Mansfield Music Graduate Takes Third in International Opera Competition; Credits MU For Her Start

MANSFIELD, PA— Lindsay Kate Brown, a 2013 Mansfield University graduate, placed third in the 30th annual Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers sponsored by the Houston Grand Opera (HGO).

The competition and its final round, the Concert of Arias, are held annually to identify candidates for HGO’s internationally acclaimed Studio program, which nurtures young artists who have the potential for major careers in opera. The competition drew more than 500 entries from around the world.

“The competition was really a life changing experience, which sounds terribly corny, but is totally true,” Brown said. “As musicians, we spend countless hours perfecting our craft; we have to have a solid vocal technique, knowledge on how to speak multiple languages, be able to demonstrate musical concepts that are stylistically appropriate, and provide a performance with enough dramatic intention to convey the story behind the music. There are long work days and sometimes even longer nights, but it doesn’t matter because, at the end of the day, we are getting to do what we love. This competition was a representation of years of hard and dedication to the music, but more than that, it was about getting people feel something. Music was created to be felt and this competition was a way for me to help people feel and, almost more importantly, a sign that I am meant to do this. To be able to be surrounded by some of the best musicians in the world, doing what I love and changing people’s lives is something I’ll never forget.”

A mezzo-soprano, Brown is working towards her Artist Diploma at Rice University in Houston, TX.  She graduated from MU with degrees in both Music Performance and Music Education. She also competed a degree in Opera Performance at Binghamton University in 2016 before enrolling in at Rice.

“Mansfield University was the reason I decided to go into opera,” Brown said. “I had always grown up singing in choirs and playing in instrumental ensembles and never showed any interest in opera, so it wasn’t until coming to Mansfield that I realized that I could change the world through music and, specifically, through opera. It wasn’t until I started taking voice lessons with Dr. (Todd) Ranney and he candidly said to me during a lesson, ‘You should think about auditioning for the opera.’ The thought of doing anything other than becoming a choral director never occurred to me. He pushed me to find a confidence in my talent and in myself to become an opera singer and I owe the start of my career to him. Dr. (Peggy) Dettwiler also played a huge part in helping me cultivate my musicianship and my artistry, first through my choral music and then through my solo work. I owe my freedom of expression to her.”

“This fall I will be joining Houston Grand Opera, one of the top opera houses in the country, as a studio artist, and I couldn’t have done that without the two of them (Ranney and Dettwiler) or without Mansfield University,” Brown added.

For more information about Brown, visit her website at

To learn more about studying Music and Voice at Mansfield, go to