By Jordan Beach
Reinhardt’s School of Performing Arts (SOPA) faculty provide students with professional level training on campus, but they also recognize the importance of expanding their opportunities.
SOPA faculty encourage their students to get involved outside on-campus voice lessons, classes and productions, and several students performed well on a national level last month.
The National Association of Teachers Singing hosts events to expand the knowledge of performing art students across the country. After being selected through the Southeastern Region NATS competition, Hannah Reich, Nick DiPuma, Gage Nesbit, Victoria Hill and Mary Allia Endredi ’19 attended the National Student Auditions and the NATS National Summer Workshop at St. Olaf College, June 26-29.
“Not only as participation in the NATS NSA provided the students with a high-caliber experience that will undoubtedly make them stronger competitors at future professional auditions, it has also given them the opportunity to travel outside of their region and make professional connections with voice teachers and like-minded students from across the country,” said Dr. Rebecca Salter, associate professor of music.
Victoria Hill ’21 placed second in the Lower Level College Music Theatre category, with the other four students placing as semifinalists. Vocal performance major Hannah Reich ’22, who felt honored to be chosen to compete at her first national level NATS competition, said she felt very happy placing as a semifinalist, receiving helpful, constructive feedback.
“I hope to have a career as both a performer and voice teacher, and this competition provided me information relevant to both,” said Reich. “Competing offers an incredible opportunity to learn more about my own voice and gain valuable feedback through the comments I get.”
The three-day trip, made possible through the Goizueta Foundation, included workshops for faculty and students that focused on diction and provided voice instructors with intensive sessions on languages such as Russian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and lessons to refresh German and French. Assistant professor of music Dr. Reverie Berger, adjunct professor of music Mr. Pedros Carreras and Salter accompanied the five students not only for support, but to gain knowledge to bring back to their classes.
“Both faculty members and students are grateful to have received grant funding from the Goizueta Foundation,” said Salter. “Attendance at these workshops has allowed faculty to expand their knowledge of lesser-performed languages and they are all excited to incorporate their new skills and repertoire ideas into their teaching in years to come.”
While sessions were available to focus on student-centered topics, as a future educator, Reich benefitted from the instructor workshops.
“This national level conference gave me greater insight into teaching voice and the variety of vocal repertoire that exists. Student competing in NATS have access to all the same workshops that teachers do, so I was able to attend workshops on Russian diction, Scandinavian art song, Alexander technique and I even got to sing in a French diction masterclass with an expert on French diction.”
Reinhardt students receive various opportunities such as participating in the NATS competition as a result of their hard work, the dedication of their faculty and the contributions made from those who want a hand in helping students get the most out of their education.