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Feb. 27, 2014/For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu



WINSTON-SALEM – Opera students in the School of Music at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) won a total of five awards at the Southeast Regional Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, held recently at Clayton State University in Atlanta, Ga.

Tenor Jonathan Johnson won second place and three awards totaling $2,500. He received the W.K. Lomason Memorial Award, the Mrs. Gilbert W. Humphrey Award and the Southeast Region Award. Bass Daren Jackson won the Peg Gary Encouragement Award and the Atlanta Opera Guild Encouragement Award, totaling $1,000.

Daren Jackson, left, and Jonathan Johnson

The Metropolitan Opera National Council annually sponsors nationwide auditions to discover exceptional young talent; to provide a venue for young opera singers to be heard by a representative of the Metropolitan Opera and to assist those with the greatest potential in their development; and to search for new talent for the Metropolitan Opera and its young artist development program.

Johnson, from Macon, Ga., is a student of Marilyn Taylor. He received his M.M. from UNCSA in 2013 and is completing a Professional Artist Certificate as a fellow of the Fletcher Opera Institute. In April, he will join the Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Jackson, from Wilmington, is a college senior studying with Glenn Siebert. 

Johnson and Jackson advanced to the Southeast Regional Finals as equal first-place winners of the North Carolina District Auditions of the Metropolitan Opera National Council, held in January in Charlotte.  

The Southeast Region includes Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Regional first-place winners advance to the national semi-finals in New York City.


As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.