Josiah Martin | Staff Writer
A Duquesne music education major recently won a city-wide university singing competition.
On March 26, Duquesne senior Michael Warren won in the final round of Campus Superstar, with a first-place prize of $5,000. He is the first Duquesne student to win the competition.
The annual event is presented by the Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh and is described as an American Idol-style competition. Warren’s journey started with the first round of auditions in November.
Warren originally heard about Campus Superstar through Dr. Sean Beckman, Dean of the Mary Pappert School of Music.
“Dean Beckman suggested that I audition,” he said. “Initially I wasn’t sold on the competition, especially since I had never heard about it, and I don’t do competitions.”
Warren prefers singing as a hobby and said he never considered competing in an event like Campus Superstar before. His reluctance to participate meant he missed the initial rounds of auditions, but he was given a chance to make up his audition.
Over the following days, Warren advanced through the competition, leading up to the final round on March 26. He was impressed by the strength of the other contestants, including a fellow Duquesne classmate.
“The competitors were truly incredible,” Warren said. “I give a special shout out to my friend and classmate, Carly Koza, for representing Duquesne with me.”
Warren got to hear the performances of other competitors during dress rehearsal and was particularly amazed by Elena Falgione from Seton Hill.
“If I could’ve voted, she would’ve gotten my vote,” he said.
Given the skill of the competitors, Warren was not sure who was going to walk away with the grand prize, but kept a positive outlook nonetheless.
“I was fortunate enough that no matter what happened, I was able to share a message with people. A message of a hope for our future, and a recipe of how to live in that hopeful future — the message of self love,” Warren said.
Warren was humbled by his victory, and plans to use his grand prize money of $5,000 to “get a jump start” on paying off student loans.
He thanks the faculty of the Mary Pappert School of Music for his victory.
“I couldn’t have done this without any of them,” he said.
Warren also extended a special thank you to Duquesne President Ken Gormley, who called Warren to congratulate him on his victory.
“Getting calls from [Gormley] about how excited and proud he [is] of me, that goes a long way,” he said.