Shorter University students win big at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition
March 2, 2011 -
Shorter University students won 35 awards in 23 different categories – more awards than any other vocal program in the state of Georgia – at the annual auditions of the Georgia Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). In addition, five Shorter students went on to win overall division awards. The 2011 state competition was held at Shorter’s campus in Rome.
In the classical categories, Shorter students took home 24 awards in 17 categories, and two students, Emily Tweedy of Stone Mountain and Trey Smagur of Clarkesville, won the overall award for their respective divisions: senior women and junior men. Tweedy is a student of Dr. Rebecca Salter, assistant professor of music, and Smagur is a student of Chuck Chandler, assistant professor of music (voice).
First place winners in the classical categories included Erin Ottman and Lisa Belk of Kennesaw, Kayla Harriott of Locust Grove, Wesley Henson of Braselton, Cody Bowers of Sharpsburg, Matthew Queen of Calhoun, Tweedy, Jasmine Habersham of Lizella and Anthony Chu of Columbia, S.C. Second place winners included Amanda Church of Kennesaw, Anne Marie Kelly and Michelle Kelly of Rome, Joseph Sokohl of Lawrenceville, Hannah Freeman of Acworth, and Smagur. Third place winners included Sarah Justus and Christina Sidlow of Cartersville, Judson Whitfield of Lindale, Catherine Sartin of Kennesaw, Jonathan Parham of Cordele, Mary Diesch of Jefferson, Mystie Bennett of Kathleen, Chris Lewis of Carrollton, and Siobhan Gale of Lakeland, Fla.
(L to R): Mr. Chuck Chandler, Koby Parker, Sarah Brackett, Trey Smagur, Dr. Rebecca Salter, Emily Tweedy, Chris Lewis and Dr. Matthew Hoch.
In the musical theatre categories, Shorter students added another 11 awards in six categories, and three students – Sarah Brackett of Warm Springs, Lewis, and Koby Parker of Marietta – won the overall award for their respective divisions: upper-level musical theatre women, upper-level musical theatre men, and lower-level musical theatre men. Brackett and Lewis are students of Dr. Matthew Hoch, and Parker is a student of Chuck Chandler.
First place winners in the musical theatre categories included Sophie Decker of Conyers, Parker, Freeman, Brackett, and Lewis. Second place winners included Elizabeth Telford of Duluth, Chris Vizurraga of Watkinsville, and Kristina Kennedy of Missouri City, Texas. Third place winners included Kate Johnson of Canton, Justus, and Elizabeth MacDonell of St. Simons Island.
Dr. Hoch served as registrar for the auditions, and Dr. Sherri Weiler and Chuck Chandler served as the hosts. The other voice faculty – Dr. Rebecca Salter, Dr. Deborah Popham, and Mrs. Rianne Chandler – also worked to prepare for this event. The pianistic skills of vocal coach Ben Harris, musical theatre specialist Julie Bearden, and the entire staff of Shorter University accompanists also contributed to the weekend’s success.
The National Association of Teachers of Singing, Inc. (NATS) was founded in 1944 and is now the largest association of teachers of singing in the world. Today NATS boasts more than 6,500 members from the United States, Canada, and over twenty-five other countries around the world. The purpose of the organization is to encourage the highest standards of the vocal art and of ethical principles in the teaching of singing and to promote vocal education and research at all levels, both for the enrichment of the general public and for the professional advancement of the talented.
Founded in 1873, Shorter University is a Christian University committed to excellence in education. Since 2003, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Shorter among the South’s best baccalaureate colleges. The University offers traditional bachelor’s degrees in 48 major areas as well as undergraduate degree programs for working adults, the Master of Business Administration, the Master of Arts in Leadership and the Master of Accountancy. Online courses and degree programs are also available. For more information, visit www.shorter.edu.