December 23, 2009

Student, alum win honors in musical competitions

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Two students from the Southern Illinois University Carbondale School of Music recently fared well in musical competitions.

Brittany Noble, a graduate student from Columbus, Ga. studying clarinet here, won the Music Teachers National Association State Collegiate Young Artists Competition, held this year at Eastern Illinois University. Noble performed with David Lyons, collaborative pianist for the School of Music. Their musical selections included works by Johannes Brahms and several contemporary composers, including SIUC’s own Eric Mandat. Noble goes on to compete at the East Central Division Competition scheduled for mid-January at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.

Emily Fons, a Milwaukee, Wis., native who completed her master’s degree here in opera and music theater in 2008, competed this month at the Wisconsin District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. As a district winner, Fons and five other singers earned a cash award and the right to advance to the Upper Midwest Regional competition, scheduled for early February in St. Paul, Minn. Fons also captured the People’s Choice award, an audience vote honor that also carried a cash award. Fons, a mezzo-soprano, also earned a spot with the Florentine Opera in January and will join the Lyric Opera of Chicago in April 2010. At SIUC, Fons appeared in several productions, including Hansel and Gretel, Suor Angelica and The Elixir of Love.

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