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© 2019 by Veronica Pollicino, mezzo-soprano



Feeling very thankful to be a 2019 bursary recipient, awarded by the Art Song Foundation of Canada. This is a great honor; this grant helped to support my efforts to go to SongFest this summer.

Please read my thoughts and reflections about going to SongFest, which was hosted on the Art Song Foundation of Canada's website. 

"It was my great honor to have been accepted to SongFest and extended a position in the prestigious Professional Program. In short, SongFest is a month-long art song intensive, held at the Colburn School of the Performing Arts in Downtown Los Angeles, which enables singers and collaborative pianists to come together and work with the exceptional faculty gathered through a rigorous schedule of coachings, rehearsals, master classes and concerts. Whether you were performing or observing, each day presented new and inspiring ways to grow, learn and engage with an enormous breadth of repertoire.

















                        Veronica Pollicino and Susan Graham

While at SongFest, I was given invaluable opportunities to work with special guests, which included coaching Schubert Lieder with Graham Johnson, operatic repertoire with Susan Graham, art song with Kevin Murphy and oratorio with Grant Gershon. Additionally, I performed select Bach Cantatas under the direction of John Harbison and was able to coach and perform Jake Heggie’s work with the composer himself – these experiences only highlight the exceptional opportunities that were afforded to me during my time at SongFest.

















                                     Veronica Pollicino with composer Jake Heggie

I would also like to say that my fellow colleagues were nothing short of outstanding. The caliber of musician that was attracted to this program was of the highest level and I am fortunate to have walked away from this experience having made many dear colleagues.

Aside from performance opportunities, I prepared a variety of additional art song repertoire, which I was able to coach with the faculty members. In the span of four weeks, I coached with some of the great coaches and leaders of art song today including Lydia Brown, Alan Louis Smith, Mark Trawka, Javier Arrebola, Liza Stepanova, Amy Burton, John Musto and Margo Garrett. During these coachings, I worked on a diverse range of repertoire including works by Bach, N. Boulanger, Brahms, Debussy, Elgar, Mahler, Mozart, Rachmaninov, Rossini, Schubert, Schumann and Wagner.

My time at SongFest was nothing short of exceptional. To wake up each morning, excited and deeply committed to all of the work to come that day, and be surrounded by those with the same love and discipline for this art form, was a gift. In a collaborative profession like ours, more often than not, we musicians find ourselves alone; researching, practicing, studying, preparing, etc but to be in a shared community of peers for one month, helps to remind us all that ours is not a solo art. We are indeed in this profession because we love to collaborate. We love to share with each other. We love to learn with and from each other. We ultimately love to make music together. This art form has a future, and its future is bright and full of possibilities. This was a most enriching experience and I am deeply grateful to Rosemary Ritter, the foundress of SongFest, for creating this exceptional program, and for affording me this very special and unique opportunity to continue to grow, learn and develop.

Once again, many thanks to you and all those at the Art Song Foundation of Canada for your support in my efforts to go to SongFest. This was a wonderful step in my career and an experience I will not soon forget."