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Black Tie International:
Career Bridges 12th Annual Gala Concert and Dinner
Photos by:  Rose Billings/

David Bender, Artistic Director and Barbara Bender, Co-Founder.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

David Bender, Artistic Director and Barbara Bender, Co-Founder


Career Bridges

12th Annual Gala Concert and Dinner

The JW Marriot Essex House

February 13, 2014


Dan Ferro and Joy Ferro.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

Dan and Joy Ferro

Al Osman and Betty Osman . Photo by:  Rose Billings/

Al and Betty Osman 

Nancy Rhodes, Encompass Opera, Lauren Flanigan Camille Coppola, New Rochelle Opera, and Mara Waldmann, Encompass Opera .  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

Nancy Rhodes, Encompass Opera, Lauren Flanigan Camille Coppola,
New Rochelle Opera, and Mara Waldmann, Encompass Opera

KT Sullivan and her Mother, Elizabeth Sullivan.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

KT Sullivan and her Mother, Elizabeth Sullivan

Rafael Sanchez, international fashion jeweler .  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

Rafael Sanchez, international fashion jeweler 

Ziona Grossman, Eve Queler, Will Crutchfield and Lauren Flanigan.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

Ziona Grossman, Eve Queler, Will Crutchfield and Lauren Flanigan

Shana Grossman and Prince Ivan Obolensky.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

Shana Grossman and Prince Ivan Obolensky

Will Crutchfield.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

Will Crutchfield

Eve Queler, Will Crutchfield, Lauren Flanigan.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

Eve Queler, Will Crutchfield, Lauren Flanigan

Michael Spierman and Leslie Swanson.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

Michael Spierman and Leslie Swanson

 Kristina Choi, Ewa Plonka, Meghan Picerno, Shana Grossman, Samantha Britt,.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

The Career Bridges Winners
 Kristina Choi, Ewa Plonka, Meghan Picerno, Shana Grossman, Samantha Britt

The evening was a tremendous success. Our  Career Bridges  winners wowed the audience with their youth, vitality and star power.

The evening featured a cocktails, delicious hors d’oeuvres a silent Auction
 with trips, restaurants and haute couture jewelry created by Rafael Sanchez,
 and a gourmet dinner.


Our Distinguished  Honorees were Will Crutchfield Musical Director of the Caramoor Musical Festival.  musicologist and mentor of promising young operatic stars, and Metropolitan Opera Star Lauren Flanigan, Founder and Administrator of the MUSIC AND MENTORING HOUSE , a safe place for artists to study and receive mentoring and training .


Very special for the evening  the presentation of “Shakespeare in Words and Music”, featuring The Shakespeare Society actors Emily Hall and Jacob Fishell, and Career Bridges winners Samantha Britt, and Blake Friedman.


Helping young operas singers launch their careers

What We Do

Many extraordinarily gifted young operatic singers complete their formal training but are not yet fully prepared for a career. Lack of good training in many areas, lack of funds for further study, limited performance opportunities, and lack of guidance have stymied many of these extremely qualified singers in the pursuit of their careers, thus depriving us all of their potential greatness.

Based on the recommendations of a 20-25 member Panel of Experts, Career Bridges provides grants for coaching in voice, diction, language, repertory and stage deportment. Further grants include career guidance, performance opportunities, and assistance in career promotion. We continue to provide mentoring, evaluating and further grants for a period of three years.

We have successfully launched our Career Bridges Outreach program to the schools, titled “Kids Love Opera!”. In the past we have sung for over 15 schools in Westchester County, NY, reaching more than 4,000 “kids”. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. With our performances, we are fulfilling three functions: giving performance opportunities and income to our grant winners, introducing the world of opera to children who have for the most part never heard classical music before, and creating a new audience for opera.

Our Mission

To help young opera singers launch their careers.

Uniquely Career Bridges

For 12 years, we have mentored over 110 grant winners in our unique 3-year Mentoring Program. Our program provides the “bridge” from the classroom world to the professional community for our winners – many of whom are now  on their way to productive singing careers around the world.

Our Bridge

We provide 3 years of grants to each individual singer based on the recommendations of our 25-member panel comprised of internationally recognized experts in repertory & vocal coaching; conductors; stage directors; artist managers/agents; opera company impresarios, et al. These grants include personal coaching in diction, language, repertory, and stage development. Further grants include career guidance, performance opportunities, opera workshops, and assistance in career promotions.

Our Program

Each grant winner is eligible for grants for a total of 3 years, and is re-evaluated by our Panel of Experts annually. During these years we provide ongoing counseling, paid performance opportunities, concerts, school performances, and workshops in which our winners get their most valuable training – in that they bring to life on the stage what they have learned in the studio. Our artistic staff mentor these performances.

We are committed to providing the unique level of tangible and practical support that will enable our young singers the opportunity to fulfill their potential and achieve the greatness that will enhance all our lives.


Your contribution and support are major factors in helping us in our mission to mentor young opera singers when they need it the most.

The Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, Inc., is a 
5o1(c)3 tax exempt foundation.

Please call: 914-623-8183 or visit our website 
 for further information




joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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