Tomorrow’s Talent Today

9th Annual Collegiate Vocal Competition Winners

Featuring works by F. J. Haydn, W. A. Mozart and Roger Cichy including the world premier of Cichy’s, I Dream a World, commissioned by RICCO.
I DREAM A WORLD – Roger Cichy

We are thrilled to introduce to you the “stars of tomorrow” as soloists in the Joseph Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, the winners of our 9th Annual Collegiate Vocal Competition. The winners were selected in a competition held at The Music Mansion in October. RICCO is also proud to announce that it has commissioned the multi-talented Roger Cichy to compose a work to help celebrate its 60th anniversary season. Mr. Cichy, a faculty member at Providence College, is the recent winner of the Regional Academy Award for Original Score for his music featured in the documentary “An American St. Nick.” Mr. Cichy has set a text by the great Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes: I Dream a World. It is both moving and timely. The program also includes Mozart’s exuberant Symphony No. 31 in D Major, “The Haffner.”

This program has a little something for everyone.

Our Collegiate Vocal Competition Winners!

March 2017 Winners

Some information about our competition winners:

Young tenor, Kyle Buonfiglio is a sophomore at Rhode Island College majoring in Vocal Performance, with a double major in Computer Science.

His most recent performance was as “Sailor” in a Rhode Island College production of Henry Purcell’s, Dido and Aeneas. Kyle is very enthusiastic about his progress at school and he looks forward to the many opportunities his college experience will afford him. Kyle is delighted to be performing as the tenor soloist with Rhode Island Civic Chorale & Orchestra and is thrilled to have the opportunity to sing under the direction of Dr. Edward Markward.

Matthew Chastain, a young baritone from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is said to have a “commanding voice and presence that bode well for an opera career” following his performance with A Worcester Schubertiad in September 2016.

His versatility has allowed him to excel in a variety of settings, including opera, musical theatre, pop, jazz, and instrumental music.  Matt is a founding member of the a cappella group “The Hexachords”, three-time ICCA semi-finalists and stars of Season 2 of PopTV’s docu-series Sing it On.

He recently performed partial roles such as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo in Cosí fan tutte, Silvio in Pagliacci, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte.  In December 2016, Matt completed his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance under the guidance of Professor William C. Hite.

The repertoire of Tokyo native and Boston-based soprano Mahoko Taniguchi encompasses Baroque cantatas and oratorios, 18th-21st century art songs, operas, and chamber music. At the top of her class, Mahoko studied with mezzo-soprano Elena Obraztsova, and was involved with several opera productions at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre.

Both in Japan and in America, she has appeared in many concerts, opera galas, and musical theater concerts, performing Susanna (Figaro), Annina (The Saint of Bleecker Street), and The First Mouse (Robert Sirota’s The Tailor of Gloucester) at the Boston Athenaeum. In 2016, she was selected to sing with the Boston Conservatory Percussion Ensemble in George Crumb’s American Songbooks.

She holds merit scholarships from both Longy School of Music and Boston Conservatory, each for two consecutive years; she was a winner of the RICCO vocal competition, a highest prize-winner of Les Splendeurs Music Competition, and a finalist of Longy’s Concerto Competition two years in a row and Osaka International Music Competition.

Mahoko holds a BM in Vocal Performance from Musashino Academia Musicae, and a GPD in Opera and a Teaching Artist Certificate from Longy School of Music of Bard College. Currently, she teaches music at Little Kids Academy in Belmont, and is pursuing a MM in Vocal Performance with Kathryn Wright at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

“Perhaps the conundrum is this – why does the most unnatural of singing voices sound so natural? Years of intense and strenuous training have brought Wei En Chan to the point where his voice sounds remarkably pure and his vocal delivery looks completely effortless.” (The Straits Times, Singapore) Chan Wei En is a Countertenor from Singapore and has sung in concerts internationally.

Past highlights include alto solos in Messiah with the MIT Concert Choir, the tenor solo in Carmina Burana with Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, NY and solos in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with ATCECM, Toronto. Wei En was awarded the Ernst Bacon Prize for “Outstanding Performance of an American Song” at the 38th Annual Competition for Singers, organized by Civic Morning Musicals.

Prior to beginning studies in the United States, Wei En was an active member of the Hallelujah Oratorio Society, Amoris Singers and the Singapore Armed Forces Band. In Singapore, he studied with Toh Ban Sheng and Tay Cheng-Jim. Wei En was a recipient of Ithaca College’s Flora Brown Merit Scholarship and is a recipient of the NEC Scholarship. He holds a B.M. in voice performance from Ithaca College, where he studied with Carol McAmis. Wei En is currently pursuing a Masters at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he studies with Ian Howell.


Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 7:30 PM at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, 30 Fenner Street, Providence, RI 02903.

Soloists are the winners of the Rhode Island Civic Chorale & Orchestra’s 9th Annual Collegiate Vocal Competition.


Saturday, March 25, 2016
Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul

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