Discover Crescendo 2020
University Artist Outreach

Union Avenue Opera is pleased to announce the seventh year of Crescendo — a collegiateenrichment program designed for you, the student. This program is free and open to all voice students currently enrolled in an undergraduate program within 60 miles of St. Louis.

Crescendo was designed to provide motivated students the opportunity to hone their craft while working with UAO’s esteemed professionals. We believe St. Louis has a lot to offer singers and we want to reach out to local students and make their acquaintance. In addition, participants will compete for scholarships as well as paid positions in UAO’s 2020 productions of Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock.* 

Numerous participants of the Crescendo Program have gained employment opportunities  working behind the scenes at Union Avenue Opera. Students were hired to work in the box office, run supertitles, as well as perform in productions, all of which gave them insight to a career in the performing arts.

Crescendo will begin in January 2020 and conclude with a public recital on Sunday, March 1st. All events will take place at Union Avenue Opera [733 N. Union Blvd, STL 63108].

To take part in this opportunity, interested parties should fill out and return the 2020 Crescendo Application by January 4, 2020.

*More than one absence will result in the participant losing eligibility for scholarship and chorus positions.

Experience the 2020 Crescendo Program

Saturday, January 4 | Midnight
Application Deadline! Download the application: 2020 Crescendo Application

Saturday, January 18 | 10 am – 1 pm
Crescendo baseline audition – Participants will present two arias/art songs of contrasting languages (program repertoire will be chosen from the student’s selections). There is a 5 minute maximum per selection.

Tuesday, February 4 | 7 pm – 9 pm
First Group Master Class — Participants will be assigned vocal coach and piece will be chosen.

Wednesday, February 12 | 7 pm – 9 pm
Diction Master Class — Participants will be divided by language.

Saturday, February 15 | 10 am – noon
Elective Class: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique for Singers or Sensory Awareness and Dramatic Play

Monday, February 17 or Tuesday, February 18 | 7 pm – 10 pm
Acting workshop with director Anna Pileggi

To be completed by February 25 
Individual coaching sessions with Crescendo staff (at a time and place mutually agreeable to student and coach)

Tuesday, February 25 | 7 pm – 9 pm
Recital Run-through — Participants will have the opportunity to perform their pieces on the Union Avenue Opera stage and receive feedback from all the teachers.

Sunday, March 1 | 5 pm
Public Recital and Scholarship Presentation on the Union Avenue Opera Stage 

Meet the 2020 Crescendo Staff

Program Coordinator – Debra Hillabrand

Christine Armistead, Director of Vocal Activities, Washington University
Allyson Ditchey, founder Connect the Arts
Jon Garrett
, Adjunct Professor, Staff Accompanist and Music Director, St. Louis University; Adjunct Professor of Voice, Staff Accompanist and Music Director, Lindenwood University, Adjunct Professor, St. Charles Community College
Sandra Geary, Piano Faculty, Washington University
Martha Hart, Associate Professor of Voice, Webster University

Markou, Director of  Vocal Studies, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Nancy Mayo, Piano Faculty, Webster University
Alice Nelson, Director of the Webster Opera Studio, Webster University
Anna Pileggi, Professor of the Practice in Drama, Washington University
Noël Prince, Voice Faculty, Washington University
Scott Schoonover, Artistic Director and Founder, Union Avenue Opera
Stasia Forsythe Siena, AmSAT Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique
Emily Truckenbrod, Director of Vocal Studies, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Stephanie Tennill, Assistant Professor of Music, Saint Louis University

Email Program Coordinator, Debra Hillabrand, at

FREE Crescendo Recital
Sunday, March 1st at 5:00 p.m.

Union Avenue Opera’s University Artist Outreach program, Crescendo, will present a FREE recital on Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 5 p.m. The recital is the culmination for participants in UAO’s Crescendo program, a free, hands-on, performance based training program developed to further the education of local artists still young in their careers as they prepare to join the St. Louis art community.

The recital is FREE and open to all ages. It will be held on the Union Avenue Opera stage at 733 North Union Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108. This is a non-ticketed event. Doors open 4:30 p.m.