ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State University senior
Megan Rose Case
is no stranger to honors on campus – and now her talents are being recognized by prestigious schools around the country.
Case, who will graduate In Honoribus from NSU in May, has been offered a full-tuition scholarship to pursue a Master’s of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Music.
Case will receive CU’s Galen and Ada Belle Files Spencer Award, the largest fellowship awarded to a graduate student, valued at more than $26,000.
Case and her voice instructor, NSU’s Dr. Darci Bultema, knew that her live audition in Colorado went well – both received promising emails from a faculty member who is also a scholarship representative. While Case was hopeful she would receive a scholarship, she never imagined it would be a full ride.
“I think I about fell out of my computer chair when I first read the email from (Professor Patrick Mason)!” said Case, a vocal and instrumental music education major from Scranton, N.D. “Honestly, I was so overwhelmed with the news that I was speechless.”
That wasn’t the only offer Case received. She also was accepted into the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University Conservatory of Music, where she was also offered a generous scholarship. Case said she was honored by this offer, but she could not pass up full-tuition from Colorado. She plans to audition for Peabody again after completing her master’s.
The fact that Case is being sought after by multiple schools comes as no surprise to Bultema.
“From the moment I heard Megan sing, I knew she was special,” she said. “Her vocal color, flexibility and extensive range, coupled with her intelligence, expressiveness and sensitivity to her music, was unique and rare to hear in someone so young.”
Bultema said Case also has a natural and compelling presence on stage. As one of her colleagues said, “she is an opera director’s dream.”
The opportunity to be cast in a fully staged opera is what Case said she is most looking forward to about attending CU. The university puts on two operas a year, and faculty members work with the Denver Opera if they need chorus members or other spots filled.
“Not only would I love to be cast in a role in an opera at the university, but I would also jump at the opportunity to perform in any fashion with a professional opera company,” she said.
Case has received numerous awards during her time at NSU. Last week, she won first place in the senior women’s division at the annual South Dakota National Association of Teachers of Singing student auditions. The senior women’s division is traditionally the most competitive and exciting category at the competition, Bultema said, and Case won this division handily.
Case was also the vocal winner of the 2012-13 NSU Concerto/Aria Competition, performing the aria “Parto! Ma tu ben mio” from Mozart’s opera La clemenza di Tito. She was recognized in January as one of the area’s “13 to watch in 2013” by the American News.
Case has been a leader in many organizations at Northern, most recently serving as the president of Sigma Alpha Iota, an international fraternity for women in music. She has also been a member of National Association for Music Education, NSU Chamber Singers, Vocal Jazz, Collegiate Choir, NSU Opera Theater, NSU Theater, NSU Marching Wolves, Symphonic Band and Concert Band. She served on the Student Budget Appropriations Committee and is involved in the Newman Center. She sang the role of Flora from Verdi’s La traviata on the recent Verdi/Wagner celebratory concert with the Aberdeen University/Civic Symphony. She sang the role of the Confidante in NSU’s production of “The Phantom of the Opera” and Kate in “Legally Blonde.”
Besides being a student of Bultema, Case has also studied with Dr. Timothy Woods and in master classes with Abra Bush and Philip Everingham as well as Thomas Bagwell. In 2012, she attended the Johanna Meier Opera Theater Institute. Meier, an internationally recognized soprano, grew up in South Dakota. While Black Hills State University hosts this program, the instructors come from all over the country – including directors and coaches from the Metropolitan Opera and New York City.
Case’s ultimate goal is to earn her doctorate and work as a vocal instructor at a university as well as to be a successful vocal performer. This is no easy feat, she said, but she is as prepared as she can be for what lies ahead thanks to the voice faculty at Northern.
“The music faculty at Northern, and especially the vocal faculty, has helped me build a foundation that I can take anywhere,” she said.
While her time in class has been valuable, Case said it was the time she was given outside of the classroom that prepared her for graduate school.
“The vocal faculty at Northern (and I mean every vocal faculty member) is priceless.”