Student Sings his Way to Duquesne’s First Campus Superstar Victory
Michael Warren, a senior music education major at the Mary Pappert School of Music, has become the first Duquesne University student to win the Campus Superstar competition.
One of 10 finalists, Warren competed for the $5,000 prize against students from Point Park University, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, Seton Hill University and even a Duquesne University classmate.
The March 26 final competition, sponsored by the Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh, is part of an annual American Idol-like competition described as a professionally produced musical spectacular. Performers are accompanied by a full band with all of the glitz and glamour experienced at a concert or Broadway show.
Auditions were held at each participating school in November and December, with more than 100 students competing. Warren was one of four Duquesne students selected to move on to the semi-final round in February, and he and fellow Duquesne music student Carly Koza advanced to compete in the finals.
A native of Pittsburgh's Knoxville neighborhood and a graduate of the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School, Warren performed Whitney Houston's The Greatest Love of All at the semi-final round, a very meaningful song to him. He reprised it as his competition piece at the final round, ultimately landing the win.
"I'm so thankful to my teachers and mentors Kelley DeFade, Patty Donohue Burns, and Guenko Guechev, as well as my former teacher, the late Maureen Budway, and all the other members of the voice area," said Warren. "Without their wisdom and guidance, I never would have had an opportunity like this. Being a student at Duquesne has opened so many doors for me, and I can't thank everyone there enough."
In the 10 years since Campus Superstar began, Duquesne has had five students-including Warren and Koza this year-make it to the final round.
Seth Beckman, dean of the Mary Pappert School of Music, noted that, "Michael Warren is an extremely gifted musician. He excels in a variety of musical styles and his performances demonstrate a clear passion for connecting with his varied audiences. We are so very proud of Michael."