Vocal students earn notice at district singing competition



Twenty Tabor College students and one Hillsboro High School student competed Nov. 4-5 in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Student Auditions at Fort Hays State University.

The Tabor contingent?14 singers and six accompanists? along with Olivia Kliewer of HHS, competed in classical or music theater divisions against students from their same school class year.

Singers were rated by a panel of three judges?scored on a range from 70-100?and advanced to a semifinal round if their average score was 90 or above.

Advancing to semifinals were Kliewer, high school women; Clarissa Berglund, college senior women classical division; and David Vogel, college senior men classical division.

Hanna Vogel missed qualifying for semifinals in the senior college women classical division by 0.3 points. Kliewer and David Vogel both advanced to the final round?the top five out of all semifinalists. Kliewer finished second overall and David Vogel fifth overall.

?Olivia?s three first-round scores were 98, 99 and 99?none of us have ever seen scores that high,? said Brad Vogel, professor of choral music at Tabor and voice coach for both students.

?David had a 95 and a 96, along with a 91, which is the highest scores I?ve had for a student in the 15 years I?ve been involved,? he added.

Both students were accompanied by Maria Loewen. Berglund was accompanied by Benjamin Heyen and is a student of Holly Swartzendruber.

There were 321 total auditions at this event, which is the West Central Region of NATS. The West Central region consists of colleges and universities in Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming.

?Our students compete against students from major universities, most notably, the University of Colorado, University of Nebraska, Wichita State University and Kansas State University,? Brad Vogel said. ?Friends, Hesston and Bethel are also fairly well-involved.

?The process of preparing for this event?each student prepares and performs three songs, in different languages, in opera and art song genres?is a wonderful opportunity for growth,? he added.

?This preparation, along with the written feedback from the adjudicators, is the main reason for the event and the reason we encourage students to audition. With the high level of competition and high level of judging standards, breaking into semifinals and especially finals is a great accomplishment.?

Also participating from Tabor, in addition to Berglund, David Vogel, Hanna Vogel, Loewen and Heyen were: Aaron Stepanek, senior men classical; Rebecca Friesen, senior women classical and music theater; Jessica Coldwell, junior women classical and music theater; Trevor Morris, freshman men classical; Sara Sagner, freshman women classical; Kelsey Unruh, senior women music theater; Andrea Acker, freshman women classical; Aaron Brooks, junior men music theater; Lauren Just, sophomore women classical; Scott Morrow, sophomore men classical; Sydney Coughlin, sophomore women music theater

Joining Loewen and Heyen as accompanists were Megan Wiebe, Krista Neifert, Cora Ruhl and Sarah Friesen.

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