Fourteen Olivet students competed at National Association of Teachers Singing (NATS), showcasing their vocal abilities. The NATS Foundation’s purpose is to generate assistance to those who aspire to be talented singers and teachers. With more than 7,000 members, they are the largest professional association of teachers of singing in the world.
“NATS is a vocal competition between different schools within the state of Illinois, primarily vocal majors,” Ben Geeding, a semi-finalist explained.
Out of the fourteen students, Olivet had eight semi-finalists and four finalists. The fourteen students who competed were: Cassandra Petrie, Lillian Guenseth, Selina Gaines, Ben Geeding, Alicia Carter, Madeline Bloom, Ashley Raffauf, Christine Cave, Gwendelyn Holmes, Taihla Eddins, Seth Lowery, Jessica Brown, Alyssa Norden and Taylin Frame.
“We probably had the most participants of every school and the most semifinalists,” Dr. Neal Woodruff
Geeding credits a lot of the students’ success to Dr. Woodruff and his teaching. Dr. Woodruff has been a professor at Olivet since 2000. He conducts the University Orchestra and Concert Singers as well as teaches courses in applied voice/pedagogy, opera/music theatre, applied conducting, church music and music history.
“Dr. Woodruff has a vast amount of knowledge on vocal techniques,” Geeding said.
Overall, the event was a solid representation of the musical excellence that Olivet offers.