West Virginia University voice students were winners in every category when the College of Creative Arts hosted the West Virginia auditions for the annual National Association of Teachers of Singing competition at the Creative Arts Center on April 10.

According to division of music Assistant Professor Hope Koehler, this is the first time in many years, or perhaps ever, that WVU has hosted the auditions in Morgantown.

“Since this was our first year, we were extremely pleased with the turnout. Schools represented included Concord University, Frostburg State University in Maryland, Glenville State College, Marshall University, West Liberty University and WVU,” Koehler said.

“In all, there were 45 students competing in 18 categories, and in every category in which WVU voice students were entered, we had winners! I’m happy to congratulate these talented and brave young singers.”

WVU student winners were:

First Place (First Year Women): Samantha DeStefano of Irwin, Pa.
First Place (First Year Men): Samuel Viggiano of Pittsburgh, Pa.
First Place (Sophomore Women): Sarah Plata of Charleston, W.Va.
First Place (Sophomore Men): Ian Cicco of Belle Vernon, Pa.
First Place (Junior Women): MaryJoanna Grisso of Morgantown
First Place (Junior Men): Jarrell Strickland of Aliquippa, Pa.
First Place (Senior Women): Maria Mahe of Fairmont, W.Va.
First Place (Musical Theatre, Upper College Women): Jeanna Nestor of Grafton, W.Va.
First Place (Lower Advanced Women): Sarah Nale of Bridgeport, W.Va.
First Place (Upper Advanced Men): Joshua Stubbs of New Martinsville, W.Va.
Second Place (Lower Advanced Women): Maureen Seymour of Las Vegas Nev.
Second Place (Junior Men): George M. Simpson of Morgantown
Second Place (Junior Women): Kelsey Pierce of Logan, W.Va.
Second Place (Musical Theatre Lower College) Lindsay Dawson of Bridgeport, W.Va.
Third Place (First Year Men): Michael Hamm of Nashville, Tenn.
Third Place (Junior Men): Dennis Gallagher of Uniontown, Pa.

“Other states are welcome to participate in our competition, if they like,” Koehler said.

“For example, Marshall has historically participated in Kentucky’s state NATS because West Virginia hasn’t had one before. Frostburg is so close to WVU that it makes sense for them to come here.”

Koehler also said some of the students may participate in a regional NATS competition that is not linked to the state competitions.

WVU is affiliated with the Tri-State NATS region which includes West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

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CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
304-293-4841 ext. 3108, Charlene.Lattea@mail.wvu.edu

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