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Recent Loyola Alumnus and Award-winning Opera Singer David Castillo Returns Tuesday to ôAmericaĺs Got Talentö

Loyola press release - August 3, 2015

All-male vocal opera group Vox rocked the stage Tuesday on America's Got Talent. (Seen here from left to right: DeMar Neal, Kevin Blickfeldt, David Castillo and Arnold Geis. Photo courtesy of Vox.)

Award-winning opera singer and Loyola University New Orleans music alumnus David Castillo returns this week to NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” as part of the newly formed vocal quartet VOX. The performance will air locally at 7 p.m. CST on Tuesday, Aug. 4 on WDSU-TV.

“We have received an immense amount of support nationally and internationally. This second round is another opportunity for us to show the world what we do and why we love to do it,” Castillo said.

The newly formed and classically trained vocal quartet specializes in opera, musical theater and crossover music, but chose opera for their national television debut with AGT, aiming “to make the classical art form as accessible as possible,” Castillo said. The 20-somethings ― Castillo, Kevin Blickfeldt of Bountiful, Utah; Arnold Geis of Chehallis, Wash.; and DeMar Neal of Statesville, S.C. ― appeared onstage July 7 for the first round of AGT auditions at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood dressed casually as if going out to a club ─ then stunned longtime AGT judges with an operatic performance of an arrangement of “Nessun Dorma,” an aria from Puccini’s “Turandot.”

VOX walked away from the performance with critical acclaim, a standing ovation and four yes’s from judges: comedian Howie Mandel, radio host Howard Stern, supermodel Heidi Klum and award-winning singer and former Spice Girl Mel B.

“The more we make serious music accessible to all folks, the more likely classical art forms will remain vibrant and supported,” said Anthony Decuir, dean of Loyola’s College of Music and Fine Arts. “As art and music programs are being cut out of school systems, it is much more difficult for the average person to have any exposure to serious music without making a serious effort. Everyone should have exposure to these works.”

VOX returns Tuesday to AGT for the Judge Cut Round, when judges decide which performers move on to the semifinals and finals, which will be hosted this summer at the iconic Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Fans are looking forward to seeing which musical art form VOX performs next.

Now in its 10th season, "America's Got Talent" is NBC’s top-rated summer series from producer Simon Cowell’s Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America. The competition awards a $1 million prize each summer.

To learn more about David Castillo and VOX’s performance in AGT auditions, click here.

To learn more about Loyola’s award-winning music department, click here.

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