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Zachary vocal competition honors -- and rewards -- singers

June 2, 2009 |  5:00 pm

Young opera singers won a total of $56,650 at the 37th annual Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition finals Sunday night at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre.

The awards are given by the Zachary Society for the Performing Arts, which is based in Beverly Hills and was founded by the late Dr. Loren L. Zachary and Nedra Zachary.

Soprano Audrey Luna, 30, from Chicago, won the $12,500 first prize at the competition. (You can see a YouTube video of her singing -- not in the competition -- above.) Ten finalists, drawn from 219 applicants, participated in the finals with the Los Angeles Performing Arts Orchestra.

Past winners and finalists have included baritone Thomas Hampson, soprano Deborah Voigt and countertenor Brian Asawa, among others.

The list of this year's winners follows.

First place: Audrey Luna, $12,500
Second: Jan Cornelius, $10,000
Third: Taylor Stayton, $8,000
Fourth: Karen Vuong, $7,000
Fifth: Jessica Julin, $6,000
Sixth place encouragement award: Ginger Costa-Jackson, $5,150   
Other finalists receiving $2,000 each: Marianne Cope, Natasha Flores, Rodell Rosel and Kelly Markgraf. 
-- Sherry Stern