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Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition

Announcing the Winners of the 2021 NOA Vocal Competition Virtual

Eighteen finalists competed in the two divisions of the 2021 Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition, held virtually on Tuesday, January 5, 2021. Viewers watching live voted on special $500 Audience Favorite awards in each division (see below).  Congratulations to all the winners!

Watch on YouTube:

Competition Program Booklet (PDF)

Jacob Scharfman

1st Place Artist Division

Kathryn Henry

2nd Place Artist Division

Alexandra Razskazoff

3rd Place Artist Division

Sara Lucille Law

Audience Favorite
Artist Division

Blake Denson

1st Place Scholarship Division and Legacy Award

Shannon Keegan

2nd Place Scholarship Division

Magdalena Kuzma

3rd Place and Audience Favorite
Scholarship Division

Scholarship Division Finalists:
  • Gabrielle Anne Barkidjija, Mezzo soprano (River Forest, IL)
  • Blake A Denson, Baritone (Paducah, KY)
  • William Desbiens, Baritone (Québec, Canada)
  • Mishael Eusebio, Tenor (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Julia Gershkoff, Soprano (East Greenwich, RI)
  • Shannon Patricia Aniko Keegan, Mezzo soprano (Naperville, IL)
  • Magdalena Kuzma, Soprano (New York City, NY)
  • Joseph Tancredi, Tenor (Bayville, NY)
Artist Division Finalists:
  • Caroline Camp Corrales, Soprano (Saint Louis, MO)
  • Kathryn Henry, Soprano (Sheboygan, WI)
  • Helen Zhibing Huang, Soprano (Richmond, VA)
  • Jonathan Kaufman, Tenor (Charlotte, NC)
  • Sara Lucille Law, Soprano (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Siena Licht Miller, Mezzo soprano (Portland, OR)
  • Bryan Murray, Baritone (West Babylon, NY)
  • Alexandra Razskazoff, Soprano (Silver Spring, MD)
  • Mikayla Sager, Soprano (Vancouver, BC)
  • Jacob Scharfman, Baritone (Boston, MA)

Scholarship Division Finalists

Scholarship Division Finalists

Artist Division Finalists

Artist Division Finalists

Vocal Competition - Deadline Passed - Previous Cycle

January 2021, Conducted Online $8,500 in prizes to be awarded

Samantha Hankey
Samantha Hankey,
2017 1st Place Schol. Div.

The Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition is conducted annually in two divisions: The Artist Division and the Scholarship Division. Preliminary screening and Semi-final rounds are heard by audio recording. A maximum of ten finalists are selected in each division to compete in a live final audition.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the final auditions for 2021 will not be held in person (initial submissions, however, will be by audio recording). Instead, finalists will submit video auditions which will be viewed by the judges and broadcast on January 6, 2021 as part of the NOA Annual Conference, held virtually this year (additional details below).  Additionally, we are pleased to offer reduced entry fees for this year's competition.

2021 Eligibility and Fees

  • The Scholarship Division is open to singers aged 18-24, as of January 9, 2021 who are currently enrolled in or have completed undergraduate or graduate programs, or their equivalent. Entry fee for the Scholarship Division is $20 (twenty dollars).
  • The Artist Division is open to singers aged 25-40, as of January 9, 2021. Entry fee for the Artist Division is $40 (forty dollars).
  • There are no residency or citizenship requirements. The competition is open to all singers who meet the criteria for the appropriate division.

Competition Guidelines and Requirements

  • Applicants must submit two recent audio recordings, with piano or orchestral accompaniment, of two of the arias to be offered in the competition, including appropriate recitatives.  A cappella recordings will not be accepted. Recordings from live performances are permissible. Do not submit video files. Contestants are strongly urged to use the best possible equipment and location for the recordings, and to verify that the audio files (MP3 or M4A format) play properly before submitting.
  • In addition to the two audio recordings, singers in the Scholarship Division must present a list of four opera arias in contrasting styles and periods (the arias submitted as audio recordings will constitute two of these four), in three languages, including one originally in English, at a level appropriate to their vocal development. The competition committee reserves the right to reject unsuitable repertoire. One of the four may be an operetta, zarzuela, or musical theatre selection. Oratorio arias are not permitted.
  • In addition to the two audio recordings, singers in the Artist Division must present five opera arias in contrasting styles and periods (the arias submitted as audio recordings will constitute two of these five), in four languages, including one originally in English. The competition committee reserves the right to reject unsuitable repertoire. One of the five may be an operetta or zarzuela aria, but musical theatre selections are not permitted in the Artist Division. Oratorio arias are also not permitted.
  • All applicants will be notified by November 25, 2020 regarding their status.
  • Finalists must confirm their participation in the final round by November 29, 2020.
  • Finalists may request to make changes to their repertoire lists before November 29, 2020. All requests must be approved and no changes may be made after that date. Both selections submitted for adjudication in the preliminary round must be included in the repertoire list for the Finals.
  • Finalists will be asked to submit videos of their final selections, organized in a playlist with the applicant’s choice for their opening aria appearing first, by December 21, 2020. More information and instructions regarding video recordings will be sent to finalists at the time of finalist notification.
  • Prize winners will be announced immediately following the competition. Finalists are invited to attend conference sessions as guests of NOA.
  • By submitting their application to the competition, applicants grant NOA permission to use their submitted headshots and video/audio recordings or photographs of the competition or winners' recital for promotional purposes on the NOA website or other forms of publicity.

Application Procedure and Submission Information

  • The deadline for submission of the online application, including payment of the entry fee, is October 15, 2020.
  • Applications to the competition are submitted using the online application form.  Before beginning application, please be prepared to provide or upload the following:
    • Name, mailing address, and other contact information
    • Repertoire list (aria, opera, and composer) of four (Scholarship Division) or five (Artist Division) selections to be offered for the competition
    • Two audio recordings in MP3 or M4A format, with a maximum file size of 15,000kb (15MB).  (TIP: If your sound files exceed the file size limit, you can use a tool such as: to reduce the file size without noticeable loss of sound quality). Note that audio files can be extracted from video recordings. Information here describes ways in which that can be done.
    • Scanned legal proof of age showing date of birth (e.g. driver's license, passport, etc.).  Social security numbers or other sensitive information should be obscured. Allowed formats: PDF, JPG, GIF, PNG
    • Headshot for publicity purposes.  Allowed formats: JPG, GIF, PNG
  • Applicants must pay the entry fee online during the application process in order to submit.  The application fee is non-refundable.
  • Incomplete applications and applications with unplayable sound recordings or illegible proofs of age will not be processed nor judged.
  • Notification of finalists will be made on or before November 25, 2020. Applicants not chosen as finalists will also be notified by November 25.

Enter Now


Jennifer Lindsay
Jennifer Lindsay,
2015 Artist Div. Legacy Award

Singers in the Scholarship Division compete for three awards: the Nicholas Vrenios Memorial Award of $2000 to the first-place winner, the Constance Eberhardt Memorial Award for second place, and the Clifford Bair Memorial Award for third place, both ranging from $500 to $1250.

Singers in the Artist Division compete for three awards: the Todd Duncan Legacy Award to the first-place winner, the Vrenios Family Award to the second place winner and the Marjorie Gordon Award to the third place winner. These and other possible prizes range from $500 to $2500.

In addition to the above, the Legacy Award of $500 is presented to an outstanding contestant representing a racial or ethnic minority, at the discretion of the judges.


Questions regarding the competition may be addressed to:
Amy Johnson, Scholarship Division chair, at
David Ronis, Artist Division chair, at , or to
Kirk Severtson, Executive Director, at or by calling 734.615.3784.