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2014 Art Song Competition

Art Song Competition Graphic


About the Competition

Join us for the first annual Art Song Competition for Sam Houston State University School of Music students. Prizes will be awarded for voice and piano performances.  

The first round of the competition will begin at 2:30pm and end around 5:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Gaertner Performing Arts Center.  Finalists will be announced at 7 p.m., and the final round, in the form of a formal evening concert, will begin at 8 p.m.   All rounds of the competition are free and open to the public to watch.

The SHSU Art Song Competition is held to promote student singer and collaborative pianist achievement in the performance of song literature and to promote degree studies at SHSU that encompass vocal and collaborative piano arts.

Competition is between singer/pianist teams.

Initial Qualifications for Performer Teams

  • Selected SHSU majors in music (see below), undergraduate and graduate, whose applied areas are voice or piano
  • Must have been a music major for at least one semester prior to the semester of the contest
  • Must be currently enrolled in private study and have been enrolled at least one semester prior to the semester of the contest

Selection Procedures and Guidelines

  • Students must be recommended by their respective voice or piano instructors.
  • The recommendations will be for particular teams.
  • Undergraduate pianists may perform with up to two teams. Graduate pianists may perform with up to three teams.
  • Teams will be formed by student initiative with faculty serving in an advisory and recommendatory capacity.
  • The number of team entries is limited to thirty. If more than thirty teams receive faculty recommendations, a panel consisting of the Vocal Area Coordinator, Piano Area Coordinator, and Director of the School of Music will make the final selections. In this event, student classification (Freshman, Sophomore, etc.) will be a significant factor.

Contest Procedures and Guidelines

  • Participants will prepare two art songs and one aria. One of the selections will be in English and the remaining two in a foreign language.
  • The three selections, together, will have no more than fifteen minutes duration.
  • A preliminary round will consist of seven-minute auditions. The performing team will choose the first selection. The judges may or may not listen to the entire selection, depending upon their wish to hear other material or upon other considerations. Remaining selections to be performed, or excerpts thereof, will be determined by the judges.
  • From the preliminary round, five finalist teams will be selected.
  • During a finals concert, each finalist team will present all three of their prepared selections. Winners will be chosen and awards presented at the conclusion of this concert.

Prizes for each member of the teams are

  • First Place: One thousand dollars ($1,000)
  • Second Place: Seven hundred and fifty dollars ($750)
  • Third Place: Five hundred dollars ($500)

Note: In the event that a pianist may place on more than one winning team, he/she will be awarded the highest relevant monetary award, but not each award.


To participate submit a completed form to FAMC – Office of The Dean. Application deadline is 5PM on Monday, March 31, 2014.





Grant Loehnig Photo

Head of Music Staff, Wolf Trap Opera Company and Music Director of the Opera Studio. Faculty member of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.

Grant Loehnig collaborates with many of today’s most renowned musical artists as a pianist, vocal coach, conductor, and administrator. He is Head of Music Staff of the Wolf Trap Opera Company, where he also serves as Music Director of the Opera Studio. Additionally he serves on the faculty of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music as Artist Teacher of Opera Studies. Mr. Loehnig has worked with many of the major companies in the United States, including Houston Grand Opera, Utah Opera, Seattle Opera, and American Opera Projects. He is a graduate of the prestigious Houston Grand Opera Studio, where he assisted on numerous productions, including two world premieres by Jake Heggie. As a chorus master he has worked with the Houston Symphony and Wolf Trap Opera, where Opera News praised his “finely honed, spirited chorus.” As a recital pianist he appears regularly with Susanne Mentzer, Marcus DeLoach, Albina Shagimuratova, and Maria Markina, and his concert work has included performances with St. Paul’s Schubert Club and at Carnegie Hall’s Weill and Zankel Halls. His recording with Susanne Mentzer of songs by American composer Carlisle Floyd was recently released on GPR Records through Naxos. Mr. Loehnig holds a BA from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. He received his Masters of Music degree in vocal accompanying from Manhattan School of Music. Additional training includes summer residencies at the Music Academy of the West, Centro Studi Lirica, and San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program.


Ellen Scholl Photo

Bowling Green State University Adjunct Associate Professor (mezzo-soprano) Voice/Opera

Ellen Scholl sang professionally for 15 years in Europe, where she presented recitals and performed extensively in operas and oratorios. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University and a master’s degree from De Paul University. During her time in Munich with the Bavarian State Opera her roles included Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier and Conception in L’Heure Espagnol. Her oratorio roles include Attalia, Messiah, Samson and Elijah. Featured on German television and radio, she had performed on North German Radio, Bavarian Radio and ZDF (Central German Television). She has sung under the direction of conductors Klaus Peter Seibel, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Sir Colin Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, Zubin Metha, Josef Leitner, Michael Halasz, Martin Fischer-Dieskau and recently Don Neuen of the Crystal Cathedral. She is formerly a member of the voice faculty at the Christian Albrecht Universitaet in Kiel, Germany and is also a two-time winner of the Metropolitan Opera district competition.


Christopher Scholl Photo

Bowling Green State University Associate Professor (tenor); Coordinator of Voice/Opera Area Ensembles

Christopher Scholl returned to the United States in 1997 after 20 years in Europe, where he enjoyed a highly successful career in opera, oratorio and recitals. He received his bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College and master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music with additional study at the Conservatory of Music in Luebeck, Germany. He has performed throughout Europe in cities such as Munich, Mannheim, Kiel, Rostock, Paris, Marseilles and Trieste; collaborated with conductors such as Jiri Kout, Klauspeter Siebel, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Gerard Oskamp and Carlos Kleiber, as well as working with stage directors Klaus von Wangelin, Uwe Schwarz and Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. With an operatic repertoire in music from the baroque to the 20th century and broadway; Scholl’s various roles include Anastasio in Vivaldi’s Guistino, Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Frank in the world premiere of Bialas’s Auf der Matrazen Gruft (On the Grave of Mattresses), an opera about the life of the German poet Heinrich Heine. In operetta he has portrayed such characters as Barenky in Johann Strauss’s Der Ziegeunerbaron and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus. He has also performed numerous oratorios and song recitals throughout Germany and Europe.

Judges have been selected by Dr. Ronald Shields, Dean of the SHSU College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication.  Judging will be based upon comprehensive performance artistry, to include the challenge of the literature being presented. Decisions of the judges are theirs alone and are final.


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