BLaVell Thompson, Jr. won first place in the 2008 National Association of Teachers of Singing competition and 3rd place in the Southern Illinois Young Artist Organization Competition. He is likewise a district winner of the Leontyne Price Competition. In 2006, Thompson was the winner of the annual Ladies Friday Musical Club award for musical excellence. As a composer, he has conducted and seen the premiere of a number of his works including I Shall Always Love You and Were You There. The choral gem, I Shall Always Love You, was received with great acclaim winning him a place in the 2004 Music Educators National Conference competition for young composers. Among other awards, he received an “SOS Career Grant” from the East End Arts and Humanities Council, the “Hilde B. Stroh Award,” and the Ladies Friday Musical Club’s “Musical Excellence Award.”
Mr. Thompson has performed in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma as Steve, “Mr. Earlanson” in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury as “The Attorney,” and in many partial roles including “Rodolfo” in Puccini’s La Boheme, “Pinkerton,” in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, “Eisenstein” in J. Strauss, Jr.’s Die Fledermaus among others.
As a concert artist, he has been a featured soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Handel’s Ode to St. Cecilia, Mozart’s Requiem, Sousa’s A Christmas Garland, Mendelssohn’s Paulus, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Distler’s Die Weihnachtsgeschicte, Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin, Bach’s Matthäus-Passion, Stainer’s The Crucifixion, Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien, and Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass. Recently, Mr. Thompson triumphed in his debut of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 as the tenor soloist with the “Empire State Sinfonia.” This summer, Mr. Thompson will debut in two new leading tenor roles: the “Male Chorus” in Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and “The Boy” in Joshua Ollswang’s Juniper Tree.
Mr. Thompson was one of six selected singers to participate in the Summer Music Academy of Wintergreen, VA and was a featured soloist with the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra in S. Cardillo’s Core n’Grato, conducted by Maestro David Wiley. He presented a lecture/recital of music by the 20th century composer Benjamin Britten (commemorating his birthday) for the University of Missouri-St. Louis Music Department’s “Seminar Series.” In addition, he performs a full recital annually (often with friends).
Mr. Thompson is a recent recipient of the Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music.