Young Artists Vocal Competition

Every year, Gulf Coast Messiah Chorus hosts the Young Artists Vocal Competition to encourage and support local singers in furthering their creative education. The competition is open to vocalists aged 15 to 25 from the Mississippi Gulf Coast (Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone and George County).

Contestants will compete by singing a selection from the Repertoire List (PDF version) for:
● Scholarships to further their education or musical pursuits
● A solo appearance with Messiah Chorus and String Orchestra as part of the 66th Anniversary Season
​●​ Performance coaching from GCMC Director, Dr. Paul McGahie
● Recognition of all Scholarship winners at the Saturday, December 2nd performance
● Complimentary student membership with the Gulf Coast Messiah Chorus

More details about this year’s competition will be published here soon, or call (228) 243-1209 for the most up-to-date information.

2017 Winners:

Anna HopkinsAnna Christine Hopkins is 15 years old, and is a 10th grade student at Grace Baptist Academy in Ocean Springs, MS. Having studied piano for 8 years and violin for 6 years, Anna currently studies voice with her mother Betty Hopkins, Choral Director at St. Martin High School. Active in her church choir, she also plays violin in the Ocean Springs First Baptist Church Orchestra.  She was a Five Year-National Winner in the National Guild of Piano Teachers Auditions, and a 6-year winner in the Mississippi Baptist Hymn Festival. She has participated in the Gulf Coast Music Teacher Association’s Fall Recitals & Spring Music Festivals. Anna is the daughter of Gary and Betty Hopkins of Ocean Springs. She won a $200 scholarship to continue her music lessons.

Rebekah Grace Hopkins is 17 years old and a senior at Grace Baptist Academy in Ocean Springs, MS. She has received two years of vocal coaching with her mother, Betty Hopkins. A Five-Year National Winner in the National Guild of Piano Teachers Auditions, Miss Hopkins has also participated in the Gulf Coast Music Teachers Association’s Spring and Fall Music Festivals in piano, violin, and voice, receiving high superior ratings. Having performed in the Mississippi Baptist Hymn Festival for six years, she sings in the youth and adult choirs and plays violin in the orchestra at Ocean Springs First Baptist Church. Rebekah is the daughter of Gary and Betty Hopkins of Ocean Springs. She won a $500 Scholarship and a solo in our December 2, 2017 Saturday evening  performance at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center.

Estic Jackson is 20 years old and a music major at MGCCC-Jeff Davis Campus. After obtaining his Associates Degree, Mr. Jackson plans to pursue a Bachelor of Music Education degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Southern Mississippi.  Estic has participated in school choirs since the sixth grade and has attended All-State Choral Conventions and the Southern Invitational Choral Conference. Coming from a family of singers and musicians, he plays piano by ear. Estic has sung and played piano at churches, weddings, funerals, and other events. He is the son of Roberta Jackson. He won a $400 scholarship and the opportunity to sing a solo in our December 2, 2017 performance.

Taylor Prescott is 20 years old and is a sophomore music major at MGCCC-Jeff Davis Campus where she sings with the Jefferson Davis Singers and Coastal Vibrations.  Miss Prescott has loved singing since she was in the children’s choir at First Baptist Church of Long Beach, MS. Having performed in musicals, including Broadway shows, she sang with the USM Gulf Coast Civic Chorale, performing with the Chorale at Carnegie Hall in 2016. Taylor has attended the Southern Invitational Choral Conference for several years. She plans to pursue a Master degree in Vocal Performance continuing her studies at William Patterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. Taylor is the daughter of Jann Prescott of Long Beach, MS.  She won an $800 scholarship, a solo in our December 2, 2017 performance, and $100 for being chosen by the audience as the “Favorite Singer”.

Ella Lansford, Lydia Newton, & Cecilia Escobedo played violin during the interludes at the 2017 YAVC. They were accompanied by Carol Mahler (at the piano)
YAVC Co-Chairs Lucille Harrington, Donna Snell
and Roseanne Johnson-Fazo

Archive of YAVC Winners from previous years