February 22, 2021 - Last week, the first ever virtual American Traditions Vocal Competition capped off a week of celebrating and preserving all styles of classic American music with a final round featuring five phenomenal performers competing for the gold.
The winners were announced at the conclusion of the final round after the judges (two-time Tony nominee, singer, actress, songwriter and recording artist Kate Baldwin; Grammy winner, nominee, and acclaimed jazz vocalist, Kurt Elling) made their final selections from among the talented pool of artists who progressed through the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds earlier this week. These contestants were required to perform diverse songs written by American composers in each round, representing a total of nine genres throughout the competition.
The Gold Medal, worth $12,000, and a professional solo engagement with the Savannah Philharmonic – sponsored by Elizabeth Oxnard – was awarded to Nicole Zuraitis.
Other awards presented included:
- The Silver Medal and $6,000 – sponsored by Diana Langer– was awarded to Andrea Christine Ross.
- The Bronze Medal and $3,000 – sponsored by Daniel C. Cohen– was awarded to Emily Nicholas.
- The Fourth Place Prize and $1,200 – sponsored by Susan and Ron Whitaker – was awarded to Heather Jones.
- The Fifth Place Prize and $1,500 – sponsored by The Charles C. Taylor and Samir Nikocevic Charitable Foundation – was awarded to Anastasia Talley.
- The Semifinals Richard Chambless People’s Choice Award and $500 was presented to Dee Roscioli. This award, given by Swann Seiler in memory of her dear friend Richard Chambless, is presented on behalf of the audience.
- The Toian Bowser-Alexander award is given in memory of Ms. Toian Alexander, the first ATC Treasurer, by her husband, James Edward Alexander. This award is bestowed to reward someone who exhibits helpfulness to others, encouragement and supportiveness: embodying the very heart of this vocal competition. The Toian Bowser-Alexander Award was presented to Assaf Gleizner.
“We have been blown away with the level of talent demonstrated by our contestants this year and are very thankful to celebrate with another year of song virtually,” said ATC Artistic Director Mikki Sodergren. “Congratulations to our fantastic Gold Medal winner, Nicole Zuraitis, and all 28 contestants who participated in our 2021 season!”
To learn more about the ATC – a nonprofit arts organization seeking to celebrate and preserve all styles of classic American music through a unique vocal competition for highly skilled and diverse singing performers – visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com.