Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance majors finish strong

Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance majors finish strong

By: Judith Raiford


two women standing side by side, one in a black dress and one in a red and black dress
Madyson Mitchell and Judith Raiford

The four remaining students enrolled in the sunsetting Bachelor of Music (BM) in Vocal Performance major have once again excelled in area vocal competitions and look forward to exceptional opportunities in the professional music world post-graduation.


The vocal winners of the TU Concerto-Aria Competition for 2022 are BM Vocal Performance majors Jessi Rhinehart and Madyson Mitchell. Students of Judith Raiford, they performed arias by Mozart and Dvorak in the President’s Concert with the TU Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Richard Wagner.


Senior BM Vocal Performance major Abigail Williams, also a student of Raiford, was the first-place winner of the Laven Sowell Collegiate Vocal Scholarship, a competitive award with a prize of $1,500, presented by the Hyechka Music Club of Tulsa in March 2022.


woman in a long black dress singing while standing in front of a piano
Jessi Rhinehart

Junior Mitchell was the recipient of the second-place prize for her division in the OK District NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) annual auditions held on April 9 at UCO. Senior Rhinehart was also a finalist in this highly competitive event, where TU competes with large delegations from OU, OSU, OCU, UCO and other large institutions from across the state.


The future is bright for our three graduating BM Vocal Performance seniors! Williams has been accepted to the Manhattan School of Music (ranked as the #3 conservatory in the country after Juilliard and Curtis) and credits her musical education at TU for her success: “I can’t believe how different my life has become, and in the best way possible, in the last four years. I am so grateful to Judith Pannill Raiford, Brady McElligott and Kim Childs for getting me ready to move to NYC and pursue a career I didn’t know was possible before attending TU.”


person wearing a blue t-shirt and a cap standing in front of a large crowd at night gathered around a bonfire
Celyn Grigson

Williams will be pursuing a Master of Music in Vocal Arts. Rhinehart was offered a full vocal scholarship to pursue a Master of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Kansas. And the third graduating BM Vocal Performance major and student of Childs is tenor Celyn Grigson. Immediately upon graduating, Grigson began work as a Tulsa Service Year Fellow, serving at Youth Services of Tulsa as a Youth Leadership Specialist. In his own words, Celyn explains: “Tulsa Service Year is a program with a highly competitive multi-stage interview process for recent college graduates to be paired with a Tulsa non-profit. My personal goal with my Tulsa Service Year is to make connections and impact the Tulsa community in any way I can.”


young woman wearing a black dress
Abigail Williams

Whether in the performing arts or transitioning into a future assisting non-profits, our BM Vocal Performance majors are putting TU on the map and moving into the world with realistic hopes and dreams forged and fortified through the exceptional educational and cultural experiences they gained at the TU School of Music.