Thursday, March 20, 2014

Alltech Hits High Note

Awards More Than $500,000 to Vocal Scholars

KSN&C recently received an unusual offer to cover Alltech's Vocal Scholarship Competition at the University of Kentucky. Ignoring the fact that I am almost completely unqualified to judge what constitutes good opera (and confessing that I combine a profound ignorance with a pro-Puchini snobbery!?) I was very tempted to cover the event. But alas, other priorities intervened. I especially regret missing the opportunity to interview Alltech Founder and President Pearse Lyons about the competition and his view of educational preparation in Kentucky. C'est dommage.

So, a bit after the fact, congratulations to this year's recipients:
Pictured from left to right: Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech, first place graduate winner Ryan Traub, second place graduate winner Iris Fordjour-Hankins and Dr. Everett McCorvey, Director and Executive Producer of UK Opera Theatre.

This from Alltech:
A compelling passion for arts and education is what drove Alltech’s president and founder, Dr. Pearse Lyons, to carry forward the annual Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition, Kentucky’s largest vocal event. Kentuckians were invited to the 9th Annual Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition, to hear world-class singers compete for more than a half-million dollars in scholarships and prizes for the University of Kentucky School of Music. 
“It’s a game-changer, it’s a life-changer, it’s the Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition,” said Lyons.
The 17 vocal finalists from as far as Venezuela, South Africa and Ecuador came to Lexington with a voice and a dream, and left with over a half-million dollars in scholarships to attend the UK School of Music. The competition, fueled by Alltech, the University of Kentucky and several other supporting business partners, awarded nine high school graduates and eight college graduates with cash prizes and tuition waivers to UK. 
Christopher Kenney of Fargo, N.D. grabbed the top prize as the Alltech Graduate Winner, with Blake Denson of Paducah, Ky. taking home first place as the Alltech Undergraduate Winner.

“I am over the moon with this opportunity to come to the University of Kentucky and work with the faculty and staff there to further my vocal education. I feel really lucky, and so blessed that Alltech has given me this chance,” said Christopher Kenney, Alltech Graduate Winner.

The other winners of the 2014 Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition include:
  • Second Place Alltech Graduate Winner – Caroline Pircon, Macomb, Ill.
  • Bryant’s Rent-All & Kentucky Eagle Second Place Alltech Undergraduate Winner – Michael Pandolfo, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Jim Beam & C&T Durham Logistics, Inc. First Place Transfer Student Award Winner– Thanbang Stevens Masango, Pretoria, South Africa
  • Lynn Imaging’s Monster Color Transfer Student Encouragement Award Winner– Izhar Poncelis Santana, Mexico City, Mexico
In honor of Alltech’s Irish heritage and St. Patrick’s Day, this year’s event incorporated appearances from the renowned Kentucky McTeggart Irish Dancers and Liam’s Fancy. Fine Celtic music filled the air at UK’s Singletary Center for the Arts.

In 2012, Alltech was recognized by Americans for the Arts as one of the country’s best arts supporters: The BCA 10: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America. The annual designation recognizes American companies that support the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships and board participation.

Testimony from former winners underscores this life altering opportunity.


Founded in 1980 by Dr. Pearse Lyons, Alltech improves the health and performance of people, animals and plants through natural nutrition and scientific innovation. With more than 3,000 employees and a presence in 128 countries, the company has developed a strong regional presence in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. For further information, visit For media assets, visit    

Alltech is the proud title sponsor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy. For more information about these prestigious global championships, visit       

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