Music education students return home with NATS awards

Photo Credit|Nicole Vogelpohl

Two SVSU music education students won first place at the Michigan chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition hosted Saturday, Nov. 2, at Hope College.

Seth Bearden, a music education freshman, earned first place in the Lower College Musical Theatre category. This was his first time singing competitively.

He sang were “All That’s Known” from “Spring Awakening,” “If I Only Had a Brain” from “The Wizard of Oz” and “Wick” from “The Secret Garden.”

“‘If I Only Had a Brain’ is really fun because I just get to be quirky with it,” Bearden said. “I think ‘Wick’ is my favorite. It’s a very wholesome piece of music, and it’s just very powerful in a happy way.”

Audrey Bergey, a music education freshman, took first place in the First Year College Treble category. Bergey competed in solo and ensemble events in high school, but this was her first singing competition at the college level.

“It was a little nerve-wracking,” Bergey said. “I didn’t know what to expect but tried to be open about it.”

Bergey sung “Weep You No More” by Roger Quilter, “Bitta” by Fanny Mendleson-Hensel and “Bright Morning Stars” by Jay Altos.

“‘Bright Morning Stars’ was a nice American folk tune, and I really like how it was written,” Bergey said. “The big thing I needed to work on was the emotional aspect of the music and putting myself into the music.”

The students prepared for their competitions in their voice classes associated with the music education program but also on their own time.

“This first semester in college is my first time taking vocal lessons,” Bearden said. “I really enjoy it, and that has helped me a lot with preparation, but I also really enjoy the songs so a lot of time I’m just singing to myself. Eventually it just becomes ingrained.”

The students look forward to competing again next year. They are required to compete twice as a part of the music education program, but Bergey hopes to perform beyond that requirement.

“After what happened, I’d like to do it again,” Bergey said. “I’ve heard, and I haven’t decided to go, but they do have regionals after the first round so we could do that in February.”

Melissa Vennix
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