Music student advances to national opera finals; others win awards

Music students win awards

~ By Tom Uribes, reprinted from

Fresno State music major Tiffanie Trujillo has advanced to the New York Lyric Opera’s National Competition that will be held April 28 on Broadway in New York City.

Trujillo, 21, of Fresno, qualified during the semi-final round in the classical category in Division 1 (ages 18-28) held March 12. She will compete with about 20 other finalists from throughout the country at Thalia Hall in the Symphony Space On Broadway.

Trujillo also won first place in classical (ages 21-24) at the Central California Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing auditions held April 1 at Fresno City College along with two other first-place finishers from Fresno State: Thomas Hayes (musical theatre 21-24) and Alejandra Tejeda, a master’s candidate in voice (classical 25 and over).

Another four Fresno State music majors — Jocelyn Boe (classical 18-21), Valrie Childress (musical theatre 18-21), Christian Cabral (classical 21-25)and Ed Olivarez (classical 25 and over) — won second place at the competition that hosts students from four Central California institutions as well as high school and middle schools students. College professors and private singing instructors judge the competition.

In a third competition held March 11, Cabral won first place in the Fresno Musical Club‘s Young Singer award with second place won by senior Valerie Loera. Tejeda won second place in competition for the Bell T. Richie Award for Advanced Students.

In a fourth event, Tejeda, who also recently performed as the lead character in the opera program’s “Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena”in the fall semester, and senior Ashley Trembley were finalists for the San Jose Opera summer program April 8-9 in San Jose. They both qualified for the camp July 9-21 but due to a schedule conflict, only Tejeda will attend.

“These successes are the best peer review to demonstrate that what we are teaching at Fresno State is valuable and meaningful,” said Dr. Anthony Radford, a Fresno State opera professor. “Our talented students are being recognized regionally and nationally for their talents.”

Radford and fellow music professors Dr. Maria Briggs and Brigid deJong instruct the students.

These award-winning students and others can be seen in performance when the Fresno State Opera Theater presents  “Die Fledermaus” at 8 p.m. Friday, April 21, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at the Fresno State Concert Hall in the Music building (2380 E. Keats). The opera performance will also feature professional dancers Artemi Okunev and Erica Arnold from Los Angeles.

For tickets and more information, visit or contact Radford at or 559.278.7593.


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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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