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Hearing impaired teen opera singer from Auburndale wins college scholarship

Posted by Laura Gomez  January 23, 2013 08:37 AM

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A hearing impaired university student from Auburndale who has become an accomplished opera singer has won up to $8,000 in scholarship money from Cochlear Americas, a company that makes hearing implants.

Hannah Katz, a vocal performance major at Boston University, was born with Branchial Arch Syndrome, also known as Goldenhar Syndrome, according to a press release.

“I feel lucky that I was born the way I was, because it’s given me the ability to become me, the World’s First Earless Opera Singer!,” said Katz.

She will be formally recognized as a recipient during Cochlear Celebration in San Diego on February 17, 2013.

"Despite Hannah’s hearing loss, she is an accomplished Opera singer," said spokeswoman Kelly Krueger, "She has traveled the globe studying and singing in Puglia, Italy and Perigueux, France to participate in summer opera programs and even received a Bel Canto Award at an opera program in Italy."

A recipient of the 2013 Anders Tjellström Baha Scholarship, Katz is among three other selected students who will receive $2,000 per year for up to four years in an accredited college or university.

Cochlear Americas has awarded scholarships funds since 2002 to qualified students with cochlear implants.

Cochlear Americas also awards the same amount of money under the Graeme Clark Scholarship to five students nationwide. This year, more than 150 applications were received and reviewed, according to the press release. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic achievement and a demonstrated commitment to the Cochlear ideals of leadership and humanity.

To learn more about the scholarships, visit CochlearAmericas.com/Scholarship.

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