Schmidt Vocal Arts Announces Winners of First National Edition

By David Salazar

Schmidt Vocal Arts has announced the winners of its first national edition.

Taking home first prize was soprano Nicole DiPasquale of Bell Creek Academy High School. She will take home a $10,000 cash prize.

Coming in second place was soprano Dalila Lugo of Miami with tenor Benjamin Riverón of San Antonio, Texas coming in third place; Lugo will receive $7,500 while Riverón will be awarded $5,000.

The three artists were selected by a jury comprised of Sarasota Opera General Director Richard Russell and sopranos Amanda Majeski and Tamara Wilson.

“They got up there, and they were pros. There was a very high level of singing. SVA is such a wonderful foundation,” Wilson said per a press statement. “We need young people to be supported – not just through education, but also by financial means. Now that education is so much more expensive, it’s important to get that support, and SVA does an amazing job with that.”

The competition is funded by the William E. Schmidt Foundation and aims to shine a spotlight on high school students around the U.S. The semi-final round featured 31 singers.