Snow vocal student wins opera ‘Encouragement Award’

Charity Cooper is a music major studying vocal performance at Snow College’s Horne School of Music. She was the winner of an Encouragement Award, one of three given in the statewide opera audition.


Snow vocal student wins opera

‘Encouragement Award’


By Max Higbee

Staff writer

Nov. 30, 2017


SALT LAKE CITY—A Snow College vocal student competed at a statewide opera audition and won an Encouragement Award.

Each year, the Metropolitan Opera National Council holds auditions across the country, seeking exceptional talent to cultivate “young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers,” according to the Council’s website.

In Utah, the 2017-2018 season auditions took place on Nov. 11 in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah’s Libby Gardner Concert Hall.

“To receive any kind of recognition is an incredible feat,” says Brian Stucki, the director of Vocal Performance at Snow College. “Therefore, we send our very best students.”

This year, one of those “very best” was Charity Cooper, a mezzo-soprano from Layton attending Snow’s Horne School of Music.

Her audition was met with praise from the auditioners, and she was gifted an Encouragement Award by the council, a high honor accompanied by a cash prize of $500. Only three Encouragement Prizes were awarded.

“The Encouragement Award means the council wants the student to continue to grow and return the next year,” says Stucki. “And I have no doubt that Charity will be back next year.”

“Getting the award was surprising,” said Cooper. “Many of the other contestants had years of experience ahead of me, and I was the youngest one in the competition. I’m grateful to Professor Stucki for recommending me to the competition.”

Cooper says the award helped define her goals. An athletic injury in high school had forced her to reevaluate her life path, and she found a new focus in voice lessons.

After coming to Snow and having ample opportunities to perform music, she decided to pursue a career on the stage.

“I’m even more excited about what I hope to accomplish,” Cooper said. “I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing at Snow College. I have really been able to develop and blossom in this program.”

Upon graduating from the four-year Commercial Music Ensemble degree, she plans to go on to a graduate degree at Weber State and to continue to compete in the annual opera auditions.

The award winners at the auditions are Christopher Oglesby of the Utah Opera; Miriam Costa-Jackson, graduate of Utah State University and BYU; Arielle Nachtigal, graduate of the Eastman School of Music; and Addison Marlor of the University of Utah.

The other two Encouragement Awards were given to Solomon Reynolds of BYU and Mary Hoskins of BYU.

For more information on the auditions, visit http://www.utahmoncauditions.org/2017-Auditions-Winners.html.