Announcing the 2020 Voice Commencement Contest Winners

Maranatha Baptist University’s Music Department hosts an annual contest for MBU musicians. The three categories of the competition include instrumental, voice, and piano. To give student performers equal opportunity, area music professionals judge each category.

The participants of the voice contest impressed adjudicator Christin Kieckhafer with their diligence and excellent work. “All of the vocal contest participants showcased their talents in singing a wide range of timeless sacred and classical pieces,” she says. “Congratulations to these musicians on a job well done.”

Voice Contest Category Winners

David Alexander took first place in the Classical Art Song category with an outstanding performance of Largo al Factotum by Rossini. The runner-up in Classical Art Song was awarded to Troy Jones for his performance of Gia II Sole del Gange by Scarlatti.

Denver Baughman won first place in the Sacred Art Song category singing How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings by Samuel Liddle. David Alexander claimed the runner up spot in the Sacred Art Song category with Gounod‘s O Divine Redeemer.

Kieckhafer commended Alexander and Baughman stating, “The winners of the vocal contest produced sonorous and resonant melody lines that captivated the listener. These soaring lines reminded the listener of the rapturous beauty that can be found in an exquisitely written melody when sung with purpose, forethought, and practice.”

Winners Alexander and Baughman are eligible to perform in Fine Arts Chapel at the end of the semester, along with the instrumental and piano category winners. From those performances, the music faculty will select one overall winner. The grand prize for the contest includes $100 in cash, as well as other benefits.

About the Adjudicator

Upon her graduation from MBU in 2008, Christin Kieckhafer taught choral music at Slinger Middle School. While there, she doubled the choral program in less than two years, continuing the growth after year two as well. In 2009, Kieckhafter began her studies at Westminster Choir College where she was accepted into their Vocal Performance/Pedagogy Program on a partial scholarship. She has since completed a Master of Music program at Boston University. Kieckhafer maintains a successful private studio of piano and voice students, and she stays busy in Southeastern Wisconsin as a sought-after accompanist. She and her husband serve in the music ministry at their local church, and she recently joined the Forever Be Sure ladies ensemble as a touring member.