UNA Pressroom

Una Vocal Students Successfully Compete In State And Region

Mar. 22, 2016

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

By Carole Maynard, UNA Department of Music

FLORENCE, Ala. - Each February and March, vocal students at UNA compete in vocal competitions throughout the state and region.

"These competitions are a good measuring tool for not only our students, but also our voice instructors," said Dr. Terrance Brown, director of vocal studies at UNA. "These competitions display how students 'match up' against other singers statewide, regionally and nationally."

On February 12 and 13, senior Jessica Bailey, soprano, competed in the Vann Vocal Institute, sponsored by the Montgomery Symphony. Fifty students from eight states competed. Part of the competition included private coaching and master classes with judges, who were from the Met and the Paris Opera. Bailey placed in the Emerging Artists Final Concert, and was awarded the $300 Sing One for Me Award.

The National Association of Teachers of Singing competition for the southeastern region, the largest annual competition for the students, took place February 19 and 20 in Birmingham. Over the two-day event, which brings in students from colleges and universities in Alabama, Florida and Georgia, numerous UNA vocal students competed and placed. The students competed in classical music the first day and musical theatre the second day.

The winners were Gabrielle Fuqua-first place senior women and first place senior musical theatre women; Evan Hammond-first place sophomore men and second place sophomore musical theatre; Amy Johnson-second place senior musical theatre women; Hunter Mitchell-second place junior men; Claire Perry-third place freshman musical theatre women; Charles Tanner King-third place senior musical theatre men; Heather Simmers-third place advanced college women; and Meghan Smith-fourth place freshman musical theatre women.

Semi-finalists were Cassia Mathis and Jessica Rice for freshman women; Rachel Nicholas, Rose Bunger, Michaela Parker and Maria Sullivan for sophomore women; and Krista Terry for junior women.

On March 5, seniors Gabrielle Fuqua and Jessica Bailey participated in the Orpheus Vocal Competition in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The competition, sponsored by the Middle Tennessee Choral Society, is open to singers up to age 30 from around the United States who are pursuing careers as vocal artists. Both UNA students were named semi-finalists. They advanced from the first round, but did not advance to the finals concert; however, Fuqua did receive honorable mention.

Success in competitions like this benefits the program as a whole.

"This is my sixth year at UNA, and during that time the vocal area has seen musical growth in quantity, quality and diversity," said Brown. "In quality, the demands of the students have increased significantly in skill level, variety and number of required repertoire selections. In quantity, we have grown from 12 vocal majors in 2010 to the current number of 36 vocal majors. In the area of diversity, the program has increased in racial, ethnic, cultural and geographical diversity, which is a testament to our success in improving ourselves in our area."

For more about vocal studies at UNA, visit una.edu/music or call the UNA Department of Music at (256)765-5122.