Desoto County News

Northwest choral students win at National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS)

Photo: From left, Jasmine Manning, Siera Lee, Shelby Anderson, Marcus Hill, with Assistant Director of Choral Activity, Lacey Halley (Center). (Courtesy photo)

Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Fine Arts Department choral students took home awards from the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Mississippi chapter for musical theatre and classical solo auditions at the University of Mississippi earlier this year.

The students who took home awards included Marcus Hill of Byhalia, first place in classical freshman men; Shelby Anderson of Olive Branch, fourth place in musical theatre; and Matthew Vanderwall of Oxford, fifth place for classical freshman men. Siera Lee of Southaven was a semi-finalist for sophomore women and Jasmine Manning of Oxford participated in sophomore women classical.

NATS is about commitment to lifelong learning from things such as workshops, intern programs, master classes and conferences. Their goal is to advance excellence in singing through teaching, performance, scholarship, and research. These students work in workshop classes, practice outside of class, and more to prepare for these auditions and competitions.

Lacey Halley, director of Choral Activities, said that this is a great experience for students to get feedback.

“They had the chance to perform for a live audience and compete against students from four-year colleges showcasing that they could compete at a high level and demonstrate a high level of musicianship,” said Halley.