Lift Every Voice

Bethesda, MD, December 28, 2023 – Cantate proudly announces its Spring 2024 Lift Every Voice Cohort: Simone Brown, soprano; Chuanyuan Liu, countertenor; Opal Clyburn-Miller, tenor; and Louis Cleare, bass-baritone. These extraordinary young singers will join Cantate Concert Choir to provide skilled support to each of the sections while receiving professional-level training and first-hand experience in the performance of varied choral repertoire. In the program’s pilot semester (Spring 2024) each of these fellows will receive additional support and opportunities from Cantate’s community of seasoned arts professionals: resume consulting, vocal coaching, and an oratorio masterclass open to the public. Fellows will emerge from their residency with Cantate better prepared to advance their musical careers in the choral field.

LEV is the evolution of Cantate’s Young Artist of Color (CYAC) residency. Launched in 2021 the CYAC – now LEV – aims to address the widespread racial inequity in the field of classical music by providing mentoring and performance opportunities to exceptional young BIPOC artists. In the program’s first season, Cantate featured baritone Anthony Anderson, who returned to perform with Cantate as a soloist on Magnificat this past December. Composer Ronald “Trey” Walton has recently completed his residency with a recital of his works in October 2023. Each extraordinary young artist worked with advisors throughout the Cantate programming year to refine his craft and prepare to present his polished works.

Applications to the spring pilot of LEV were open to pre-professional singers – those pursuing a career in music but not yet subsisting on income provided by performing or teaching in the field. Vocational singers aged 30 and under without professional representation were considered. Live auditions were held in November, with an accompanist provided at no cost to applicants, who were also welcome to submit video or audio recordings of contrasting style for equal consideration. One choral scholar was selected for each voice type: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. The inaugural cohort of LEV fellows will perform on Cantate’s April Peace and Light concert. Fellows are compensated for rehearsals and performances and provided a travel stipend. Resume consultation, vocal coaching as appropriate, and masterclass participation are provided to LEV fellows free of charge.

Additional questions about the program may be addressed to Cara Schaefer, Cantate’s Executive Director, at

Cantate, a nonprofit corporation under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, is supported in part by funding from the Montgomery County government and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, the Maryland State Arts Council, and The Dallas Morse Coors Foundation for the Performing Arts.
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