The 2023 Marguerite DePhillips Dougherty Voice Competition was held on Saturday, February 11, 2023. Three winners were selected—Anna Thomas (Graduate Award), Denver Perdomo (Undergraduate Award), and Yechun Huang (Encouragement Award).

All three winners study privately with Adjunct Professor of Voice, Xiu-ru Liu. Thomas (mezzo-soprano) is completing her M.M. in Performance this coming May; Perdomo (baritone) is working on two music degrees simultaneously (B.M. Performance and B.M. Music Technology); and Huang is a first-year Master of Music in Performance student.

Marguerite DePhillips Dougherty was born in Pittsburgh in 1929. Her interest in music, particularly opera, began as a young woman while taking voice lessons inspired by a love of Puccini's La bohème and Madama Butterfly. As an unsung patron of the arts, she quietly supported causes throughout her life, and at her death in 2015, she bequeathed a gift to Duquesne University's Mary Pappert School of Music to support programs that benefit students pursuing careers in music, especially opera.

This year's competition was judged by Robert Boldin, Manager of Artistic Administration for the Pittsburgh Opera. A opera singer himself, Boldin's performances have graced the stages of the Chicago Opera Theater, Cincinnati Opera, Lyric Opera San Diego, and many more. Following the competition, Boldin brought his experiences performing and sitting in on countless professional auditions together and met each of the singers individually to offer thoughts and suggestions for improvement.

Dean David Allen Wehr was on hand to make the official announcement of the winners following the competition. He said, “I’m always thrilled by the level of talent exemplified by our students, and this year’s Marguerite DePhillips Dougherty Voice Competition competitors are no exception. Every student brought their musical “A-game” to the table, and I couldn’t be prouder of each of them. I would also like to extend my congratulations to each of the winners, along with their voice teachers and coaches.”

Be sure to check out their competition videos below.

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February 14, 2023