Alexa Hildebrandt is the winner this year of the Elizabeth Scott Vocal Choral Bursary (ESVCB).

Alexa Hildebrandt is the winner this year of the Elizabeth Scott Vocal Choral Bursary (ESVCB).

Award given to aspiring opera singer

The Elizabeth Scott Vocal Bursary is given to soprano Alexa Hildebrandt this year

Catherine Dawson

For the ESVCB Committee

Alexa Hildebrandt is the winner this year of the Elizabeth Scott Vocal Choral Bursary (ESVCB) and she has an impressive list of credits for one who has just completed her first two years of post secondary education.

Since a young age she has sung in school and church choirs and made the most of the teaching offered by a variety of mentors including  Sandra Babbel in the Okanagan. Those who attended the 2012 Okanagan Symphony Christmas Reflections Concert heard her as the soprano performer. Just a few weeks ago she and Siobhan Raupach, a previous ESVCB winner, and Haley Porter presented a very fine concert at Emmanuel Baptist Church. All three young sopranos are in the Opera Kelowna group and will be singing in their concert Aug. 17 in Kelowna. Alexa has also twice been the Okanagan representative at the Kiwanis Provincial Festival and on the second occasion was runner up. She gives her parents credit for instilling in her a love of classical music.

This enterprising young singer chose to spend her first two years of post-secondary education at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and in September will be transferring to the University of Manitoba to complete her bachelor’s degree in music, focusing on performance. She also won admission to UBC’s opera program. She hopes to follow a bachelor’s degree with a master’s leading to a career of performing and teaching. She wishes to be able to instill in her students the love of music and performance that has been one of the focal points of her own life.

The popularity of opera has grown over the last few years as evidenced by the success of the Opera Live in HD performances from the Met. It is a very difficult and rigorous vocal form and demands a facility in languages other than English to add to the challenges. It is interesting that all but one of the five individuals who have won the ESVCB have chosen opera as their main focus.

It is a point of pride for Okanagan voice teachers that these talented young singers have all received the foundation education that has enabled them to compete very successfully in the academic musical world in centres from New York, to Montreal, to Victoria and Vancouver to Seattle and now Manitoba. No doubt there will be many more times of pride in their accomplishments as the years go by. Watch for their names in the news.