Northwestern students awarded prizes at singing competition

Six Northwestern College students were awarded prizes when Northwestern’s music department hosted auditions for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition on April 23.

High-school and college-aged students from 10 northwest Iowa counties traveled to Northwestern’s campus to audition for a spot in the competition. Competitors each performed three or four songs in either musical theatre or classical categories and were judged by regional collegiate and private vocal music teachers.

Contestants advanced through three rounds of singing and prizes were awarded in 12 categories, divided by age and gender. Of the nine Northwestern students that auditioned, eight moved forward to the second round of auditions, and six were awarded prizes.

Prizes were awarded to Brenna Ellington, a freshman from Phoenix, who took second place in the Lower College Women’s Division; Matthew Shuka, a freshman music major from Ames, Iowa, who took first place in the Lower College Men’s Division; Mark Vos, a freshman biology ecological science major from Pella, Iowa, who took second place in Lower College Men’s Division; Eric Wasson, a freshman business administration/finance and management major from Omaha, Neb., who took third place in Lower College Men’s Division; Amanda Vander Stelt, a junior music major from Orange City who placed first in the Upper College Women’s Division; and Jacob Ven Huizen, a junior music major from Sheldon, Iowa, who placed second in both Upper College Men’s Divison and Upper College Men’s Musical Theatre Division. All students study under Cindy Moeller, voice instructor at Northwestern.

NATS celebrates the art of singing through a series of competitions and programs designed to showcase talented singers and performers. Student auditions offer top performers in each region the opportunity to compete again other artists throughout the country.

Three singers from each regional category advance to a national online screening round, where entrants submit a video of their performance for a panel of national judges. One singer from each of the categories will compete in the final round, which will take place during the 54th NATS national conference in Chicago this summer.