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UT Tyler Opera Program, Director Named American Prize Semifinalists

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November 30, 2016

Media Contact:  Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769 or 903.539.7196 (cell)


The University of Texas at Tyler opera program and its director have been recognized for outstanding excellence in performance, Dr. Martin Slann, College of Arts and Sciences dean, announced.

UT Tyler's program is one of 12 opera ensembles nominated for The American Prize. The American Prize is the largest national online competition for performing arts. Other universities nominated this year in the category are the Hartt School – University of Connecticut, Yale University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Florida State University, Texas State University, Messiah College, State University of New York at Purchase, University of South Dakota, University of Michigan, Bob Jones University, University of Michigan – Flint and Undercroft Opera.

In addition, UT Tyler opera director and assistant professor of music Dr. Sooah Park is one of 12 nationwide semifinalists for The American Prize in Opera Performance.

An active opera performer, Park's performance experiences include a broad array of musical idioms and styles. She has performed in Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Finland and South Korea. Park also appears frequently as a soloist in concerts and oratorios in the Tyler, Austin, Brownsville and Houston communities.

Aside from her performing career, Park has directed various operas at UT Tyler including "The Gondoliers," "The Merry Widow," "Hansel and Gretel," "Mysteries on the Dock," "A Muskrat Lullaby," "The Old Maid and the Thief" and "The Magic Flute." Her directing scene from "The Old Maid and the Thief" was one of four finalists in the Collegiate Opera Scene Competition graduate category at the 2015 National Opera Association Convention.

UT Tyler's budding opera/musical theater program offers a major performance each spring semester. All UT Tyler productions are generally open to students of any major, based upon audition. For more information, visit uttyler.edu/music/ensembles/opera.php.

The American Prize is a series of non-profit national competitions in the performing arts providing cash awards, recognizing ensembles and individuals each year in the United States at the professional, college/university, church, community and secondary-school levels.

Administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Danbury, Connecticut, The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually. For additional information, visit theamericanprize.org.

One of the 14 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler features excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of almost 10,000 high-ability students. UT Tyler offers courses at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine as well as a location in Houston.

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