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Lehigh Carbon Community College


A vocal performance major’s enjoyment for learning led to qualifying to compete nationally. Gilliane Conklin (RU – 2024) traveled to Alabama earlier this month where her voice soared at the Southeast regional level of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing). Chosen as a finalist, she will participate in the national rounds via video submission, with the goal of being chosen for the live national semifinal in Knoxville this summer.

NATS auditions provide students with feedback on their performances to improve their craft. Conklin persevered through a long day of singing and advancing in the classical category, “I knew I gave everything I got, and that’s what counted. I was exhausted because I had been singing since 7:30 in the morning, but I kept telling myself it was worth it because I was doing something I loved no matter what the results. Which is what NATS is all about. NATS teaches us that no matter what, as artists, we are always learning, and it should be a joy to learn.”

After graduation this May, Conklin hopes to perform on global stages and is considering teaching. She reflects, “I have come so far from when I started my journey at the School of Performing Arts at Reinhardt University. I would not have been able to gain knowledge and passion for singing opera if it had not been for my teacher and mentor, Dr. Cory Schantz.”