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Morrisville’s Eva Kastner-Puschl is a national pageant winner

by Lisa DeAngelis

Eva Kastner-Puschl was 36 before the idea of entering a pageant occurred to her. As a musician, she was “craving the stage” during the summer of 2020 when Covid had reduced most performing opportunities to recording studios.

Missing the exchange with an audience that performing had always provided, she signed up on the website PageantPlanet.com. She competed in the “Miss for America Pageant,” a division of the Mrs. America Pageant system, the longest standing beauty pageant for married women.

“The fact that this pageant celebrates and empowers women from all walks of life and their accomplishments resonated with me,” she says.

Born in Austria, Eva’s dream in high school was to be a professional pianist. But she majored in business administration instead of music in college, influenced by what she calls “too many outside voices and opinions.”

Music was still her true passion, and realizing she could no longer go without it in her life, Eva enrolled at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Studying music education with majors in piano and voice led her to apply for an exchange semester abroad.

After finishing her master’s in business administration and working as a project manager in the field of sustainable energy, while still pursuing her musical studies, she won a scholarship to come to the United States and study at the renowned Westminster Choir College in Princeton.

There she immersed herself in the vibrant choral scene and after her graduation with a second master’s degree, this time in voice pedagogy and performance, she decided to stay in her new country. In recent years, she has worked as an accompanist, organist, piano and voice teacher, professional singer, church chorister, actress, and as Manager of Special Events and Donor Engagement with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra.

Eva has also worked to launch a training program for singers.

She says, “Working in music and the arts has always had great importance in my life because it is music that connects people. When language fails, it is melodies, rhythms, and harmonies that speak to the heart and bring us closer. In my teaching career, nothing has been more rewarding than the sparkle of joy in a listener’s eyes, the sigh of relief when someone feels uplifted by music, or the proud smile of a student when mastering a new technique.”

Eva entered the State Pageant as Miss Morrisville because, “I am a proud resident of Morrisville and I love the community.” 

During the pandemic, she engaged more with her adopted town. She calls the potential development of Williamson Park a big topic right now.

“Our beloved community park and green space is one of my great concerns. I am a big advocate for preserving open space, as young and old need a place to exercise, play, and to gather freely and safely.”

She points out that the pandemic has clearly shown that having outdoor communal spaces is crucial. 

In September, Eva won the State Pageant and was crowned Miss Pennsylvania for America. She will continue to use her title as a platform “to bring the things I care about in this world and in my community to a bigger audience.” 

Eva is now getting ready for nationals in Las Vegas to be held in November and continues to perform with various ensembles in the area, such as the Princeton Singers, Choral Arts Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, and others.

If you would like to have Eva appear at your community event for a good cause, contact her at eva.kastnerpuschl@gmail.com.

PHOTO CAP: Eva Kastner-Puschl. Photo by Dennis Madigan.

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