Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

APO to Present The NextGen National Competition Semi Finals via Broadcast

The First Place female and male winners will receive $2,000 and the Second Place winners will receive $1,000.

APO to Present The NextGen National Competition Semi Finals via Broadcast

The American Pops Orchestra will present the semi-final round of its 5th Annual NextGen National Competition: Finding the Voices of Tomorrow. The event is being shared with the public through a private broadcast on Saturday, January 29 from 8-9 p.m. ET. Free registration for online access is available:; a donation of $25 is suggested.

NextGen is a vocal competition created by APO and Music Director Luke Frazier with the purpose of identifying young aspiring vocalists from across the United States and providing them the opportunity to work with and learn from industry professionals, as well as to perform live with an orchestra. Each year, NextGen participants compete for the chance to win a monetary prize and various paid performance opportunities. The First Place female and male winners will receive $2,000 and the Second Place winners will receive $1,000. All winners will receive paid performance opportunities during APO's 2022-2023 season.

With a mission to promote and preserve classic American music, APO requires participants to perform pre-1970 songs and encourages them to sing lesser-known, classic pieces that demonstrate their vocal capabilities and connect audiences of all ages. All aspects of the competition are offered 100% free of charge to contestants, giving students and young vocalists of all backgrounds the opportunity to participate in the competition and to work with APO.

From hundreds of applicants, 30 semi-finalists were chosen to compete in the upcoming round to be broadcast on January 29. The 2022 semi-finalists are: Audri Bartholomew (Millikin University), Lily Belle Czartorski (Oakland University), Jessie Bittner (Indiana University), Christian Burdick (Ithaca College), Christian Clausnitzer (West Virginia University), Aamar-Malik Culbreth (Baldwin Wallace University), Allison Fitzgerald (Catholic University of America), Savannah Geiger (Liberty University), Ethan Hardy Benson (University of Michigan), Madison Hertel (Ithaca College), Conner Holben (Graceland University), Blake Hopkins (Boston Conservatory at Berklee), Mya Hunter (Howard University), Kolby Kendrick (Liberty University), Clare Krug (Providence College), Drake Leach (George Mason University), Shannon McCarthy (James Madison University), Grace McNamee (George Mason University), Kaylee Michael (Ohio University), Izzy Morrow (Baldwin Wallace University), Maleyah Nowell (Ball State University), Josie Oliva (Northwestern State University of Louisiana), Ian Pathak (University of Michigan), Olivia Prendergast (Indiana University), Celina Randazzo (Queens College, City University of New York), Annie Rodriguez (Long Island University Post), Max Smaretsky (The Hartt School), Franco Valerga (University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music), Alysia Velez (Manhattan School of Music), and Anthony Voiers (The University of Louisiana at Lafayette).

From this group, 10 contestants will be selected to advance to the live final round in March 2022. The finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges and the virtual audience, who will receive a voting link following the January 29 broadcast to support their favorite semi-finalists. The judges are: Broadway actress Aisha Jackson, U.S. Navy Band musician Cory Parker, Metropolitan Opera soprano Brittany Renee Robinson, and Broadway director and choreographer Tara Young.

The 5th Annual NextGen National Competition finalists will be announced on Sunday, January 30.

Related Articles View More Washington, DC Stories

More Hot Stories For You