The Bonnie Cummins Fielder Grant for Career Advancement is awarded biennially to promising vocalists who are beginning a music career. This year’s finals were held on March 15 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover Avenue, Austin, Texas.
The judges were Suzanne Ramo, Assoc. Prof. of Voice at Texas State University and Darlene Wiley, Prof. of Voice (retired) at University of Texas at Austin. The accompanist was Dr. Maimy Fong.
Kathleen Felty, mezzo-soprano, holds a Master’s in Vocal Performance from the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of UNCSA. She recently performed the role of Mercedes in Carmen with the Santa Fe Opera.
Sara Kenedy, soprano, holds a Graduate Artist’s Certificate in Opera from the University of North Texas. This summer she will be performing the role of Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Camerata Bardi Vocal Academy.
Sarah Dyer, mezzo-soprano, is currently completing her certificate of Vocal Performance at the University of Houston. She Recently performed the role of Madame Larina in Eugene Onegin at the Music Academy of the West.
Bree Nichols, soprano, was a postdoctoral Fulbright grantee to the Czech Republic in 2021-22 where she prepared for the release of her debut solo album, Pure Morning, a celebration of Czech opera and art song. She is also the founder of Opera Arlington, an organization created to inspire the Dallas-Fort Worth area through opera while encouraging young singers.