Students Place at NATS State & Regionals

by Meghan Shruck—Panther Press

Jason Hernandez

For the third consecutive year, York College students attended the National Association for Teachers of Singing regional competition, hosted this year at Kansas State University, October 29-31. Four vocal students—Dusty Hall, Jason Hernandez, Renee Willard, Sara Firm—from Dr. Adrienne Dickson's private voice studio, competed against other college voice students within the four-state region, including Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming.

Earlier in the month, YC students performed well at the NATS state competition hosted by the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. Firm placed 2nd and Willard placed in the top four. Hernandez did not compete but sang for comments.

In preparation for the regional competition, students must memorize several pieces of music, including combinations of foreign language pieces, art songs, and opera or oratorio pieces. All four York College students competed in the Traditional/Classical category. In addition, Renee and Sara competed in the Musical Theatre category.

The NATS competition is between those of the same gender who have had the same number of private lessons. Each participant is given a contestant number and a time at which he or she will perform in the first round. The singer anonymously performs one piece in front of three college voice teachers. One of the judges then chooses an additional piece for the singer to perform. A singer moves out of the first round with two scores of 90 out of 100 or an average of 90.

Of those contestants who sing in the second round, five performers are chosen to compete against each other and ranked. Jason and Sara both had exceptional performances, advancing to the finals in the three-day competition. Hernandez finished 2nd in the region and Firm finished 4th in two categories: musical theatre and classical. 

Dr. Clark Roush, music department chair, accompanied the contestants on their trip, as Dr. Adrienne Dickson is very close to the due date of her second child. Roush said, "It has been a lot of fun watching Dr. Dickson's students grow and progress in their vocal education. It is very rewarding to watch them compete at the regional level and make a mark both for themselves and for York College's music department."


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