoted to what I love most, I become an artist. …Being able to share my love for music with others has brought me insurmountable joy. Music is now my outlet of creativity, light and hope, showing me what I can do if I tear down my walls and try something new.

Zach Pehrson, Senior, Tesoro High School

Speciality: commercial voice

Zach Pehrson of Trabuco Canyon, a senior at Tesoro High School, is a vocal music semi-finalist in the commercial voice specialty for Artist of the Year in 2022. (Photo courtesy of Mariusz Jeglinski )

Watch the student video

“As an artist, I hope to leave the world with a little piece of me. I believe that God has given me musical gifts that not everyone else has. Without a doubt, there are countless people around the world who might relate to the things I have done or experienced, and I hope to inspire listeners with the music I write and perform, just as I have been inspired by a number of different artists and styles of music, I want to be able to do the same for others.

Evan Richards, Senior, Orange County School of the Arts

Speciality: classical voice

“Since I feel that I have already learned a lot, I want to deepen my love for my art by passing on my musicality to the next generation. I see myself as a music teacher, a touring opera singer, a orchestra, an artistic administrator or simply any career deeply rooted in the world of classical music.

Larkin Ten Elshof, senior, private instructor

Speciality: classical voice

“Despite my passion for music, I had never been part of a choir. … Within moments (of my first choir rehearsal), a quiet, focused silence filled the room. The piano began to play a delicate melody. Like a gentle wind, voices began to rise in the sky, blending in harmony and filling the room with serenity. There was an unexpressed tenderness and warmth that sent shivers down my spine. It was then that I understood what it meant to me to be an artist.

Daniel Troyan, Senior, Santa Margarita Catholic High School

Speciality: Non-classical voice

“To be an artist is to live. Looking at my daily life, I never sing. Singing gives me the freedom to be sad, confused, crazy and most of the time extremely happy. I thought if singing was taken out of my daily life, I don’t know what I would do. My daily life is about moving from place to place, sharing my love of music with others and making connections.

Ava Ulloa, Senior, Orange County School of the Arts

Speciality: commercial voice

“It’s imperative that I do my own interpretation of the music and be authentic in my delivery. As a former theater person, I’ve always played a character that tells a story in song in a specific way. As a singer in a band, I have more creative license and tell the story of my soul.

Landon Wouters, Senior, Private Instructor

Speciality: Non-classical voice

“When I was a little boy in fourth grade, my school put on a musical production called ‘1776.’ …I was a boy soldier singing a song about the war. The opening night of the show came and went, and to my surprise, I was greeted by all the mothers of my peers, telling me how I made people cry with my voice. I didn’t really understand acting until that moment. I realized that through performance and hard work, I could really have an effect on the people around me. Since that day- there in fourth grade, I played and I wouldn’t want to spend my time doing anything else.


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