Left to Right: Chelsie Burks, Mary Saintfort, and Emily Hill, finalists at the 2016 Southeastern Regional National Association of Teachers of Singing (SERNATS).
Three Shorter University students were named finalists during the Southeastern Region’s National Association of Teachers of Singing (SERNATS) auditions. More than 350 college and university students from Alabama, Florida and Georgia competed in the event, which was held at Stetson University in DeLand, Fla.
Mary Saintfort, a sophomore double-majoring in vocal performance and communications from Smyrna, Ga., performed “Va! Laisser coules mes larmes” by Jules Massenet. She earned second place in the second-year classical women division. Saintfort is a student of Adjunct Professor of Music Indra Thomas.
Chelsie Burks, a freshman musical theater major from Waynesboro, Va., performed “My New Philosophy.” She earned second place in the first-year musical theatre women division. Burks is a student of Associate Professor of Music Dr. Deborah Popham.
Emily Hill, a junior musical theater major from Dallas, Ga., performed “Pretty Funny” from the musical “Dogfight.” She was a finalist in third-year musical theater women. Hill is also a student of Indra Thomas.
All three performers are eligible to advance to the National Auditions, where they will compete against singers of their age and class from across the country.
In addition to these finalists, several Shorter students reached the semifinals of the competition. These include Matthew Dean, first-year classical Men; Avery Harris, third-year classical Men; Meredith Howard, third-year classical women; Ashley Phillips, fourth/fifth-year classical women; Sydney Hillman and Michaela Bell, second-year musical theatre women; and Abbey Poole, Tanyah Anderson, and Jessica Pickard, third-year musical theatre women.
Dr. Popham, who serves as Coordinator of Vocal Studies at Shorter, said the students did a great job of representing Shorter’s School of Fine and Performing Arts in the competition. “I am incredibly proud of our students,” Dr. Popham said. “They all worked very hard for this competition, and their scores and comments reflected the fact that all of them sang beautifully and musically. The fact that we had so many students make the semi-finals this year is an indication of the growth in the voice area as well as the dedication and hard work of the voice faculty.”
Founded in 1873, Shorter University is a Christ-centered, four-year liberal arts university committed to excellence in education. The Princeton Review annually includes Shorter on its list of best Southeastern Colleges. Shorter is a member of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). The university offers traditional bachelor’s degrees in 40 areas of study, online courses and degree programs, undergraduate programs for working adults, and four master’s programs. Learn more about Shorter at www.shorter.edu.