March 06, 2018 4:00PM
Barbara Rondelli Perry, whose father was the principal at Cherokee High School and whose mother was an elementary school teacher, grew up listening to the Metropolitan Opera on the radio. In 1956, she performed her first recital on stage at Pittsburg State's McCray Recital Hall at the age of 16.
After earning both a bachelor's degree and master’s degree in vocal performance from Pittsburg State, she attended the Royal Academy of Music in London on a two-year Fulbright Scholarship, where she studied under the internationally acclaimed soprano Dame Eva Turner.
Rondelli Perry performed internationally in more than 40 major operatic roles, more than 50 major oratorio roles and many song recitals. From 1975 until 2011, she served as professor in the Department of Music at the University of Toledo, where she was named professor emerita in 2012.
But she never lost her connection to Pittsburg State, and last year established the statewide competition through a gift, together with her husband, Richard Perry.
The competition will be held in the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., with a winner’s concert slated for 4 p.m. The entire competition is free and open to the public.
Organizer Stella Hastings, professor of music in voice, said judges will choose up to four finalists in each vocal category – soprano, metzo, tenor, and baritone/bass, from among undergraduate Kansas voice students coming in from across the state.
"Those students must have prepared a required list of repertoire that includes five titles; the judges will pick what they want them to sing when they arrive," Hastings said.
Winners will be announced at approximately 4 p.m.
The top prize: $1,500.
Following a concert by the winners, a reception will be held around 5 p.m. in the lobby.
To learn more about Pittsburg State's Department of Music, visit http://www.pittstate.edu/department/music/