Music For Change Competition


First Place Award (tie)

“We Are The Same” original poem by Oluwanifemi Oladoye // Lagos, Nigeria
Piano Cover by Ray Li Ray // New York, USA

Fan Favorite Award

“Sway” Cover by Jai Johnson // Mumbai, India

Honorable Mentions

Violin Duet by Johann & Miriam Li // New York, USA
“Fur Elise” by Isabela Weingartner // Ilhabela, Brazil
“Ditch” by Dial Denial // Sydney, Australia
“No Relations” by Piff Wipt // London, UK

Judges:

Eunjin Jung

A native of Daegu, South Korea, soprano Eunjin Jung is currently a candidate of DMA degree in Rutgers University. She graduated from Mannes College of Music in New York City with a Professional Study Diploma (PSD) and a Master’s degree. Most recently, she performed the role of Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (2020). In addition, she sang as Giorgetta in Il Tabarro presented by Mason-Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (2019), Marzelline in Fidelio at Nicholas Music Center conducted by Kynan Johns (2017), and as La Comtesse Adele in Le comte Ory with the Opera Company of Brooklyn (2016). Other roles include Musetta in La Boheme (2016 West Meets East), Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore (2015 Mannes Opera), Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica (2015 Chicago Summer Opera), Novis in Suor Angelica (2014 Mannes Opera), and
Lucy in The Telephone (2011 Korea Opera Company). Also, she has performed opera scenes as Naiad in Ariadne auf Naxos, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Nannetta in Falstaff, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Mathilde in Guillaume Tell, Fiordiligi in Cosi Fan Tutte, Woglinde in Gotterdammerung and Violetta in La Traviata. She has attended summer programs such as VAI, Chicago Summer Opera, Songfest, and West Meets East.

Paul W. Thompson

Paul W. Thompson graduated with a M.B.A. with distinction in General Business at DePaul University, M.M. in Music Theatre at University of Miami, and a B.F.A. in Music/Theatre at Baylor University. He is currently the Owner/Operator of Paul W. Thompson Music, Music Director/Faculty of The Second City Training Center, a Voice/Piano Instructor at the Des Plaines School of Music, an Ensemble Member/Music Director of The Improvised Sondheim Project, a Member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Cathedral Choir at St. James, Actors’ Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, and National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Formerly, Paul was the President of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Editor/Chief and Theatre Critic at BroadwayWorld Chicago, an Online Instructor of Theatre at Interlochen Arts Academy, a Music Director at Bucks County Playhouse and Naples Dinner Theater.

Denira Coleman

Denira Coleman grew up in South Africa and completed high-school at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, an internationally recognized performing arts school in England. She was a student at the South African College of Music (SACM), studying as a Soprano opera singer with scholarship. Since the beginning of her studies she has performed numerous roles, including those with UCT in collaboration with Cape Town Opera, such as Bessie in the ‘4:30 Operas made in South Africa’, Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte. She excelled not only in her performances during her time at SACM, but was also on the Dean’s list for her whole four years, finishing with a first and nine prizes at UCT. In addition, she is the recipient of numerous vocal awards, such as the Gregorio Fiasconaro Prize and the A Rupert Prize, and was awarded third place in the prestigious Schock Foundation Competition for Singing. During her studies at SACM, she also participated in operas outside of the university. In 2018 Denira made her Italian debut, performing Suor Genovieffa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, and in 2019 understudied the role of Pamina in Berlin Opera Academy’s production of Die Zauberflöte. She played the role of Despina with Opera in Darling, and was a soloist with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Denira participated in the creation of an original South African opera, Lost in a Bluebell Wood in 2020. She is studying at the Royal College of Music, haven been given the x scholarship, under the tutelage of Janis Kelly. 

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