Friday, Apr 21, 2023
Krista Hastings ’19, ’21 is a double graduate in the College’s voice performance programs
by Adam Grybowski
Krista Hastings ’19, ’21 was recently named a winner in two prestigious singing competitions, one international and the other national.
She was named a first place winner in the International Mozart Vocal Competition Vienna and a winner in the John Alexander Vocal Competition. Participants in both competitions are judged by panels of musicians and industry experts as they vie for cash prizes and opportunities for professional development and performance.
“For me, winning these competitions is mostly about the opportunity to apply my craft,” says Hastings, who earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in voice performance from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. “That was my drive to apply and hopefully winning will lead to more connections and more opportunities to perform.”
Founded in 2009, the annual John Alexander National Vocal Competition seeks to recognize and promote emerging young classical singers in the United States. The competition is named after renowned American tenor John Alexander. As one of the winners, Hastings was flown to Mississippi, where the competition is based, to perform in a winner’s concert with a chamber orchestra.
The International Mozart Competition Vienna, based in Vienna, Austria, is dedicated to the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The competition was first established in 1964. It is open to musicians of all ages who specialize in various instruments, including piano, violin and voice. A selection of the winners, who have yet to be announced, will be invited to participate in the gala concert in Vienna.
For me, winning these competitions is mostly about the opportunity to apply my craft."
A native of Maryland, Hastings first discovered Westminster as a high school sophomore through participation in one of the College’s summer voice programs. Later, while still in high school, an experience singing as a soloist with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra convinced her she wanted to continue to pursue music in college. “I wanted to do more of that every day, not just the singing and performing but learning about music and music history,” she says. “I felt there could never be enough of that.”
She eventually enrolled as an undergraduate at Westminster, where students have performed with some of the world's most celebrated conductors and orchestras, such as the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and alumni regularly earn prestigious accolades, including Grammy Awards.
“I wanted to be completely immersed in music and commit my life to that existence and get that full experience, which I did,” Hastings says. “I’m really grateful for that. It’s a huge reason why I’ve become the performer I am today.”
This summer, Hastings has several upcoming performances scheduled. She is covering the role of Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata and the soprano solos in Verdi’s Requiem, as well as singing the role of Cinderella's stepmother in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, with the Janiec Opera Company of the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina.
She’s relishing the opportunities to gain exposure and showcase her talent. “When you’re singing, you feel very powerful,” she says. “Unlike in conversation, when sometimes you don’t know how to express your feelings, performing the work of great composers makes you feel as if you have all the right words so you can say exactly what you want to say.”