Vocal Competition


Sarofim Vocal Competition Faculty

Vocal Competition Director
Master Class Clinician

Dana Zenobi joined the faculty at Southwestern University in 2007. A versatile performer who embraces both traditional repertoire and new music, she appeared in the American Premiere of Philip Glass’s Waiting for the Barbarians with Austin Lyric Opera, and performed with Lyric Opera Cleveland in the first production of Mark Adamo’s Little Womendirected by the composer.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer praised her “dazzling coloratura” and “irresitible phrasing” as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and she has garnered similar success in roles ranging from Mozart heroines Konstanze and Donna Elvira to Verdi’s Violetta Valéry.  She was awarded a Citation for Inspiration in Teaching and has been an art song performance national finalist in The American Prize competition. She is featured on Viola By Choice Chamber Music Ensemble’s 2010 debut recording, Florilegium.  A native of Northport, NY, Dr. Zenobi is active in the local community as the executive director of BELTÀ - Building Empowered Lives Through Art, a nonprofit organization that supports emerging artists as they build successful careers. She earned her DMA in Voice Performance and Pedagogy at The University of Texas at Austin, where her research focused on aural modeling and acoustic analysis of the singing voice.

Lynn MockLYNN MOCK ’83
Guest Judge
Lynn Mock is an arts patron and civic leader. She has been a member of the board of directors of the Dallas Opera since 2006 serving as chair of its education committee and is currently vice president for development. Lynn chaired the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition in 2004, and in 2013 chaired First Sight/First Night, the Opera’s two-day season opening celebration. In addition to her commitments to the Dallas Opera, Lynn is past president and chairman of the board of directors of The Friends of WRR, the 24-hour commercial classical radio station owned by the city of Dallas. She also served on the boards of the Helios Ensemble, a performing arts organization, the Dallas County Medical Society Alliance, and the Agape Clinic, which provides quality community health services to the medically underserved. Dedicated to the future of the performing arts, Lynn is the co-founder of Lone Spring Arts, a production company committed to preserving the best works of art from the past and creating and promoting the finest works of art for the future. A professional singer, Lynn has performed with The Opera Project, Helios Ensemble, Highland Park United Methodist Church, Spring Valley United Methodist Church, Georgetown Festival of the Arts, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and more.

Lynn graduated cum laude from Southwestern in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in music and was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority and the international professional music honors fraternity Delta Omicron. In 1985, Lynn earned a master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Texas at Austin where she was a member of the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi. She is a former member of Southwestern’s Board of Visitors.

Abigail Jackson '15ABIGAIL JACKSON ’15
First Round Guest Judge
Abigail Jackson graduated from Southwestern University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Music and recently received her Master of Music degree in Opera Performance from the University of Texas, Austin. She performed many roles with the UT Butler Opera Center including Beth March in Mark Adamo’s Little Women, Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and the Dew Fairy in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. She has also been seen singing the Wolf in the world premiere of Cry Wolf, a children’s opera, with the Cohen New Works Festival. A Dallas native, but currently living in Austin, she works as Austin Baroque Orchestra’s Ensemble Administrator, has been seen in the chorus of Austin Opera, and will be making her Local Opera Local Artists debut in March 2018 singing the role of Servilia in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito.

Competition Collaborative Pianist

David Utterback is an active collaborative and solo pianist in the Austin area. Performing most often as a vocal accompanist, he is involved in a wide variety of musical endeavors including chamber music, opera, cabaret, and musical theater. He is a member of the Austin Chamber Ensemble, and also is the accompanist for the choirs of Chorus Austin (Austin Civic Chorus and Austin Vocal Arts Ensemble). He has held his current appointment as a member of the piano faculty at Southwestern University since 1993. He received his MM from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan.

Judge and Master Class Clinician

Bruce Cain has performed a variety of roles in the following opera companies: the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theatre, Skylight Comic Opera, Pamiro Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Whitewater Opera, and Opera Grand Rapids. In addition to his opera appearances, recent concert performances include Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Billings Montana Symphony, Britten’s War Requiem with the Wheaton Symphony, and Handel’s Messiah with the Austin Symphony.  Cain states, “I believe that trying to balance an active performing career, and remaining committed to quality studio teaching is very important. Guiding young singers to develop a consistent vocal technique that will lead to healthy singing, as well as a foundation for a career or graduate study, is one of my great joys in life.” He is an Associate Professor of Music at Southwestern University. He received his DMus from Northwestern University.

Acting Workshop Clinician

Prior to arriving at Southwestern in July 2003, Dr. Gaffney served for 16 years as Professor of Theater at Dartmouth College. Previous teaching assignments include the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Tennessee - Chattanooga and Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. His area of specialty within the theatre field is directing; in addition to many college and university directing assignments, he has directed at a wide range of other theaters, including the Texas Shakespeare Festival, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the Nebraska Repertory Theatre, and the California Theatre Center. He also has directed bilingual and Spanish productions in California and San Jose, Costa Rica; and he has an interest in contemporary Irish theatre.

Final Round Judge
Alexander Technique Clinician

Tenor Jameson James combines over 25 years of singing experience, more than 10 years of studio teaching experience, and the skills of a certified Alexander Technique teacher. He has performed with Boston Lyric Opera, Aspen Opera Theater, Bronx Opera, and New York Lyric Opera. In 2007, Mr. James was a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. A versatile performer, Mr. James is adept in opera, oratorio, musical theater and new works.  As a voice teacher, Jameson uses the Alexander Technique to integrate the physical and intellectual elements of sound production. He guides students to new expressiveness and effortlessness in their singing. Mr. James is particularly skilled at changes in fach, after his own transition from baritone to tenor. He is a graduate of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, the New England Conservatory, and Alexander Technique New York City.  He joined the Southwestern University voice faculty in 2016.

Alexander Technique Workshop Instructor

Kathleen Juhl has been teaching acting and performance studies and directing productions in the Department of Theatre at Southwestern University since 1987.  Juhl holds an MFA in acting and directing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, an M.A. in Oral Interpretation from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in Performance Studies. She also is a certified Alexander Technique teacher and has training in a wide variety of related bodywork modalities including the Feldenkrais Technique, Craniosacral Therapy, and massage therapy.  Juhl has directed numerous productions at Southwestern University including most recently, Execution of Justice by Emily Mann, Phyllis Nagy’s Disappeared, and April DeAngelis’ Playhouse Creatures. She has performed professionally in the Midwest and Southeast, in Austin, Texas, and as a narrator for numerous concerts with Southwestern music ensembles. She is currently touring one-person shows from the works of Virginia Woolf, an oral history about a Danish immigrant called Anna, and a collaborative piece, “The Art of Water” with pianist Kevin Kenner.