WCSU student singers earn honors in regional and national competitions

Voice students compete in NATS semi-finals and national opera finals

Ten Western Connecticut State University voice students have garnered prestigious honors in competition with collegiate singers across New England and the nation sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the National Opera Association.

Nine WCSU student singers have received notification during April that they have won or placed in the NATS New England Regional Competition, qualifying them to advance to this year’s online NATS National Semi-final Competition. WCSU students earning placement in the semi-finals include Ivy Allik, of Stonington; Madelyn Aug, of Newtown; James Bavolacco, of Stratford; Nikolas Brannan, of Norwalk; Anthony Deluco, of Cheshire; Nazmia Dionis, of Killingly; Ariana Keller, of Oxford; Daniel Madeson, of Ridgefield; and Callie Sorrento, of Carmel, New York.

The NATS is the largest professional association of teachers of singing in the world with more than 7,000 members in the United States, Canada and more than 35 other countries. The New England Region of the NATS encompasses members in the six New England states as well as in the four Maritime provinces of Canada.

The NATS sponsors its student audition and singing competition programs at the regional and national levels as part of its mission to promote the artistic and professional development of collegiate singers. The association also offers a variety of lifelong learning experiences to its members through workshops, internships, master classes and conferences at both the chapter and national levels.

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WCSU student singers compete at national level  

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Sorrento and WCSU voice student Sergio Mandujano, of Norwalk, also performed a scene from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, “La Traviata,” during the finals of the NOA Collegiate Opera Scenes competition. Sorrento and Mandujano were among just four college opera performance groups selected to compete in the finals held in January at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

"It was a thrill to see our students perform and compete with some of the nation's top collegiate opera singers,” Professor of Music Dr, Margaret Astrup, head of the university’s voice and opera program, remarked. “Repeating this distinction for the second year in a row has resulted in much greater recognition for our program here at WCSU. Immediately following the competition performance, Sergio was offered a wonderful scholarship opportunity to participate in the oldest and among the most renowned summer opera programs. That would never have happened without this national exposure."

The NOA seeks to promote a greater appreciation of opera and music theatre, to enhance pedagogy and performing activities, and to expand performance opportunities by supporting projects that improve the scope and quality of opera. NOA programs focus primarily on promotion and support of collegiate opera education and performance and of regional opera production companies.

For more information, contact Professor of Music Dr. Margaret Astrup at astrupm@wcsu.edu or Sherri Hill of the Office of University Relations at hills@wcsu.edu.

Submitted by Newtown, CT

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