Internationally acclaimed soprano and alumna Deborah Voigt received a standing ovation from patrons gathered in Meng Concert Hall Nov. 8 for the School of Music Dedication Celebration.
Performing with the University Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Chorus, University Singers and Chamber Orchestra, Voigt demonstrated her vocal and acting talents in a varied program that ranged from classical music to Broadway hits. She began with Wagner’s “Dich, Teure Halle” and ended with “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from “The Sound of Music.” She even served as accompanying pianist for Irving Berlin’s “I Love a Piano.”
Voigt was among recipients of the inaugural Titans of Music Awards, which were presented before the benefit concert. She received one for music performance, while retired educator Carl Schafer was honored for music education, and Carl St. Clair, music director of the Pacific Symphony, was honored for community impact.
Full funding for an endowed scholarship launched by Jane Paul Hummel, professor emeritus of music, was announced by Voigt, who described her university mentor as “an outstanding teacher and dear friend” and one “who cares deeply about her students’ success.” The first Jane Paul Hummel Scholarship in Vocal Excellence will be presented next year.
Presenting brief remarks were Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs José Luis Cruz, College of the Arts Dean Dale A. Merrill and School of Music Director Marc R. Dickey.
Acknowledged from the stage was donor Gabriele Genereux, a past president of the Music Associates, for her generosity as a sponsor of the event. Other event sponsors are: Dean Emeritus of the College of the Arts Joe Arnold and his wife, Voiza; alumna Shirley Bloom; alumna Mary Dalessi; alumna Theresa Harvey, president and CEO of the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce; Music Associates President Sandy Johnson and her husband, Norm; and David Thorsen, professor emeritus of music, and his wife, Cathrynn, a past president of the Music Associates.
Kimo Furumoto conducted the Symphonic Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, and Robert Istad conducted the University Singers and Chamber Orchestra.
Donors attended a reception and silent auction held in advance of the concert to benefit music scholarships. The celebration continued after the concert in the Hallberg Theatre of the Clayes Performing Arts Center, where audience members and performers gathered for refreshments.