SUNY Potsdam Alumni Name Melissa Wegner a 'Rising Star'


Melissa Wegner ’03 was presented with the 2012 Rising Star Award from the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association.

The SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association recently honored Melissa Wegner ’03, of New York City, with the 2012 Rising Star Award, at the College’s annual Reunion Weekend.

The Rising Star Award is presented to an alum who has demonstrated outstanding professional achievement in the first decade following graduation. Wegner was recognized for her outstanding accomplishments as a performer and as an arts administrator.

During her visit to campus, Wegner was also a surprise guest for a duet during Lisa Vroman’s recital before Vroman was presented with her honorary doctorate from the College.

Melissa Wegner ’03 has always been a formidable presence, according to her former professors. Her talent, intelligence and drive to succeed were evident from the first day she set foot at SUNY Potsdam.

In the nine years since she graduated from Crane, with double majors in vocal performance and music business, Wegner’s career has taken her all over the world. She has performed a world premiere at Carnegie Hall and repeated that performance in the United Kingdom.

Wegner has worked closely with some of the world’s most distinguished composers and singers, including Oswaldo Golijov and Dawn Upshaw. She has completed four years of study with Crane Faculty Emerita Patricia Misslin, the noted teacher of opera superstars Renée Fleming and Stephanie Blythe.

In August 2001, Wegner was appointed as associate director for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the most distinguished competition for aspiring singers in the United States. In this role, she travels throughout the U.S. to provide continuity to district and regional competitions, and produces the National Grand Finals on the Metropolitan Opera stage in New York City.

Wegner has made excellent use of the skillset she developed at SUNY Potsdam and The Crane School of Music, showing a wide and diverse blend of musical, business and administrative skills that have placed her working alongside the highest level of professionals in the opera world. She has also returned several times to campus to discuss her career and advise current students in both the opera and music business programs.

Showing her versatility and blend of musical and business skills, Wegner has served as an artistic project coordinator and personal assistant for a number of composers, musicians and creative professionals. Her assignments have included booking tours, producing concerts, writing grant applications, negotiating contracts and commissions and working on myriad planning and publicity assignments.

To find out more about the long tradition of innovation at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, visit

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts.