University of North Texas

UNT Insider | April 2012 issue | Doctoral student wins Dallas Opera Guild competition

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Doctoral student wins Dallas Opera Guild competition

From a UNT News Service press release

Heather Hawk, a doctoral student, clinched first prize in the Dallas Opera Guild's 24th Annual Vocal Competition for young opera singers.

The competition was held in March at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas. Hawk earned an $8,000 cash prize in the competition.

Hawk, who is pursuing a doctor of musical arts in the College of Music, has sung the title role in Handel's Alcina and was specially selected to perform in a UNT concert of music by Jake Heggie, the artist-in-residence for UNT's Institute for the Advancement of the Arts for the 2010-11 academic year. She has performed with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and at the 2011 Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis.

UNT has a long history of first place winners in the Dallas Opera Guild competition -- including former students Jessie Hinkle, Takesha Meshe Kizart, Latonia Moore, Mireya Rodriguez and Amber Wellborn.

Other former UNT students who have placed in the competition include: Daniel Collins, Juan Jose de Leon, Jesus Garcia, Lora Gauthier, Christina Major, Catherine Martin, Dana Beth Miller, David Portillo, Ann Marie Sandy, Scott Scully and Jeffrey Snider, who is now chair of vocal studies at UNT.

About UNT Opera

Students and faculty members from the UNT College of Music's award-winning opera program were featured performers at the annual gala concert March 15 for the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York City -- the leading proponent of new opera in the U.S.

UNT Opera offers intensive training and performance opportunities to talented undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Music. The opera program offers two full productions each year in the Lyric Theater of the Murchison Performing Arts Center, as well as a biennial gala concert of operatic excerpts and opportunities to perform across the country.

Also, in partnership with the Dallas Opera, four UNT students recently performed Doctor Miracle to critical acclaim as part of a double cast performing at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas and in 32 schools reaching about 5,000 students in the North Texas region.

About the UNT College of Music

The UNT College of Music is one of the largest and most respected comprehensive music schools in the country. About 1,600 music students attend UNT each year, participating in more than 40 widely varied ensembles and pursuing specialized studies in performance, composition, music education or music scholarship. UNT faculty members and students have made appearances on the world's finest stages and have produced numerous recordings, many receiving Grammy awards and nominations. Distinguished UNT alumni can be found around the globe, in top music ensembles, opera companies, universities and schools.

Ellen Rossetti with UNT News Service can be reached at

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April 2012

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