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Furman University tenor Bergsvein Toverud of Lenoir wins top prize at national competition

GREENVILLE, SC (June 19, 2019) — Bergsvein Toverud, a 2019 Furman University music education graduate, has won first prize in the Advanced Classical Division at the Classical Singer Competition, which took place recently in Chicago, Illinois.

Toverud, of Lenoir, North Carolina, prevailed through several rounds (state, national second round, and semi-finals) before being chosen as one of four to matriculate to finals, where he bested students from the nation’s most prestigious conservatories and schools of music.

Music education graduate Bergsvein Toverud ’19 won first place in the Advanced Classical Division at the Classical Singer Competition. Photo/Katherine Escobar

Said Toverud, “It’s exciting to win a competition, but winning is second to the pursuit of musical excellence. My drive as a musician comes from a reverence of the art and the intense human expression that music carries.”

Last summer, Toverud was a finalist and winner at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition in Las Vegas, Nevada.

While at Furman, he studied voice with Associate Professor of Music Grant Knox, who said, “This award is quite an accomplishment, not only for Bergsvein, but for the entire Furman Department of Music.”

Active in many aspects of the music program, Toverud sang Ralph Rackstraw in “H.M.S. Pinafore” and the Witch in “Hansel and Gretel” with Furman Lyric Theatre, directed by Knox. He was a featured soloist in numerous concerts with the Furman Symphony Orchestra and was a member of both the Furman Singers and Furman Chamber Choir.

Toverud (center) in Lyric Theatre’s staging of “H.M.S. Pinafore”
Toverud sings the Witch in Lyric Theatre’s production of “Hansel and Gretel.”

Toverud was the recipient of the DuPre Rhame Scholarship and the Hartness Scholarship at Furman. Outside of the department, Toverud held the Herring Church Music Internship at First Baptist Church in Greenville.

Toverud will continue his studies in vocal performance this fall at the Eastman School of Music, where he has received a substantial merit award and graduate teaching fellowship.

A Furman University Press Release
by Tina Underwood, Contributor