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LFPR - February 21, 2020 - 0 comments

SAVANNAH, GA – February 21, 2020 – On Thursday evening at Skidaway Island United Methodist Church (SIUMC), the American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) announced the top five artists selected by judges to advance to the exciting final round of the competition.

The semifinalists each performed three songs out of their nine required different music styles – such as Opera, Musical Theatre, Hollywood, Jazz, Folk, Country, Pop/Rock Singer-Songwriters (1980-today), Art Song, Gospel, Songs of Johnny Mercer, Blues, Religious Music, Popular Music of 1950-1980, Great American Songbook, and Cabaret – dazzling the audience and judges with their vocal talent. The top five contestants who will perform in the final round are (in alphabetical order):


  • Carole J. Bufford
  • Jasmine Habersham
  • Rachel Policar
  • Kenny Williams
  • Missy Wise

The following special awards were presented last evening, and each of these contestants will also perform during the Final round on Friday, Feb. 21:

  • The Quarterfinalist Richard Chambless People’s Choice Award and $500 was presented to Corrie Donovan. This award, given by Swann Seiler in memory of her dear friend Richard Chambless, is presented on behalf of the audience.
  • The Sherrill Milnes American Opera Award and $500 – sponsored by Barry & Naomi Cohen and Toby Hollenberg – was presented to Michael Kelly for best American aria.
  • The Ben Tucker Jazz Award and $500 for the best jazz performance – sponsored by Dr. Margaret Cohen and Dr. Andrew Cohen – was awarded to Melinda Rose Rodriguez.  
  • The Johnny Mercer Award and $750 for best Johnny Mercer performance during the quarterfinal or semifinal rounds – sponsored by The Friends of Johnny Mercer Inc. – was also awarded to Melinda Rose Rodriguez.  

“These contestants brought their all to the ATC stage this year for our 27th anniversary,” said ATC Artistic Director Mikki Sodergren. “I’m sure they’ll bring even more of their spectacular performances to the finals. We look forward to hearing these talented singers continue to demonstrate their vocal abilities both here on our stage, and for the rest of their musical careers as well!”

The finals will be held at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21 at the Savannah Cultural Arts Center: Ben Tucker Theatre, 201 Montgomery St. in downtown Savannah. General seating tickets to the finals cost $45 each while premium seating tickets are available for $55 each and can be purchased by visiting

To learn more about the ATC – a nonprofit arts organization seeking to celebrate and preserve all styles of classic American music through a unique vocal competition for highly skilled and diverse singeing performers – please visit

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at or 229-393-6457, Lesley Francis at or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).