Students Win Young Artist Vocal Competition

(L-R) Ashlyn Taylor, Dylan Melville, Alexandra Slusarenko and Skyler Sajewski.

The Choral Society of the Palm Beaches recently announced the winners of its 2018 Young Artist Vocal Competition. Skyler Sajewski of Palm Beach Gardens and Alexandra Slusarenko of Wellington were awarded the first-place and second-place honors, respectively, and earned scholarship awards in the not-for-profit’s fifth annual competition. Each are students at the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

The vibrant competition of nine contestants that took place on Feb. 25 at Lakeside Presbyterian Church in West Palm Beach provided the chance for students throughout Palm Beach County to apply and compete for monetary awards by the society’s donor-supported scholarship fund. To date, the Choral Society of the Palm Beaches has awarded $8,250 in scholarship awards to recognize excellence in vocal performance.

Sajewski, 17, who won the competition, said musical theater helped her grow as a person.

“Live theater is a serious, impactful art form that can shed light onto darkness and lift people’s spirits,” she said. “For this simple reason, I have chosen musical theater as my life’s work.”

Slusarenko, 18, who placed second, has her sights set on a professional opera career.

“I am determined to fulfill my pronounced potential and see where life takes me,” she said.

Sajewski and Slusarenko will each perform as featured soloists on the program of the Choral Society of the Palm Beaches’ final concert in its season series, “Choral Masterpieces” on April 29 at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute auditorium on the Florida Atlantic University campus in Jupiter.

“As a not-for-profit, made up of 70 members who love to sing, it is important to us to support young artists who share the same passion for musical performance,” said Nina Motta, who was instrumental in starting the competition in 2014. “The Young Artist Vocal Competition provides an avenue for students to explore their dreams and to experience and feel encouragement in the arts.”

The competition was founded to support senior high school choral students in pursuit of higher educational goals in the vocal arts. To qualify, students must plan to pursue a college major or minor degree in vocal performance, music education or musical theater, and careers that incorporate music.

Two additional students recognized in the competition by Artistic Director Mark Aliapoulios for exceptional promise and merit were Ashlyn Taylor, 18, and Dylan Melville, 17. Each were awarded a $250 prize and will perform as featured artists on April 29.

To learn more about the Young Artist Vocal Competition, contact Nina Motta at or visit

For information about the Choral Society of the Palm Beaches, visit or call (561) 626-9997.