Aspire to Inspire: HS Musical Theatre Winner Hannah Bautista

This is part 1 of 6 as we highlight the First Place winners of each division from the 2020 CS MUSIC VOCAL COMPETITION.

CS Music: Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, I’m Hannah Bautista, a junior in high school. I have experiences performing in National Broadway Musical tours and local high school musicals. I am vocally trained in Musical Theater/Various Musical Genres by a private voice teacher. I have 1 year training in Classical Voice at San Francisco Conservatory of Music and I am a member of Youth Cabaret Ensemble in American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

CS: What is your dream role?

HB: My Broadway dream roles are Eliza Hamilton in Hamilton the musical, Eponine in Les Misérables, Kim in Miss Saigon, Jenna in Waitress.

CS: How do you feel that singing, and music in general, can have an impact on the world?

HB: Singing and music definitely have a big impact and significance in our world. Music serves as an inspiration and outlet to heal and relive special moments. Music impacts individuals and our society through culturally, morally, spiritually and emotional influence. I am so thankful and appreciative of CS Music for giving us the opportunity to come together from the whole world as singers sharing the same passion. Music and singing have impacted my life greatly in such a positive and beautiful way.

CS: Name some of your favorite professional singers and why they are so impactful.

HB: My all-time favorite professional singer would be Lea Salonga because ever since I was little, and just getting started into this industry, she has been a role model for me especially as an Asian-American artist. She is a well-known Filipino Artist who originated the lead role of Kim in Miss Saigon, the first actress of Asian descent to play the roles of Eponine and Fantine in Les Misérables, the singing voice of Jasmine in Aladdin and Fa Mulan in Mulan and many more. Her passion, love for singing,  technique, style,  skills, voice and best of all the way she conveys the message of the song is so animated,  powerful and inspiring to me. 

CS: What was your experience like participating in a virtual competition and convention vs. the traditional live setting?

HB: Initially, I wondered how it would come out as judges won’t be able to see participants as it would be easier to judge live and face-to-face. Honestly, though, it was not bad as I thought it would be. It is a new experience, but I actually enjoyed virtually being around people who share the same love and passion for music from all over the world. I was also able to share this experience with my family and friends as they were able to watch and support virtually. At the same time, I would still love to attend a live setting as I still love to be around people live and face to face. 

CS: In terms of singing and performing, what has been your biggest struggle and how have you overcome it?

HB: My biggest struggle as a performer is feeling secure in myself. You see so many talented young artists around you succeeding and I wonder if I am ever good enough to be at their level. A competition makes me constantly feel emotionally, mentally, and physically drained. But through the several auditions that I experienced at a young age being rejected, I learned that if God closes a door, He will open another opportunity. Through this I acquired more patience to wait for the right opportunity that is best for me. My parents also always remind me that there is always a reason for everything. We might not understand everything right now but will eventually be understood in the future. But best of all, my parents reminded me that I have my own unique gifts and talents and never compare myself to other performers. I need to believe and know who I am as an individual and as a performer, and to be humble and give out my best from the heart that will touch people’s lives. I need to be thankful that I am blessed with the gift that God has given me.

CS: What advice would you give to future participants in the CS Music Competition?

HB: My advice to future CS competition participants is to perform your best and give your all from your heart. Aspire to inspire others to branch out of their comfort zones to create an even more beautiful piece of art. Understand the meaning and story of the song,  bring out the character of the song and convey the message that you are portraying through your facial expressions, gestures and eye contact. Be confident as you perform but with humility by believing in the unique gift and ability that you have without comparing yourself with the other singers. Each person has his/her own unique and beautiful talent and own it. Appreciate and accept positive and encouraging comments. Listen, learn and improve from corrections. Enjoy as you live in the song and in the moment as you bring out the best in you as you perform.

Watch all of the winners of the 2020 CS Vocal Competition HERE.

CS Music Staff

CS Music is THE community for singers, teachers, and pianists. CS began in 1986 with the first issue of The New York Opera Newsletter and later to the award-winning magazine Classical Singer. Since 2003 CS has expanded to included articles, audition listings, and events for both classical and musical theatre singers worldwide! Free online articles and listings are available at