Chautauqua Voice Program Fundraiser

My first voice lesson with my mentor Dr. Kenneth J. Pereira took place in September of 2011 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He pronounced my name correctly (the only one of my professors to do so on the first try!), he asked me about myself and my experiences, and then he led me through vocalizations progressively getting higher and higher... until he stopped.   "Let me show you what you could be" he said, walking over to the Mac desktop in his studio. He brought up a video of Juan Diego Florez, a famous Peruvian bel canto tenor, singing “Languir per una bella,” an aria from L’Italiana in Algeri by Rossini. JDF sang faster than anyone I’d ever heard before, he sang with a high and bright brilliance, he sang with passion: I was mesmerized, and confused. I remember thinking: "This guy thinks I could do THIS? This is insane!"

Six years and some months later, I’m singing an aria by Rossini in front of Marlena Malas in New York City. Marlena Malas: Juan Diego Florez’s teacher. After hearing me sing, she asks me to be a part of her summer program: The Voice Program at the Chautauqua School of Music.

In between these two moments, Dr. Pereira worked with me to refine my musical sensibilities and, of course, my voice. It was a lot of work, and it was not always pretty, or easy, but it paid off. For the last year and a half I’ve been working on my Master’s degree in voice performance studying with the fantastic Julia Faulkner in Chicago. A sentence that 6 years ago would have never even entered my imagination. In June I’ll graduate with an MM in Voice and begin to cultivate and develop my professional career as a young classical tenor. This program is the next step. But it’s an expensive step.

The program is an intensive seven week (June 23rd-August 10th) residency in Chautauqua, NY with weekly lessons and coachings, masterclasses, recitals, potential auditions, and the production of one opera (L’elisir d’amore by Donizetti), opera scenes, and one operetta (The Student Prince by Romberg). The faculty and guest artists are world renowned, with connections to high quality opera houses and studios. The contacts that could be made are potentially limitless; the training invaluable. It’s a wonderful opportunity; it’s an investment.

Brass Tacks:

Total cost of program including tuition + room and board = $4890
Travel = approximately $400
Misc. costs (clothes, printing costs, scores, etc) = approximately $200
Scholarship Received = $1500  
Initial Deposit (already paid) = $600
Amount Needed = approximately $3390

The balance of the tuition and my scholarship + deposit ($2790) is due by May 15th. While I am proficient in the art of procrastination, I hope for this deadline to be wholly unnecessary. Any extra funds from this campaign will only go toward expenses germane to my professional life. These include headshots, the creation of a professional website, and future audition/application fees.

I am a tenor with a dream inspired by wonderful artists and mentors. And while I wish I could pay for this on my own, I’m not too proud to accept the fact that I need help. If you could share this campaign with those who love music, opera, or singing, I would be incredibly grateful. If you choose to contribute, know that you have helped cultivate a young artist’s dream, and have earned my eternal gratitude.

If you're not convinced and would like to hear me sing in the coming months: 

The Merry Widow, Merle Reskin Theater, Chicago, IL - March 9th @ 7:30pm & March 11th @ 2pm

Met Council Auditions, Bethel University, St. Paul, MN - March 24th  

Graduate Recital, DePaul University Concert Hall May 26th 5pm

Special Thanks:
My Parents 
My Siblings
Dr. Kenneth J. Pereira
Claudia Catania
Julia Faulkner
Allan J. Moore


  • Katie Hahn
    • $50 
    • 6 yrs


Sebastian M. Armendariz
Chicago, IL

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