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FHSU students bound for Young Artist Programs

Special to The Hays Daily News

Four students majoring in music at Fort Hays State University will spend time this summer performing with nationally auditioned Young Artist Programs in France, Washington and South Dakota.

Calder Craig, Russell senior, and Luke Fairbank, Hays senior, will sing with the Franco American Vocal Academy in France. The academy, a nonprofit, non-discriminatory organization affiliated with the Butler School of Music of the University of Texas, is an intensive study program designed for emerging singers who seek a professional career in opera, operetta or concert. The program is open to all nationalities.

"I am excited to be immersed in French language, culture and music," Fairbank said. He will play the role of Don Miguel de Panatellas in Offenbach's "La Perichole."

Craig also has been invited to play the role of Le Baron de Gondremarck in Jacques Offenbach's "La Vie Parisienne" in Houston and Austin, Texas, before leaving for France for more performances of Offenbach in "La Perichole." There he will play Don Andres de Ribeira.

"I'm unbelievably excited for these opportunities this summer," Craig said. "France has always been my ideal travel destination. I'm looking forward to expanding as a singer and as a speaker of French language."

Karl Pratt, Hoxie senior, and Eriana Holle, Hays junior, will sing with the Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Institute in South Dakota.

The program is at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D. The two-week program will include master classes, concerts, opera scene performances, movement classes, voice lessons and other music classes.

"I am very excited to participate in the program and look forward to meeting other singers from around the nation," Pratt said. "This is my first time to participate in such a program and I am eager to learn more about singing as an actual profession."

Pratt also will travel to Tacoma, Wash., to participate in a week-long workshop focusing on Mozart. The workshop is at Pacific Lutheran University and will be directed by former FHSU music instructor James Brown. The week will include master classes, movement classes, concerts and an opera scene performance at the end of the workshop.