City woman wins prize in jazz singing

April 19, 2000|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Billie Holliday lives on -- not only through her musical legacy, but also through the three winners of the 11th annual Mayor's Billie Holliday Vocal Competition.

First place in the annual competition went to Sylvia Hardison of Baltimore, whose version of "God Bless the Child earned her the $1,500 top prize. Marianne Metheny of Baltimore took second place ($1,000), and Juanita Callihan of Hunt Valley took third place ($500) following semi-final and final rounds this past weekend.

For her first-place finish, Hardison also receives the opportunity to perform at Baltimore's summer mega-arts festival Artscape, which takes place July 21-23.

Mayor Martin O'Malley presided over the contest, and WJHU-FM's Andy Bienstock and WEAA's Gary Ellerbe were among the judges. Sponsors for the singing contest were Allfirst bank, Procter & Gamble Cosmetics Foundation and the Afro-American.

The competition was begun in 1990 to pay tribute to Holliday, Baltimore's incomparable jazz diva, on the 75th anniversary of her birth.

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