November 4, 2009
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab
Competitors tune up for Williamson competition
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - A dozen Slippery Rock University music students have been rehearsing for weeks in preparation for the 17th annual Chad Williamson Memorial Scholarship Competition at 4 p.m. Nov. 14 in Swope Music Hall.
The vocal scholarship competition honors the late Slippery Rock High School graduate who, prior to a fatal traffic accident, had enrolled at SRU.
The competition is designed to showcase SRU student vocal talents. Each competitor offers a classical selection and a popular tune.
Timothy Culver, assistant professor of voice at Kent State University's Glauser School of Music, is this year's judge.
Culver, a tenor, is a staple in the Great Lake music scene. He has been described as having "a rich but penetrating tenor voice" and that he "faces florid tenor writing with a fearless vivacity." Equally at home in both operatic and musical theatre works, Culver has performed with the Cleveland Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Lansing Lyric Opera, Porthouse Theatre, Huron Playhouse and the Cleveland Orchestra.
Some recent roles include Count Almavira in "Il barbiere di Siviglia," Nemorino in "L'elisir d'amore," Alfredo in "La Traviata" and Albert Herring in the title role. During the inaugural season of the Opera Theatre of Lucca in Lucca, Italy, Culver performed and studied under the direction of internationally renowned baritone Lorenzo Malfatti.
A frequent recitalist, oratorio and concert soloist, Culver sang in the U.S. premiere of Erwin Schulhoff's "H.M.S. Royal Oak" with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony.
He joined KSU's School of Music in 2002. He earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees at Kent State.
The Williamson vocal competition is one of the most popular events in SRU's music department.
The concert provides SRU music majors the opportunity to demonstrate their vocal talent and allows the local community to both see and hear the performing arts talent of University voice students.
Created by Williamson's family, including his mother Karen Legato, an SRU graduate and former employee, the competition helps SRU's music department attract talented vocal performers.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.