Mary Pappert School of Music Student Wins Campus Superstar
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, and the $5,000 award that goes along with it. One of ten finalists, he competed against students from local schools including Point Park University, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, Seton Hill University, and one Duquesne University classmate.
Held on Sunday, March 26 and sponsored by the Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh, the annual American Idol-like competition is described as "a professionally-produced musical spectacular, where performers are accompanied by a full band, with all of the "glitz" that one would expect from a concert or Broadway show."
Auditions were held at each of the participating schools in late November and early December, with over 100 students attempting to make the cut. Warren was one of four Duquesne students selected to move on to the semi-final round in February, alongside Mary Pappert School of Music students Carly Koza and Kate Kratzenberg and McAnulty School of Liberal Arts student Angela Griffo. Koza advanced with Warren to compete in the final round.
Since its first year in 2007, Campus Superstar has seen a total of five Duquesne students make the final round, including Warren and Koza - in 2013, music therapy major Pietra DelPizzo; in 2008, psychology and education major Andrea Festa; and in 2007, voice performance major Rob Kurth, who took 2nd runner up. Kurth would later become a faculty member at the Mary Pappert School of Music before moving to Washington, D.C. to sing with the United States Navy Band and Sea Chanters.
Warren, a Pittsburgh native and graduate of the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School, chose The Greatest Love of All to perform at the semi-final round, a very meaningful song to him. Given the success he had with it for the semi-final round, he reprised it as his competition piece at the final round, ultimately landing the win.
In the wake of Warren's win, several faculty members have reached out to congratulate Michael.
"The Mary Pappert School of Music voice area applauds the success of Michael," offered Brent Weber, Voice Area Coordinator at the Mary Pappert School of Music. "We continue to mentor young artists like Michael in operatic, musical theater, and jazz repertoire in areas of performance, education, therapy, and technology. Congratulations, Michael! We look forward to your continued success."
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."
Warren, himself, expressed his thanks to several faculty members. "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. 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!"
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.