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Music students earn honors at National Association of Teachers of Singing competition

  • Alex Heiting '20 Austin Merschdorff '18 at the 2017 NATS competition
    Alex Heiting '20 Austin Merschdorff '18 at the 2017 NATS competition

By

Corinne Ness

November 07, 2017

Eight Carthage music students participated in the Wisconsin regional voice competition for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). The competition was held Nov. 2-3 at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Austin Merschdorff ’18 advanced to the finals and earned second place in Senior Classical Men. This is the third time he has placed in the finals at NATS - a significant accomplishment. Alex Heiting ’20 also advanced to the finals and placed second in Sophomore Classical Men. Laura Smith ’19 and Sarah Jenkins ’21 advanced to the semi-finals in Classical Women.

Carthage also was represented well by competitors Angela Yu, Matt Burton, Noah Olsen, and Stephen Steinheiser. The students were supported by accompanist Fumi Nakayama, along with their instructors, Greg Berg, Elena Batman, and Peg Cleveland.

The annual Wisconsin NATS competition brings students from almost every voice program in Wisconsin, from larger universities to smaller private schools and conservatories. “It is certainly gratifying when a relatively small school like Carthage goes head-to-head with the largest and finest music schools in the state and has a showing like this” said Prof. Greg Berg.

“There is so much to learn, so much to be gained from participating in a competition like NATS” said Berg. ” You are performing in front of complete strangers and subjecting yourself to their thoughtful and honest critique. You are observing and learning from the performances of your peers from other schools. You are gaining humility and resiliency from disappointment and coming to a deeper understanding of what it means to be a serious artist. And, you are learning what it means to be a supportive and thoughtful colleague.” 

Congratulations to our participants and professors!