Lawrence vocalists sweep NATS competition

Amelia Perron

Thirty-nine Lawrentians had the chance to show the greater Wisconsin music community what everyone here has known all along: Lawrence singers are pretty awesome. The 2005 National Association of Teachers of Singing Wisconsin chapter voice competition, held Nov. 4-5, was a huge success for Lawrence with 21 finalists, five taking second place and seven taking first.
Freshmen Lacey Benter and Alexander Tyink, sophomores Alisa Jordheim and Andrew Lovato, and seniors Matthew Vitti, Becca Young and Patrick Ireland all placed first in their divisions. Freshmen Emily Shankman and Garth Neustadter, sophomore Emily Fink and seniors Scott Sandersfeld and Brad Grimmer placed second in their divisions. The students represent the studios of Ken Bozeman, Joanne Bozeman, Karen Leigh-Post and KrisAnne Weiss. Remarks Weiss, “Lawrence students more or less swept the NATS competition.”
The competition was a particular success for Jordheim and Ireland; both have won previous NATS competitions – Jordheim for the three previous years and Ireland in 2001 and 2003.
Most of those involved view the competition as an educational experience. “This is essentially an educational competition, where all entrants get comment sheets from the judges,” says Bozeman. “It’s an opportunity to test themselves, to learn how to audition well and how to manage themselves in a higher-stress performance setting.” Adds Weiss, “The competition is a terrific opportunity for all of our singers to be heard and adjudicated by teachers from other schools; it’s also a great performing opportunity for the students. We all benefit so much from hearing what’s going on at other schools, and from talking to teachers from across the state. And while Lawrence is itself a very supportive community, I don’t think it hurts the students to compete with one another and continually set the bar higher for each other.” Jordheim concludes, simply, “I viewed NATS as another opportunity to do what I adore – sharing such great music with others through singing.