Vocal music majors competed in the Texoma National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Regional Conference November 2-5, 2016 at West Texas A&M University. Seven of our seventeen participants moved on to the semi-final round in the Student Auditions Competition. These students included freshmen Sydney Fabregas and Anna McClung, sophomore Nathan Lerner, junior Tabitha Greene, and seniors Sarah Ann Holt, Fidel Angel Romero, and Annie Elliott.
Sarah Ann Holt (student of Jason Lester) and Fidel Angel Romero (student of David Kirkwood) both advanced to the final round where Holt won Third Place and Romero won First Place in their respective divisions. Additionally, Romero won the prestigious Grady Harlan Award, which is given to the singer (undergraduate or graduate) who possesses the most promising professional voice. This award was the highest honor given at the conference and was adjudicated by acclaimed guest judges who reside outside the region. Fidel Angel Romero is the first HBU student to win this award.
HBU’s Department of Music continues its tradition of excellence in teaching and singing, with this year marking the fourth year in a row we have had a finalist place in this competition, and the second year in a row with multiple finalists. Prior to 2013, HBU had not had a finalist since 2006. With nearly 500 students competing at this singing competition from universities across Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, our HBU students represented themselves and the University exceptionally well. Congratulations to these students and to Dr. Jason Lester, Professor David Kirkwood, and Dr. Laurie Lester on their students’ success.