The 7th Annual Handel Aria Competition


The Handel Aria Competition is an annual event held in Madison, Wisconsin to promote the performance of Handel’s extensive vocal repertoire.  

The 7th annual Handel Aria Competition took place on Friday, June 7, 2019 in Mills Concert Hall  of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Mead Witter School of Music.  The finalists each performed two arias by Handel, accompanied by the Madison Bach Musicians under the direction of Trevor Stephenson.  

The 2019 Competition Winners

First Prize: Morgan Balfour
Second Prize: Emily Yocum Black
Third Prize & Audience Favorite: Jonathan Woody

Handel Aria Competition 2019 3 Winners

The 7 finalists for this year’s competition were chosen from a field of 100 singers from 5 countries.  They are, from left to right:

Morgan Balfour, soprano
• Jonathan Woody, bass-baritone
• Emily Yocum Black, soprano
• Katherine Cecelia Peck, soprano
• Scott J. Brunscheen, tenor
• Ryne Cherry, baritone
• Sarah Moyer, soprano

Handel Aria Competition 2019 7 Finalists

For more information about the 2019 finalists and judges, please click here.

Exciting news: We are delighted to announce a new cooperative initiative with the esteemed London Handel Festival! Morgan Balfour, our 2019 first prize winner, will be invited to give a Lunchtime Recital in Handel’s own parish church, St George’s in Hanover Square, next spring.  We’ll provide a travel grant of up to $750, and the London Handel Festival will arrange for a home stay in London as well as professional accompaniment.

Top image credit: New English Harpsichord after Thomas Barton, made in Somerset, England by Peter Barnes with a beautiful soundboard painting in the style of Coston by Jennifer Douglas.

Learn More and Get Involved

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Support Us with a donation which helps us support emerging singers throughout the competition process by underwriting travel grants and awards, as well as providing remuneration for competition judges and instrumental accompanists.

Please visit our YouTube channelYouTube Logo to see past performances by finalists and competition winners including the 

2019 Handel Aria Competition Playlist 

HAC 2019 Jeff Turk Morgan Balfour

Morgan Balfour singing in the 2019 Handel Aria Competition.

Photo by Jeff Turk