Marjorie Cadwallader’s neighbors knew the right time each day to open their windows to let the music in. Even in advanced age, Marjorie was always a gifted soprano and pianist, and every morning she could be heard singing and playing in her Crafton home. In her youth, she dreamed of pursuing her talents professionally. Unfortunately, after her father walked out, she and her brother William were raised by a single mother during the Depression, and there simply wasn’t the money for singing lessons.

William Cadwallader, an Air Force veteran, spent most of his professional life at Duquesne Light Company, as did Marjorie. The pair remained close their entire lives, passing away within months of each other in early 2017. It was William’s wish that part of his legacy honor his beloved sister by helping others pursue the dream of professional singing that Marjorie never could. Pittsburgh Festival Opera is proud to establish the William and Marjorie Cadwallader Residency, which will fund two gifted sopranos in our Young Professional Artists Program annually. This residency provides scholarships and special performance opportunities to the artists selected.

And so Marjorie will continue to provide music for her neighbors for many years to come.


The Cadwalladers
Marjorie (right) and William (rear) Cadwallader, with their mother—also Marjorie—in 1946.


William and Marjorie Cadwallader Resident Artists

2017 Recipients

Kelsey Fredriksen
Kelsey Frederiksen


Michele  Renee Williams
Michele Renee Williams