By Jessica Fanczi
Reinhardt University School of Performing Arts students shined at the annual Southeastern Region National Association of Teachers of Singing (SERNATS) competition last month, with 16 winners and finalists in different categories.
Students spent months before the competition, held at Florida State University March 27-29, perfecting a repertoire of three to five songs. While performing at SERNATS, they received written feedback from the judges as they advanced through preliminary, semi-final and final rounds, allowing the singers to hear outside perspectives on their strengths and weaknesses.
Hannah Reich, a first-year music major who won second place for First Year Classical Women and third place for First Year Musical Theatre Women, loves the competitive aspect of SERNATS.
“I am someone who has always been motivated by competition. The idea of singing for judges I’ve never met really used to scare me in the past, but now it makes me excited,” said Reich.
Besides being a competition, SERNATS serves as an opportunity for performers to learn vocal care and endurance tips, experience singing in unfamiliar spaces and take notes on the performances of senior competitors.
“The biggest thing I learned while competing was to be authentic. Yes, I have a character to portray, but if I am not myself, the performance will look unnatural,” said Kayla Thomas, a junior music education major who was a finalist for Third Year Musical Theatre Women and a past national semi-finalist. “I try to put a little bit of myself in each song I sing to make it real for me.”
Sixteen Reinhardt students placed or were finalists at the competition this year. These winners are now eligible to audition for the national NATS workshop and competition which will take place this summer.
“It is rare for a school of our size to have so many finalists and winners at SERNATS, but Reinhardt students are making a name for themselves on the regional and national levels,” said Rebecca Salter, associate professor of music and voice area coordinator.
Congratulations to all of the SERNATS winners:
5A-5A First Year College Music
- Mackenzie Hall-First Place
- Hannah Reich-Third Place
- Mason Greer-Finalist
5B-5B Second Year College Music
- Victoria Hill-First Place
6A-6A First Year College Music
- Nick DiPuma-First Place
- Trey Wilkerson-Third Place
6B-6B Second Year College Music
- Dayton Nesbitt-First Place
- Jame Cuha-Finalist
7A-7A First Year College Women
- Hannah Reich-Second Place
7B-7B Second Year College
- Victoria Hill-First Place
8A-8A First Year College Men
- Jeffrey Unger-Second Place
9A-9A Third Year College Music
- Kayla Thomas-Finalist
- Anastasia Cutter-Finalist
9B-9B Fourth/Fifth Year
- Mikensley Clayton-First Place
- Mary Alla Endredi-Third Place
10B-10B Fourth/Fifth Year
- Alan Stein-Third Place