The Annual Handel Aria Competition


The Handel Aria Competition is an annual event held in Madison, Wisconsin to promote the performance of Handel’s extensive vocal repertoire. 

The 8th annual Handel Aria Competition will be held in June, 2021 in the Hamel Music Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Please join us September 10 – October 1, 2020 for our online Virtual Gala to support the singers who were finalists and winners during the first seven years of the Handel Aria Competition.  Click here to watch!

Virtual Gala

The 7th annual Handel Aria Competition

June 7, 2019 • Mills Hall, Mead Witter School of Music, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Handel Aria Competition 2019 3 Winners

First Prize: Morgan Balfour
Second Prize: Emily Yocum Black
Third Prize & Audience Favorite: Jonathan Woody

The 7 finalists for the 2019 competition were chosen from a field of 100 singers from 5 countries. They are, from left to right:

Morgan Balfour, soprano
• Jonathan Woody, bass-baritone
• Emily Yocum Black, soprano
• Katherine Cecelia Peck, soprano
• Scott J. Brunscheen, tenor
• Ryne Cherry, baritone
• Sarah Moyer, soprano

Handel Aria Competition 2019 7 Finalists

For more information about the 2019 finalists and judges, please click here.

Exciting news: We are delighted to announce a cooperative initiative with the esteemed London Handel Festival! Morgan Balfour, our 2019 first prize winner, was invited to give a Tea Time Recital in Handel’s own parish church, St George’s in Hanover Square, on March 22, 2020. We provided a travel grant for Morgan, and the London Handel Festival arranged for her home stay in London as well as professional accompaniment. Unfortunately, the cancellation of the London Handel Festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic prevented this from taking place as planned, however it will be rescheduled.

Top image credit: New English Harpsichord after Thomas Barton, made in Somerset, England by Peter Barnes with a beautiful soundboard painting in the style of Coston by Jennifer Douglas.

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Support Us with a donation which helps us support emerging singers throughout the competition process by underwriting travel grants and awards, as well as providing remuneration for competition judges and instrumental accompanists.

Please visit our YouTube channelYouTube Logo to see past performances by finalists and competition winners including the 

2019 Handel Aria Competition Playlist 

HAC 2019 Jeff Turk Morgan Balfour

Morgan Balfour singing in the 2019 Handel Aria Competition.

Photo by Jeff Turk