Previously known as The Burnt Hills Oratorio Society
The Power of Singing

Vocal Scholarship Program

Vocal Scholarship Program

The Saratoga Voices Vocal Scholarship Program was started in 1998 by artistic director Rand Reeves and has become fundamental to Saratoga Voices’ mission to promote and foster singing among students. Saratoga Voices annually awards two scholarships to the top scorers of the Vocal Scholarship Competition. We invite seniors from area high schools in New York’s Capital Region to participate.

The students do not need to plan a career in music, but the scholarships are intended to facilitate the continued study of singing. The awards are forwarded as a scholarship to the institutions of higher learning to which the students have been accepted. Winners also have the opportunity to perform in a future Saratoga Voices concert and showcase their talent to the community. Scholarship winners who have chosen a career in music have returned to Saratoga Voices to perform as soloists in choral concerts.


First place $1,500
Second place $1,000

Preparing for the Competition

Two works are to be prepared: the first either from the current NYSSMA Manual level 6, or a similar work at level 6 of the NYSSMA Manual, or higher. This piece must be from the Classical Music repertoire. The second work is of the student’s choosing and can be a Musical Theater selection (limited to selections from the Golden Age of Broadway) but may not be Commercial Music. The works are to be performed from memory. Applicants must provide their own accompanist. Taped accompaniments are not allowed. 

The Vocal Scholarship Competition

The Vocal Scholarship Competition will take place at the end of May or the beginning of June in Saratoga Springs, NY. Applicants receive time slots for their performances and are judged by two music or voice teachers who are active in the Capital Region. The adjudicators provide performance evaluations for all students who sing, regardless of their winning status.

If You Have Questions or Would Like to Apply

Please contact Saratoga Voices for further information. Email:

Phone: 518-416-4060 or by mail: Saratoga Voices, PO Box 76, Burnt Hills, NY 12027.

Previous Vocal Scholarship Winners

Joshua Hoyt2023
Emma Nobes2023
Maria Sablich2022
Shea DeWan2022
Maxwell Novik2022
Theodore Van de Ven IV2021
Brigid Mack2021
Zachary Simpson2020
Alexa Rahman2020
Sophie Mathis2019
Abigail Evans2019
Phoebe Reuther2018
Nicholas Conti2018
Alicia Esposito2017
Marissa Scotti2017
Kaeli Heffner2016
Marissa Scotti2016
Emily Martin2015
Jacob O’Shea2015
Ashley Marie Rickson2014
Nicole Rizzo2014
Joseph Davila2013
Lauren Silberstein2013
Rebecca Iris Rogers2012
Alexandra Rizzo2012
Dan Lyng2011
Kara Cregin2011
Margaret VanNorden2010
John Leighton2010
Margaret Flanigan2009
Sean Teeter2009
Rhiannon LaCrosse2008
Siddharth Dubey2008
Laura MacAvoy2007
Alexander Turpin2007
Emily Foster2006
Leila Gheiter2006
Trevor Strader2005
Mary Kate vom Lehn2005
Elizabeth Picker2004
Jesse Conti2004
Peter Marler2003
Julie Norman2003
Emalie Savoy2002
Hannah Lewis2002
Julie Giguere2001
Joanna Koslowsky2001
Laura Puzio2000
Patrice Godshalk2000
McCaela Curran1999
Laura Longe1999
John Bragle1998
Rebecca Minor1998
This is a complete list of singers who have been awarded a vocal scholarship from Saratoga Voices / Burnt Hills Oratorio Society since the scholarship was created in 1998.
Click to read about previous Vocal Scholarship winners

What are people saying about Saratoga Voices!

"I have worked with the Burnt Hills Oratorio Society [now Saratoga Voices] since 1984 from the tenure of Glenn Soellner to its [current] director...

I have been concertmaster of the orchestra for most of that time, as well as contractor. The passion and enthusiasm for singing the chorus displays is both contagious and delightful. Under the leadership of Dr. Gray and Derek Stannard the quality of singing continues to refine, and it's a joy to make music with the group. Dr. Gray's leadership a few seasons ago of Haydn's Creation was one of the highlights of my many years of orchestral playing. Here is wishing BHOS an incredible next 50!!"

Ann Marie Schwartz Director, Musicians Of Ma'alwyck

"Singing with Dr. William Jon Gray and Derek is a thrill, not only because of the programming and level of quality to which we aspire, but because every rehearsal is a music education class. Whether it's the historical events surrounding a piece, something in the life of the composer, or the performance style of a musical period, I don't think I've ever left a rehearsal without learning something new."

Ann Marie Adamick Soloist, Saratoga Voices

"Our desire is to broaden the definition of what we do."

Dr. William Jon Gray, Former Artistic Director, Saratoga Voices

"If it involves singing, we like to do it."

Dr. William Jon Gray, Former Artistic Director, Saratoga Voices

"I discovered a musicality I didn’t know I had. The experience has transformed me as an artist."

Stacey Shinske Singer

"The magic of [Saratoga Voices, fka] the Burnt Hills Oratorio Society is that its mission is not derived from the charisma of any individual, but from its devotion to great music and to coming together as a group to create something which is more meaningful than anyone could produce by oneself. Singing in [Saratoga Voices] allows participants to contribute at their own highest level of personal intellectual commitment, physical control, technical discipline and to gain new strength and self-respect through this common endeavor."

Dr. William Jon Gray, Former Artistic Director, Saratoga Voices

"Every rehearsal with Dr. Gray and Derek is like attending a vocal master class."

Doug Davis Singer

I really appreciate the opportunity the Oratorio Society gives to High School singers through the Spring competition. Music and singing are so important to me and it really was a wonderful compliment to be recognized during this competition. I leave for college on Tuesday to further pursue my acting and singing and I want to thank you again for the scholarship money. The Oratorio Society does great work instilling confidence in young singers.

Zachary Simpson 2020 Winner of Burnt Hills Oratorio vocal scholarship

When open calls came for the group I came running, paid for the entire season. I plan on coming for the next open call... cuz I LOVE singing. I enjoy it. I relish it and it's in me. This is where I want to be.

S. A. Singer

I leave every rehearsal with a song in my heart.

Terry Johnson Singer

Our director continues to amaze me with his knowledge.

Johnine Simpson Singer

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