Music festival renews interest in art song

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – They are the type of performers you would expect to hear at the Santa Fe Opera, instead they are students some as young as 12 years old. Nearly 100 of them will be taking part in the Vocal Artistry Art Song Festival happening Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26 at the Albuquerque Academy.

“Some kids have been working on a song for a whole year, sometimes they bring the same song back which is ok,” said festival founder Jacqueline Zander-Wall. “But the idea is that we are each year have a whole new area, a repertoire each year. This year it’s English and American songs.”

Since 2008, the now yearly event has been renewing an interest in the form of art song where one voice and one piano unite. According to organizers, the competition is open to all singers living in the state and winners are chosen on talent and artistic achievement. This year the performers will be vying for monetary prizes totaling over $7,000, but more than that it’s all for the love of music.

“I mean, what a wonderful way to touch a young person with the idea of poetry and music and performing,” Zander-Wall said. “I think it’s something that they bring with them through their whole life. Whether they become a singer or a pianist or a musician, it’s something that helps them understand music and literature their whole life and plus the whole performing aspect is exciting too. It’s exciting to perform a song because it’s short and it’s magical.”

If you would like to catch any of the performances, this is free and open to the public. For the complete list of times and venue, you can visit the Vocal Artistry Art Song Festival website. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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