October 25, 2019
Anderson University students showcased their talent at the South Carolina National Association of Teachers Singing (NATS) Musical Theater auditions at Converse College this month, with four winning first place and a total of nine qualifying for Mid-Atlantic Regional auditions.
Students from across South Carolina performed individually for a panel of NATS judges. The vocalists were categorized based on their class level and scored on specific repertoire requirements.
South Carolina School of the Arts students Kensley Husband (freshman), Sarah Velkovich (sophomore), Caroline Morris (sophomore) and Griffin Lewis (junior) won first place in their respective categories and qualified for regional auditions. Hanna Ward (freshman), Claire Mann (freshman), Olivia Stepp (sophomore), Maggie Daubenspeck (sophomore), Kaitlyn Hamilton (junior) and Dani Gainey (senior) also qualified for regionals.
Deirdre Welborn Francis, an associate professor of music, said the annual NATS auditions allow her students to see where they stand with their peers from other colleges and universities, and her vocalists are encouraged by the feedback they receive each year.
“We teach our students well and they perform well on a national level,” Francis said. “We have an expectation of excellence all the time. They learn to work toward our high expectations and not settle for less.”
AU has a long history of achievement at NATS. Last summer, Griffin Lewis won first place in his category at the NATS National Student Auditions.
The Mid-Atlantic Regional NATS Student Auditions will be held at the University of South Carolina in March, followed by the National Student Auditions in June. AU students will also be participating in the classical division of the South Carolina NATS student auditions in February.