The 2017-2018 Monsanto Artists-in-Training students brought their year of study to a close with a recital at The Sheldon Concert Hall on Sunday, April 23rd, 2018. MaryAnn McCormick served as adjudicator for the recital, assigning $10,000.00 in scholarships to the students. Top honor, the Monsanto Award, was given to Miles Wadlington, a senior at Belleville West High School. The young baritone performed “Si trai ceppi” from Handel’s Berenice, and followed the acceptance of his award with an encore performance of Schumann’s “Die beiden Grenadiere.” The Marielle Huber award was presented to Joshua Woodard, a senior at Riverviews High School. This was the tenor’s third year as a member of the AIT program. The Martitz First Place Award was given to first-year AIT student, Darren Tucker, a senior from Saint Louis University High School. Second place and third place awards were earned by sopranos, senior Erica Ancell and sophomore Lauren Cerbin respectively, both students at Cor Jesu Academy. Fourth place was awarded two singers – tenor Zykhime Bell, a senior from Normandy High School, and soprano Bryn Sentnor, a junior from Parkway West High School. An encouragement award was presented to baritone Isaac Williams, a junior from Belleville West, for excellent work from a promising first-year AIT student.
This event also celebrated General Director Timothy O’Leary’s tenure with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. During his 11 seasons with the company, O’Leary championed young artists and educational programming. To celebrate his support and contribution, the Artists-in-Training students concluded the program with a group performance of the traditional Irish folk tune “Oh Danny Boy”, honoring O’Leary’s heritage. Families and friends gathered after the recital to celebrate the performances of all and the conclusion of the Artists-in-Training year.