CCM Voice Alumnae Named 2019 Sara Tucker Study Grant Recipients

Each year, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation awards the Sara Tucker Study Grant to singers, selected through a vocal competition, who are recently out of the university or conservatory and are considered to be at the beginning of promising careers. This year’s recipients include two recent UC College-Conservatory of Music alumnae: Kayleigh Decker (MM Voice, 2017) and Jessica Faselt (MM Voice, 2016).

Mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Decker began her 2018-19 season as an ensemble member of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Her mainstage work in the company’s season includes Dorothée in Cendrillon and Cretan Woman No. 2 in Idomeneo, both under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis. She also covers Idamante in Idomeneo and Prince Charmant in Cendrillon. The 2017-18 season included two title role debuts for Decker: La Cenerentola with Queen City Opera, and Ariodante with CCM Opera. She was also a Schwab Vocal Rising Star with Caramoor and the New York Festival of Song. Decker has been a young artist at the Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Utah Festival Opera and the Houston Grand Opera Young Artists Vocal Academy. At Carnegie Hall, as a part of the Weill Music Institute, she has been a participant in the Joyce DiDonato Masterclass Series, as well as in the inaugural SongStudio, under the auspices of Renée Fleming. Decker has received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the MacDowell Society, the Three Arts Scholarship Fund and the CCM Opera Scholarship Competition. She was awarded the Faustina Hurlbutt Grant and the Louis and Marguerite Bloomberg Greenwood Grant from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

American soprano Jessica Faselt hails from Iowa. She is currently in her first year of the Lindemann Young Artist Program at the Metropolitan Opera, where she made her debut as the Novice in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and her Met: Live in HDdebut as Helmwige in Wagner’s Die Walküre. Opera Index recently awarded her the Tito Cappobiano Memorial Award. Faselt was a winner of the 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, performing with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in the Grand Final Concert. As a Studio Artist at Florida Grand Opera, she covered the title roles of Richard Strauss’s Salome and Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas. She was a Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, covering the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos. Faselt completed her masters degree at CCM where she was the recipient of the prestigious Corbett Award, and received her bachelor of music from the University of Iowa with honors.

You can learn more about current and past grant recipients here.

About the Richard Tucker Music Foundation
Founded in 1975, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation is a non-profit cultural organization that honors the artistic legacy of the great American tenor through support of talented American opera singers and by bringing opera into the community.

The Foundation seeks to heighten appreciation for opera by offering free performances in the New York Metropolitan area and by supporting music education enrichment programs.

Through an awards program that offers grants for study, performance opportunities and other career-enhancing activities the Foundation provides professional development for singers at several levels of career-readiness. Learn more by visiting

Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

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CCM Alumna Amanda Woodbury Makes Solo Debut with Cincinnati May Festival This Weekend

CCM alumna Amanda Woodbury.

CCM alumna Amanda Woodbury.

CCM alumna Amanda Woodbury (MM, 2012) will make her Cincinnati May Festival debut as a soloist this Saturday (and will also perform a preconcert recital tonight) and the Cincinnati Enquirer provides a preview in a new Q&A with the soprano.

Earlier this year, Woodbury was named a winner of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions (along with fellow CCM alum Yi Li) and a 2014 Sara Tucker Grant Recipient (along with fellow CCM alum John Holiday).

She reflects on those recent successes and on her time at CCM in the feature, telling the Enquirer’s Janelle Gelfand, “I sang two roles onstage [at CCM], Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Madame Lidoine in Dialogues of the Carmelites. I can’t tell you how much that has helped my career. It helped me to prepare for the next step, and just everything they did opened up doors for me. I’m so glad I went to CCM, because I passed up Juilliard for CCM.”

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CCM Alumni Amanda Woodbury and John Holiday Named 2014 Sara Tucker Study Grant Recipients

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We are delighted to report that two CCM alumni – Amanda Woodbury (MM, 2012) and John Holiday (MM, 2012) – have been named 2014 Sara Tucker Grant Recipients by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation!

Soprano Amanda Woodbury, 25, is a member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program at LA Opera and was a winner of the recent Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. She made her LA Opera debut as Micäela in Carmen and also appeared as Papagena in The Magic Flute. This summer she will make her debut at the Cincinnati May Festival as a soloist in the Mahler 8th Symphony and will join the Merola Opera at San Francisco Opera to sing Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. She was a second place winner at the McCollum Competition in Houston and received degrees from Indiana University and CCM.

Counter-tenor John Holiday, 29, has been heard recently as Radamisto at the Juilliard School and will debut with Wolf Trap Opera this summer in the title role of Giulio Cesare and be heard this fall as the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas with LA Opera. He will also return to the St. Paul Chamber Festival in concert. Other recent engagements include Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” at Carnegie Hall with the Atlanta Symphony, covering Nereno in Giulio Cesare at the Met, and Glass’ Galileo Galilei at Cincinnati and Portland Opera. Holiday was an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera and holds degrees from SMU and CCM.

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Former CCM Student Receives Sara Tucker Study Grant

Mark Diamond, baritone.

Mark Diamond, baritone.

Congratulations to Mark Diamond on being named the winner of a Sara Tucker Study Grant yesterday morning (April 12), carrying with it a $5,000 cash prize. The award came after two days of auditions by some of America’s finest young opera singers in New York City. Diamond is currently in the Houston Grand Opera‘s young artist program, one of the best programs in the world. Last year, he took first place in the Houston Grand Opera‘s 23rd Annual Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers.

Diamond participated in CCM’s Master of Music program in vocal performance, where he studied with William McGraw.

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