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Arkadelphia Siftings Herald - Arkadelphia, AR
  • OBU NATS finalists announced

  • Seven Ouachita Baptist University students were named finalists at the 37th annual Southern Region National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) conference held at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., earlier this month.
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  • Seven Ouachita Baptist University students were named finalists at the 37th annual Southern Region National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) conference held at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., earlier this month.
    More than 500 students from universities and colleges throughout Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana competed in the auditions, including 51 Ouachita students. Students compete in classical and musical theatre divisions at the conference and also have the opportunity to attend master classes, recitals and other educational sessions.
    “The auditioning process was fun overall, but quite intimidating,” said Lola McClendon, a senior from Springdale, Ark. “It’s challenging to be vulnerable enough to allow people to point out your flaws, but it’s a great learning experience.” McClendon placed second in the upper theatre division and was a semifinalist in the lower student adult division.
    “I really enjoyed getting experience and preparation for my career in the future,” said Jillian Turner, a sophomore from Fort Worth, Texas. Turner earned second place in the lower music theatre division and was also a semifinalist in the sophomore women division.
    “I’ve noticed the more I sing in pressured situations, the less nervous I am,” Turner added. “Honestly, I was shocked when I found out I made it to finals. All in all, I thank God for the talent he has given me and I just want to sing for Him.”
    “It is always rewarding when you work so hard to prepare your students for competition to see them succeed in their endeavor,” said Dr. Glenda Secrest, OBU professor of music. “But I must say that I am proud of my students’ accomplishments whether they were finalists or not. They all did a fantastic job.”
    The following students were NATS finalists, in order of hometown:
    Alexander, Ark. – Elizabeth Wheeler, a freshman musical theatre student of John Briggs, tied for fourth place in the lower music theatre division.
    Bonnerdale, Ark. – Victoria Clark, a freshman choral music education student of Robin Williams, earned second place in the freshman women division. Clark was also a semifinalist in the lower music theatre division.
    Fort Worth, Texas – Jillian Turner, a sophomore vocal performance and piano student of Glenda Secrest, earned second place in the lower music theatre division. Turner was also a semifinalist in the sophomore women division.
    Grand Prairie, Texas – Todd McNeel, a sophomore music student of David Stanley, earned third place in the sophomore men division. McNeel was also a semifinalist in the lower music theatre division.
    Royal, Ark. – Tim Cooper, a freshman worship arts student of Glenda Secrest, tied for fourth place in the lower music theatre division. Cooper was also a semifinalist in the freshman men division.
    Page 2 of 3 - Springdale, Ark. – Lola McClendon, a senior musical theatre student of David Stanley, earned second place in the upper music theatre division. McClendon was also a semifinalist in the lower student adult division.
    Van Buren, Ark. – Chad Burris, a sophomore musical theatre student of Glenda Secrest, earned first place in the lower music theatre division as well as second place in the sophomore men division.
    Other students named NATS semifinalists, in order of hometown, include:
    Arkadelphia, Ark. – Caitlin Secrest, a junior vocal performance student of Glenda and Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the junior women division.
    Booneville, Ark. – Reed Ashley, a freshman musical theatre student of David Stanley, was a semifinalist in the lower music theatre division.
    Carrollton, Texas – Christina Moon, a sophomore church music student of Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the sophomore women division and in the lower music theatre division.
    Cleburne, Texas – Garrett Whitehead, a junior musical theatre student of David Stanley, was a semifinalist in the lower music theatre division.
    Colorado Springs, Colo. – Erin Cheshire, a freshman choral music education student of Robin Williams, was a semifinalist in the freshman women division.
    Crossett, Ark. – Seth Russell, a freshman vocal performance student of Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the freshman men division and in the lower music theatre division.
    Dallas, Texas – Ben Stidham, a sophomore musical theatre student of Glenda Secrest, was a semifinalist in the lower music theatre division.
    DeSoto, Texas – Gemma Guiomard, a senior musical theatre student of Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the upper music theatre division.
    Elkland, Mo. – Joshua Wayne, a sophomore choral music education student of Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the sophomore men division and in the lower music theatre division.
    Forth Smith, Ark. – Blakely Knox, a sophomore musical theatre student of Glenda Secrest, was a semifinalist in the lower music theatre division.
    Glen Carbon, Ill. – Joel Rogier, a junior vocal performance student of Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the junior men division and in the upper music theatre division.
    Grapevine, Texas – Shay Michael, a senior musical theatre and mass communications student of Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the upper music theatre division.
    Harriman, Tenn. – Robby Taylor, a sophomore musical theatre student of Margaret Garrett, was a semifinalist in the lower music theatre division.
    Henderson, Texas – Molly Salmon, a sophomore music student of David Stanley, was a semifinalist in the sophomore women division and in the lower music theatre division.
    Houston, Texas – Betsy Wilson, a senior musical theatre student of Suzetta Glenn, was a semifinalist in the lower music theatre division.
    Justin, Texas – Ashley Bundy, a junior vocal performance student of Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the junior women division and in the upper music theatre division.
    Page 3 of 3 - Little Rock, Ark. – Natalie Williams, a freshman musical theatre student of Glenda Secrest, was a semifinalist in the freshman women division.
    Overland Park, Kan. – James Wood, a senior music and mass communications student of Glenda Secrest, was a semifinalist in the senior men division.
    North Little Rock, Ark. – Mattie Bogoslavsky, a freshman musical theatre student of John Briggs, was a semifinalist in the lower music theatre division.
    Plano, Texas – MaryLacey Thomson, a junior musical theatre student of David Stanley, was a semifinalist in the upper music theatre division.
    Rowlett, Texas – Nicole Mattson, a junior musical theatre student of Robin Williams, was a semifinalist in the upper music theatre division.
    Russellville, Ark. – Mollie Taylor, a freshman choral music education student of Suzetta Glenn, was a semifinalist in the lower music theatre division.
    Sherwood, Ark. – Victoria Mantooth, a junior vocal performance student of Glenda Secrest, was a semifinalist in the junior women division.
    Sungai Petani, Malaysia – John Tneoh, a senior vocal performance student of Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the senior men division.
    Texarkana, Texas – Tara Clem, a freshman musical theatre student of Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the lower music theatre division.
    Tyler, Texas – Rachel Williams, a freshman vocal performance student of Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the freshman women division.
    West Monroe, La. – Alayna Rutledge, a sophomore music student of Glenda Secrest, was a semifinalist in the sophomore women division.
    White Hall, Ark. – Bethany Gere, a sophomore musical theatre student of Margaret Garrett, was a semifinalist in the lower music theatre division.
    Wylie, Texas – Cory Feuerbacher, a sophomore church music student of John Briggs, was a semifinalist in the sophomore men division and in the lower music theatre division.
    Ouachita’s students were accompanied by OBU Staff Accompanists John Briggs, Louis Menendez, Susan Monroe and Phyllis Walker. For more information about NATS or Ouachita’s vocal studies program, contact Dr. Jon Secrest at secrestj@obu.edu<mailto:secrestj@obu.edu> or (870) 245-5134.
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