Southeastern vocal performance students earn top spots in Louisiana singing competition

Friday, November 21, 2014 NATS winners
by: Tonya Lowentritt

SOUTHEASTERN SINGERS SCORE BIG – Several voice students at Southeastern Louisiana University earned honors at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Southern Regional Auditions held recently in Hattiesburg, Miss. Pictured, from left, are Alex Williams of the Community Music School, third place, High School Male; Alyssa Hernandez, fourth place, Senior Women Category; Lauren Gibson, fourth place, Sophomore Women Category ; Southeastern Voice Professor Stephen Rushing; Kristina Temple, second place, Advanced Women Under 25 and fourth place, Musical Theater Over 21; and Benjamin Vollentine, third place, Junior Men.

HAMMOND – Five Southeastern Louisiana University vocal performance students were finalists at the recent National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Southern Regional Auditions held in Hattiesburg, Miss., Nov. 13-15.

Recognized at the competition were Alex Williams of Kentwood, currently enrolled in the Southeastern Community Music School, who took third place in the high school male category; Lauren Gibson of Walker, fourth place in the sophomore women category; Benjamin Vollentine of Covington, third place in the junior men category; Alyssa Hernandez of Ponchatoula, tied for fourth place in the senior women category; and Kristina Temple of Amite, second place in the advanced women under 25 category. Temple also earned fourth place in the musical theater category over age 21.

Eighteen Southeastern students were among the hundreds of students from Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi who competed in the audition's 20 categories. Fifteen students were chosen for the semi-final round. The students who represented Southeastern included Terelle Bibbens of Covington, Morgan Curole of Larose, Rachel Davis of Mandeville, Rachel Denton on Jena, Neal Eli of Luling, Mindy Guidroz and Ivan Stroup of Houma, Jason Lane of Baton Rouge, Chase Ledet of Des Allemands, Cheyenne Moore of Slidell, Hannah Orgeron of Boutte, Cody Sires of Violet, and Nick Smith of Angie.

Southeastern Voice Professor Stephen Rushing, who attended the conference with the students, said the competitors performed art songs, arias and musical theater selections with the winners participating in a three-round process.

"The auditions are judged by voice teachers from NATS' Southern Region. Recitals and master classes are also part of the three-day conference," he said. "This year Chase Ledet also played oboe in the faculty recital, accompanying Alissa Rowe on Handel's 'Scoglio d'immota fronte' from the opera 'Scipione.'"


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