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March 5, 2013

Young music scholars to perform at Musicale

By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer

Jessica Mishko

WATERFORD — Local scholarship winners will soon show off their budding talent during a musical night in Waterford.

The Tuesday Musicale of Greater Pontiac will host a March 12 concert featuring the four winners of its most recently awarded music scholarships. The event will be held at Waterford Central United Methodist Church.

This year’s scholarship winners are Rochester Hills pianist Alexandra Zetye, Troy pianist Ivan Shallal, West Bloomfield vocalist Jessica Mishko and Davisburg vocalist Regan Tackett. All of the winners are currently students at Oakland University.

Mary Ann LaMonte, Tuesday Musicale president, said guests will be blown away by the talent. She added that her organization has been awarding scholarships to young people for a long time, perhaps as far back as the 1950s.

“That’s what we’re all about,” she said. “We want to encourage young people to continue their education in music.”

Mishko, a West Bloomfield native, plans to sing soprano in the operatic piece, “O Del Mio Dolce Ardor,” at the March concert. She said she was happy to hear she’d won a $1,500 Dora Dawson Award scholarship to help pay for her education.

Looking ahead, one of her major aspirations is to someday sing onstage with the Metropolitan Opera.

“Basically, I always wanted to. Singing makes me happy, so I want to pursue it as a career,” she said. “I like the performing aspect.”

Mishko, 19, is a first-year sophomore in college, double-majoring in vocal performance and biomedical science. But she said her parents knew that she had a talent for singing at a young age.

While in high school, she took professional singing lessons from Dorothy Berry, a West Bloomfield coach, for several years. Berry recalled that Mishko was participating in school festivals during that time.

“She happened to be my next-door neighbor,” Berry said. “I was impressed immediately with the natural talent and ability she had.”

Berry said Mishko also played violin, excelled in her music festivals and performed in musicals at school and in community theater.

“She has an amazingly mature voice for her age,” Berry said. “It’s a very big voice, and she was always very eager to take on difficult music and learn it. And she really had a passion for it. It was a lot of fun working with her.”

Four teen music scholarship winners will perform solos at the Tuesday Musicale of Greater Pontiac at 7:30 p.m. March 12 at Waterford Central United Methodist Church, 3882 Highland Road, in Waterford. Admission is free. Learn more at (248) 673-8187.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at eczarnik@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1058.