Mezzo-soprano Leah U. Hawkins is a senior music and voice performance major at Morgan State University where she studies with Anamer Castrello. Her roles include Geraldine in A Hand of Bridge, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Maria in Porgy and Bess, Meg Page (cover) in Falstaff, and Gertrud in Hansel and Gretel. A featured soloist on the Kennedy Center and Kimmel Center stages, she also has been a guest soloist with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony and the Black Pearl Orchestras. She has participated in master classes with Marquita Lister, Cori Ellison, Denyce Graves, Angela Brown, and Giuseppe Lanzetta in Florence, Italy as well as in summer programs with the Baltimore Summer Opera Workshop and the Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance Program. She is a 2010 and 2011 first-place winner in the Maryland/Washington, DC area competition of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. In January 2013, she received an Encouragement Award at the Mid-Atlantic Region Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Recently, Ms. Hawkins was chosen as a semifinalist in the Annapolis Opera Competition, in which she will compete in April 2013.