In honor of Shirley Rabb Winston, NSAL established an annual scholarship for young classical singers between the ages of 16 and 22. Applicants must demonstrate exceptional talent and promise of future success. The scholarship funds are only for private study, special training or personal advancement in the applicant’s vocal career. They can be used for workshops, voice teachers, summer programs, etc. The funds cannot be used for college tuition, housing or travel. In most years, as many as eight to ten scholarships are awarded in varying amounts.

The maximum amount awarded to an applicant is $5000.

2018 Winston Voice Brochure |  2018 Winston Voice Application 2018 Suggestions for Winston Voice Scholarship | 2018 Winston Voice Chapter Responsibilities

Local Competition Chairwoman
Dr. Judith Garcia


Sirley Rabb Winston (1920 – 2000) was the daughter of Naomi Rabb Winston. She was a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C. and studied voice at the Washington College of Music. She received a voice scholarship from the Washington Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters.  During her career as a professional opera singer, she performed at Washington D.C.’s Constitution Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall and had major roles with the Metropolitan Opera Touring Company. For most of her career, the mezzo soprano sang with the New York City Opera. After retiring from her professional career, she taught opera at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She later moved to Virginia Beach, wrote “Music as the Bridge” and taught voice to select students. Pictured above, from left, Naomi Rabb Winston and Shirley Rabb Winston. 


2016 Shirley Rabb Winston Voice Scholarship Winners


Michael Pandolfo, 21, University of Kentucky; Kentucky Chapter

$2,600 for private study or summer 2017 program.


Mary Burke, 21, Peabody Conservatory; Washington, D.C. Chapter

$2,200 for the Musiktheater Bavaria program, July 2016.


Ruby Dibble, 20, Oberlin Conservatory; St. Louis Chapter

$2200 for "Oberlin in Italy,” summer 2016.


Dorothy Gal, 21, Mannes College of Music; Florida East Coast Chapter

$1,000 for private coaching sessions with Joan Dornemann.


Javier Castellanos, 21, Marymount Manhattan College; New York/Chautauqua Chapter

$1,000 for private study.


In the Younger Category:

Kathryn Aman, 17, high school student; New Jersey Chapter

$1000 for private study or a summer program.


Our 2016 judges, all of whom have considerable experience with young voices, the repertoire, and vocal adjudication, are as follows:

Dr. Carol Kimball, mezzo-soprano, is a noted author of books and articles on art song and opera, an editor of widely used song and aria anthologies, and a recognized specialist in French repertoire.  A gifted recitalist and Emerita Professor of Voice at the University of Nevada, she remains active as a clinician, lecturer, writer and adjudicator. 


Elisabeth Pehlivanian, soprano and consummate recitalist, has given performed in more than 300 shows in premier venues in Europe, Canada and the U.S., with repertoire ranging from 5th-Century Armenian chant to the avant-garde.  She has taught Voice, Diction, Art Song Repertoire, and Opera Scenes at California State University, Long Beach since 1999, and now resides in Arizona.


Henri Venanzi, a distinguished keyboardist, multi-lingual vocal coach, opera conductor and lecturer, is currently Chorus Master for both the Cincinnati and Arizona Operas.  He has performed with internationally acclaimed recitalists and orchestras throughout Europe and the U.S. and has served as Music Director for Young Artist and youth music programs across the country.