In March, the New England Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) held their annual Student Auditions. Of the 28 total students recognized in the applicable collegiate categories, eight were UMass Amherst voice students. This is the best-ever showing by the UMass music and dance department, a tribute to voice faculty coordinators Jamie-Rose Guarrine, William Hit and Marjorie Melnick as well as to the students themselves. The competition includes students from across New England as well as Canadian provinces New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Each category had up to five student winners: first, second and third place, as well as two finalists, all of whom will go on to compete at the national level. Below are the UMass students recognized in their categories. “Treble” generally refers to female voices and “TTB” (or Tenor I, Tenor II, Bass/Baritone) refers to male voices.
- Lower College Treble: Sasha Moseley, 2nd place
- Lower College TTB: Sean Campbell, 1st place
- Upper College Treble: Natalie Lewis, 1st place; Sarah Van Ells, finalist
- Upper College TTB: Lachlan Miller, 1st place; Ryan Nash, 2nd place
- Advanced Classical Treble: Kayla Gayton, finalist
- Advanced Classical TTB: Yinghui He, 2nd place
Prizes totaling more than $35,000 are awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place students, and all the winners receive written feedback on their performances. The five recognized singers from each regional category advance to a national online screening round, where entrants submit a video of their performances for adjudication by a panel of national judges.
The national semifinal and final rounds are held in July, in conjunction with the NATS Summer Workshop.