Mercyhurst College pauses to review annual young artists competition

After 25 highly successful years, the Mercyhurst College D’Angelo Young Artists Competition will be put on a one-year hiatus while the college reviews its format and future.

“After 25 years, we believe it is time to take a short break to review the current status of the competition and then determine what are the best directions for the future,” said Dr. William P. Garvey, president of Mercyhurst College.

Under the guidance of Dr. Michael Cerveris, Creative Arts Division chairman and director of the D’Angelo School of Music, the music department faculty has begun to review various facets of the competition. The group will examine a variety of possibilities, including making the competition more regional, focusing it on one medium such as piano or voice, or altering the minimum age requirement for competitors.

Once the members of the music department have solidified suggestions for the competition, which may range from a total revamping of the contest to maintaining the status quo, they will present those ideas to the college president, his cabinet, and those individuals who have supported the competition over its tenure.

“This is an appropriate time to take a break and make certain the competition is serving the most compelling constituencies,” said Cerveris, who added that the goal is to reach a decision by spring of 2002 so potential contestants will have an opportunity to prepare for the next competition.

The competition, which began in 1976, has always drawn an international cast of musicians for its annual contest. The competition cycled between piano, voice and strings. Competitors ranging from 18 to 30 years competed by preparing a repertoire of two to three hours of music to play from memory.

The college annually funded the operational cost of the competition, which runs near $30,000. Prize money totaling $18,000, including a $10,000 first place award, has been funded from an endowment supported by Dr. and Mrs. George D’Angelo, Dr. and Mrs. Charles Furr, Dr. and Mrs. Peter Scibetta and Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Shivers.
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