Music alumna earns spot with Ohio Light Opera Company

November 2, 2012

By Brigitte Graf '13

The Ohio Light Opera of the College of Wooster performed its 34th season last summer and joining the professional opera company was Bradley alumna Stephanie Castongia '11.

Castongia earned a degree in flute performance from the Department of Music and performed as flutist and piccoloist, two instruments she has been playing since before high school, with the opera group.

Castongia said she is very proud of landing her position as a flutist.

"Only two flutists played in the orchestra, so I was incredibly excited to win the position and have the opportunity to work with other top musicians," she said. "It felt like all of the hard work really paid off."

The audition process for the company was a difficult one, Castongia said. It involved recording several pieces followed by a long, anxious waiting period.

"I had to record two orchestral excerpts, which are well-known, difficult solos in the major orchestral repertoire," she said. "I also recorded one solo piece for flute and piano. A three-month period of anticipation then followed in waiting for the results."

The audition was worth it, however, as Castongia played with the company from early June through mid-August 2012.

In preparing for this prestigious position, Castongia recalled the many lessons she learned during her time as a student and musician at Bradley.

"The professors are wonderful, especially Dr. Kyle Dzapo, who taught me everything about being a musician," Castongia said. "She was, and still is, a great mentor in both flute and life. She, along with many others, helped me to build a solid foundation on which I can grow and flourish."