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Dr. Loralee Songer Wins Prestigious American Prize in Vocal Performance

  • By: James R. Garringer
  • Published:
Dr. Loralee Songer

Taylor University Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Loralee Songer has won The 2021 American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award (Women in Art Song and Oratorio) (Professional Division).

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award honors the memory of Friedrich Schorr, known as, “the greatest Wagnerian baritone of his age.” Schorr was a well-loved and respected vocalist whose career spanned the period of time between World Wars I and II. Shorr’s wife, Virginia, taught studio voice at the Manhattan School of Music and the Hartt School of Music for nearly fifty years. The Prize recognizes and rewards the best performances by classically trained vocalists in America, based on submitted recordings.

Songer, a mezzo-soprano and 2004 alumna of Taylor, is an active recitalist, opera and oratorio performer, conductor, and educator. She holds a Doctor of Arts in vocal performance and choral conducting from Ball State University and teaches applied voice, conducting, and other music-related courses at Taylor. She made her DCINY (Distinguished Concerts International New York) Artist Series Debut at Carnegie Hall in 2019.

Songer is the author of Songs of the Second Viennese School: A Performer’s Guide to Selected Solo Vocal Works, in which she outlines for singers and voice teachers critical information on selected solo vocal works by three major classical composers active during the first half of the twentieth century: Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, and Anton Webern.

The American Prize is a prestigious series of national competitions in the performing arts that recognizes both professional and college/university levels as well as community organizations in a number of areas including composition, piano, voice, chamber music, conducting, and ensemble performance. The jury consists of a panel of well-known performing artists in each area. Artists and ensembles self-nominate through an application process but may also be nominated by a teacher or colleague. Evaluation is a key component of the competition; applicants who reach finalist status or higher receive a written evaluation from a member of the judging panel. Winners of each category receive a cash award. 

“Dr. Loralee Songer is an exceptional artist and professor who is committed to the pursuit of excellence as a vocalist and a classroom/studio teacher,” said Dr. Thomas G. Jones, Interim Provost at Taylor University. “It comes as no surprise to Dr. Songer’s colleagues and students that she is a recipient of an award that evaluates, recognizes, and rewards the best performers in the country, and we are grateful that she is part of our outstanding Music Program.”