Vocal Students Sweep NATS Competition

Posted: June 19, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Michelle Nery

Vocal students from George Mason’s Department of Music swept the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Mid-Atlantic Regional Vocal Competition in April at the University of South Carolina where more than 325 students competed.

Stefan Reed, NATS Overall Collegiate Competition Winner, performing with the GMU Opera Theater in Dido and Aeneas.

Of the record nine state NATS winners, five went on to take top prizes in the regional competition. Stefan Reed (above) won first place in the junior men’s category, was voted Overall Collegiate Competition Winner, and was awarded a vocal scholarship. Erica Dawn Garcia won first place in the freshman women’s category. Andrea Moore, a junior, and Isaac Thweatt, a freshman, both won second place in their respective categories. Kathleen Weeks placed third in the sophomore women’s category.

These students are representative of the quality instruction in the vocal studies area of this growing department. “In 1992 there were no course offerings directed at giving experience to the solo vocal student,” says music professor Patricia Miller. “We began with an opera workshop, class seminars in the area of solo vocal performance, diction, and the Alexander technique.”

With the creation of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Music Department is planning to grow. “The vocal studies area has come from humble beginnings, but along with innovative courses, hands-on instruction, and excellent faculty, we’ve been able to attract excellent students, and our numbers are growing,” Miller says.

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