CS Vocal Competition Winners : Classical High School I

$14,000 of cash prizes and $4.2 million in scholarships were awarded at the 2022 CS Vocal Competition. Meet the winners in a series of online features.

Introducing our First and Second Place winners in the Classical High School I Division! 

FIRST PLACE WINNER: Anjulie Djearam

1. What is your artist level and school if applicable?

Highschool senior (claremont secondary) B.C Canada 🙂 

2. What is your dream role?

Lakmé from Lakmé

3. What advice would you give to future participants in the CS Music competition?

One of my biggest pieces of advice is to make friends!  cannot stress how much I regret not getting the contact info of all the performers. It’s beautiful how strangers can come together and bond over something so vulnerable and intimate as music. Another important take away is to choose your rep carefully. Sing pieces that you love, and love you. In the final round of the competition I ended up changing my piece last minute because it didn’t feel right, and I believe that is one of the reasons I was successful. I listened to my voice and my body and it served me well.

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

Music makes an impact as it brings people together regardless of religion, culture, and language. Complete strangers gather to listen and create music and that speaks volumes on how impactful it is.

5. Name one of your favorite professional singers and why they are so impactful.

I love listening to Renée Flemming, Jessye Norman, and Lucia popp however, Diana Damrau is my favourite performer. Her effortless vocals and ability to engage with audiences is incredible. There are so many talented singers but personally what puts Diana aside from the rest is how every note is precious and valuable. I have never met Diana, yet I feel so connected because her performances leave me warm. Every time I hear her I’m stunned and reminded why I love music.

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

My biggest struggle in performing is getting out of my head. I wouldn’t say I’m someone who struggles with stage fright or anxiety but I would say that I’m a perfectionist and the littlest things throw me for a loop. Sometimes I get so lost in thought while performing that i’ll completely forget the moment even seconds after I step off stage. I feel a pressure to do the composer justice for their art, and it can be draining to feel that you’re doing an insufficient job. Insecurities and vocal envy are very challenging struggles that hold me back but I try to be kind and patient towards myself and my instrument. Something that is currently helping me get over this is reminding myself that by working hard, doing my best, and having fun, I am enough. At the end of the day that is all that matters. Taking a moment to remember you’re enough by simply trying is tough, but a necessity before performing.

7. How did you come to participate in the competition? (How did you hear about it and what steps did you take in order to make it happen?)

My incredibly driven parents were searching for some classical music outlets to keep me motivated during the pandemic when they stumbled upon the CS music web page. They entered me in some online masterclasses and competitions and kept up with the news letters and latest emails. About a year later we attended the Chicago convention and it left a massive positive impact on me.

8. Were you offered any scholarships? If so, tell us about what you were offered, if it will be of help to you, and how you feel about it.

I received scholarships from :
– Eastman School of Music
– Cleveland Institute of Music
– Pepperdine University
– Illinois Wesleyan University
– Viterbo University
– Furman University
– Schmidt Vocal Institute 

and a couple summer intensives all leaving me extremely overwhelmed with excitement. Before this convention I had an unsatisfying performance leaving me a bit sad and unmotivated. Going to the convention gave me a chance to redeem myself however, a lot more came from this experience. I met so many lovely musicians, and teachers that made me feel at home and excited. Receiving scholarships and meeting teachers who loved my instrument and wanted to teach me restored my confidence and reminded me to respect my instrument. Overall the CS convention and competition was an amazing experience filled with moments that often replay in my mind.

SECOND PLACE WINNER: Vivien Vigilante

1. What is your artist level and school if applicable?

I am currently a senior in high school, and I am hoping to attend college next year for vocal performance. I competed in the Classical High School I Division this past May.

2. What is your dream role?

The two roles I would love to play are Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann and Musetta in La Boheme.

3. What advice would you give to future participants in the CS Music competition?

I would encourage everyone to enter videos into the CS Music Competition. The feedback from talented musicians, alone, has been extremely helpful. Learning to accept constructive criticism and to use it to improve my vocal artistry has been the greatest part of participating in the competitions. Additionally, attending the in-person CS Music Competitions/Conventions in July 2021 and May 2022 were inspirational experiences. I loved meeting and listening to the performers in the older age divisions. The opportunity at the Convention to attend masterclasses with incredible professionals in the industry has also been critical to my growth as a classical singer. Finally, I would tell future participants to be brave and take a chance! 

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

Citizen artistry can uplift a community and influence positive change in people’s lives. Through my volunteer work–in singing for the elderly in nursing homes and through my service organization, “Vivien’s Virtual Voices,” where I sing for group home residents virtually–I have learned that singing can be very powerful. Opera, and music in general, offers us a reflection of who we are and what it means to be human. It addresses many different themes such as love, death, loss, deceit, passion and joy. People come to the arts wanting to share their trauma. In this way, music can unite a diverse and conflicted community, bringing together people who are seeking a catharsis. This can make a major impact on the world by reminding us that we are more similar as human beings than we are different.

5. Name one of your favorite professional singers and why they are so impactful.

I am a big fan of Federica Lombardi. In addition to her beautiful voice, she has an amazing stage presence. I had the opportunity to see her play the Contessa in Le Nozze Di Figaro at the MET in April. 

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

My biggest struggle has been maintaining my rhythms throughout a piece. Personally, I believe that knowing your rhythm or tempo is the most difficult aspect to grasp. Learning to count your music can be tricky, but this is where the significance of having a qualified teacher comes into play. If you miscount, you misinterpret your piece. Counting your music will allow you to strengthen your musicianship and allow you to thrive in this field.

7. How did you come to participate in the competition? (How did you hear about it and what steps did you take in order to make it happen?)

For the CS Music Spring Competition, I sent in a “first round” video in April which qualified me to the second round in Chicago. I saw an ad for the competition in Classical Singer Magazine. It was an experience of a lifetime, and I met a lot of new friends and college professors. I am very grateful to CS Music for hosting this in-person event during these unpredictable times.

8. Were you offered any scholarships? If so, tell us about what you were offered, if it will be of help to you, and how you feel about it.

I was absolutely thrilled to receive a scholarship from the Eastman School of Music. This was a tremendous honor!

 

Photo of the finalists in the Classical High School I division:

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 www.csmusic.net.