Vocal Performance Program Senior Advances in National Competitions and Singing Career

April 19, 2021


Hannah Ray ’21, a senior in the Shattuck-St. Mary’s Vocal Performance Program (VPP) Center of Excellence, has continued to succeed in multiple musical competitions this spring, while working towards a role in a professional opera.

This past March, she took second place in the National Division of the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Music Performance and Essay Competition for the voice category, which included a cash prize. This competition aims to “identify and support the developing careers of promising young musicians.”

Additionally, Hannah performed virtually at the National Student Auditions in the High School Classical-Treble category, a competition held by the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). She advanced from the regional to the national round of competition, which will be judged in July. While she and other SSM singers have sung for NATS in previous years, Hannah is the first SSM student to advance to this level of competition.

Despite a busy year of vocal competition, Hannah has also participated in Project Opera (for the second year in a row), a youth training program for singers put on by the Minnesota Opera. This year, the student singers of Project Opera have been rehearsing The Song Poet, a musical adaptation of a memoir by Kao Kalia Yang.

And last, but certainly not least, Hannah made great strides forward in her career as a burgeoning opera professional when she was assigned the understudy role of Emmie in the Minnesota Opera’s upcoming performance of Albert Herring, a comedic chamber opera. Throughout the rehearsal period this spring, Hannah has been able to sing alongside many professional opera stars, including SSM VPP alumna Zoie Reams ’10, performing in the role of Nancy, and former SSM Guest Artist Clara Osowski, performing in the role of Mrs. Herring. Albert Herring will be streaming online from May 22-June 5, 2021.

Hannah will be attending NDSU for opera in the fall; please wish her good luck, as well as congratulations for these accomplishments and her musical successes earlier this year.

  • Hannah Ray ’21 and Zoie Reams ’10, December 2019