In the News: Lee-Strohm Wins Symphony Vocal Competition

The finalists perform together the song "We Are the Champions"

Led by music director Octavio Más-Arocas, the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra opened its OhioHealth Symphony Series’ 90th Season with the concert ‘Mash-up’ on Saturday, October 17 at the Renaissance Theatre. The incredibly inventive and triumphant concert held the finals of its vocal competition where Ashland resident Audrey Lee-Strohm was awarded first place.

In November 2019, 26 videos were submitted online for entry into the vocal competition. With over 40,000 votes by the public and a weeklong review by a team of expert judges, six finalists were announced. The finalists who performed at the Mash-up concert were Allie Lynn Nicolas, Ashlea Shaw, Audrey Lee-Strohm, Jarica Awwiller, Patrick Clinage, and Ryan Shreve.

Before the vocal competition began the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra gave a rousing performance of Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. Jarica Awwiller then performed Frank Sinatra’s classic, “Fly Me to the Moon.” Ryan Shreve performed next with The Phantom of the Opera’s “The Music of the Night.” Allie Lynn Nicolas sang Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and Ashlea Shaw performed “Shallow” from A Star is Born. Audrey Lee-Strohm performed “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical Les Miserables and Patrick Clinage ended the competition with another Frank Sinatra great, “My Way.”

Powered by a system from TextLoyal, the audience was asked to vote by mobile phone to select the winners. Before the reveal, the concert continued with the powerhouse Michigan ensemble, Westbound Situation. Westbound Situation blends the precision of classical chamber music, the rhythmic drive of bluegrass, and the colorful expression of jazz into a new style of chamber music—chambergrass. The quartet—comprised of Grant Flick on violin, Matt Davis on banjo, Zach Brown on cello, and Jacob Warren on bass—mixes composition and improvisation seamlessly into their arrangements. The performance was exceptional with their unique style and sound, as well as their instrumental mastery.

CEO Mike Miller, acting as the evening’s MC, revealed the winners at the close of the concert. Third place was awarded to Ryan Shreve, second place to Patrick Clinage, and the winner of the competition, who will have the opportunity to perform with the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra in the 2021-22 Season, was Audrey Lee-Strohm.

Lee-Strohm is a 2016 graduate of Bowling Green State University with a BA in Film Production and Vocal Music. In college, she was a member of two choirs and won several solo competitions. She is also an alumna of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. Audrey began teaching voice and beginner piano in 2013 and currently teaches at the Richland Academy of the Arts in downtown Mansfield.

The Mansfield Symphony Orchestra will continue its 90th Season with four more concerts; Holiday Pops on December 19, The Titan on February 13, West Side Story – Live in Concert on March 20, and Carmina Burana on May 15.

To view all of the Jeff Sprang Photography from the show, go to our Gallery.