Today@Sam Article

Students See Success At Singing Competition

Dec. 11, 2018
SHSU Media Contact: Brianna Smith


From left to right: sophomore Michael McDougal, sophomore Tyler Hermes, freshman Aron Olivares and freshman Alison Eaton

With the highly competitive world of music, competitions are key elements into the future success and training of students. The School of Music at Sam Houston State University recently participated in the 2018 Texoma National Association of Teachers of Singing regional competition and conference, bringing home great success.

Texoma NATS is known as the largest association of teachers of singing in the world, which offers a variety of experiences to its members. Students of NATS members have access to such benefits including student auditions, and the opportunity to compete at a regional level.

“The chance to attend an educational conference, demonstrate collegial support and get feedback from regional voice professionals was such an enormous educational opportunity for our students,” voice area coordinator, Nicole Asel said. “I am so grateful to work at an institution that values experiences like this for our students.

The School of Music had an impressive showing this year with eight semi-finalists and one finalist, Aron Olivares, who placed fourth in his category for freshman men out of 540 students competing in this region. Within the senior women category, out of 20 semi-finalists, three of those finalists included SHSU students.

“It has been an exhilarating experience at NATS and I am surprised that I was chosen as a finalist,” Olivares said. “To any upcoming students, don’t let the label of freshman deter you from leaving your mark on this school. These kinds of achievements might not seem much but the experience is the real achievement. The world is your stage and the sun is your spotlight. All it needs is your voice.”

The chance to sing for feedback from other voice professionals is an important growth opportunity for students.

“To see concepts that students are working on weekly in their applied lessons supported and sometimes explained in a different way from judges can often provide a lightbulb moment in the student’s development,” Asel said.

Each year Texoma NATS presents a guest artist in recital with this year highlighting Metropolitan Opera soprano, Marjorie Owens.

“Owens is a dramatic soprano, so her repertoire of Wagner and Strauss gave the students a chance to hear a voice and repertoire that they are not normally exposed to,” Asel said. “After that experience they are excited to become more involved in the opera offerings at SHSU.”

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