August 23, 2021, New York, NY — The Oratorio Society of New York announces the winners of its 44th Annual Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition Finals held on Saturday, August 21 at 1:30pm at The Riverside Church. Soprano Emily Cedriana Donato received the Andrew R. Preis Award, earning First Place in the competition and a $7,000 cash prize. Soprano Emily Yocum Black received the Meyerson/Zwanger Award, earning Second Place and a $5,000 prize, and baritone Ryne Cherry received the Janet Plucknett Award, earning Third Place and a $3,000 prize.

Additionally, soprano Rebecca Farley received the Esther Korshin Award ($2,500 prize) and tenor Colin James Doyle received the Frances MacEachron Award ($1,500 prize).

Competition Finals judges included Oratorio Society Music Director Kent Tritle, Ryan Brandau (Artistic Director of Amor Artis, Princeton Pro Musica, and Monmouth Civic Chorus), Hanako Yamaguchi (former Director of Music Programming at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts), Mark Shapiro (six-time ASCAP Award Winner), and Damien Sneed (Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient). Collaborative Pianist Erika Switzer accompanied the finalists in performance.

The prestigious annual Oratorio-Solo Competition encourages the art of oratorio singing and provides young singers the opportunity to advance their careers. This year’s five finalists were selected from the 120+ singers who participated in the 2020 competition, before the pandemic forced its cancellation that year.

About the Oratorio Society of New York
The Oratorio Society of New York (OSNY) is one of the oldest musical organizations in the United States and has become New York City’s standard for grand choral performance. Founded in 1873 by Leopold Damrosch, the Society has played an integral role in the musical life of the city. In its early years, the Society established a fund to finance the building of a new concert hall, a cause taken up in earnest by the Society’s fifth president, Andrew Carnegie. In 1891, and under the direction of Pyotr Tchaikovsky, the Society helped inaugurate this new Music Hall, which would be renamed Carnegie Hall several years later.

The Society continues to perform several times each season at Carnegie Hall. Its annual performances of Handel’s Messiah, a tradition unbroken since 1874, have become a holiday favorite with New York audiences. In addition to its collaborations with the New York Philharmonic and New York City Ballet, as well as other performing arts institutions, the Society performs internationally every few years – including recent concerts in Japan, Uruguay, Germany, Italy, and Brazil.

The Society is also committed to commissioning and championing new works, including most recently Pulitzer prize-winning composer, Paul Moravec and Grammy Award-winning librettist, Mark Campbell’s Grammy nominated recording Sanctuary Road, available from Naxos Records.

The OSNY membership consists of avocational and professionally trained singers as well as non-singing members. Auditions are held twice annually at the beginning of the fall and winter terms. OSNY is a not-for-profit 501c3 corporation governed by a volunteer board of directors with a professional music staff.

About Kent Tritle
Kent Tritle is one of America’s leading choral conductors. In addition to being Music Director of the Oratorio Society of New York, he is Director of Cathedral Music and Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City and Music Director of Musica Sacra, New York’s longest continuously performing professional chorus.

In addition, Kent is Director of Choral Activities at the Manhattan School of Music and is a member of the graduate faculty of The Juilliard School. An acclaimed organ virtuoso, he is also the organist of the New York Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra, and Chair of the Organ Department of the Manhattan School of Music.

Called “the brightest star in New York’s choral music world” by The New York Times, Kent Tritle founded the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space concert series at New York’s Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, and led it to great acclaim from 1989 to 2011. From 1996 to 2004, he was Music Director of New York’s The Dessoff Choirs. He hosted “The Choral Mix with Kent Tritle,” a weekly program on New York’s WQXR, from 2010 to 2014. Kent Tritle has made more than 20 recordings on the Telarc, Naxos, AMDG, Epiphany, Gothic, VAI and MSR Classics labels.