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Vocal Competition Finalists Announced

Marietta, GA, February 1, 2024 – The Georgia Symphony Orchestra (GSO) and Music Director Timothy Verville announce the finalists of their nationwide Beethoven 9 Vocal Competition.

The Beethoven 9 Vocal Competition was created by the GSO to provide an equal and open opportunity for vocalists across the U.S. to compete regardless of background. The winners of the competition will have the opportunity to perform with the GSO in concert singing a featured solo part in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in May 2024 and receive an honorarium.

“There are so many great vocalists across the country and often too few opportunities for them,” Verville said. “Through this competition, we worked to eliminate any barriers for any person who wanted to put in the work and show that they have what it takes to make great music. And I couldn’t be more pleased with our group of finalists.”

Divided into their four different voice categories, the finalists are Sopranos Sarah Heilman, Emma Robertson, and Yun Xie, Altos Tetyana Vakhnovska, Maria McDaniel Willathgamuwa, and MunTzung Wong, Tenors Alexander Adkins, William Green, and Matthew Perez, and Bass/Baritones Joel Balzun, Wil Kellerman, and Jacob Lay.

The GSO has named four alternates for the competition, Sopranos Sarah Benzinger and Maria Clark, Alto Sara Crigger, and Bass/Baritone Alexander Adams-Leytes.

Each finalist will compete in the final round on March 3, 2024, performing the solo excerpts from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and an additional piece selected by the candidate. The judges include international bass/baritone Oral Moses, Founder and General Director of Fundación Ópera Panamá Irena Syla, and GSO Music Director Timothy Verville. This event is open to the public with tickets priced at only $10.00. 

The final round of competition was made possible by The City of Marietta Tourism Grant. 

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