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Hesston College voice students had a successful weekend at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Regional Vocal Competition at Emporia (Kan.) State University Nov. 1 to 2. Eleven students represented Hesston College during the weekend competition with four advancing to at least the semi-final round and one taking home a first place finish.

Hesston College was the only two-year institution in the competing four state region to have a student reach the finals.

Freshman Galed Krisjayanta (Sukarta, Indonesia), won first place in the Freshman Men’s Classical Division. Krisjayanta was the highest finisher for Hesston during the weekend and the first Hesston College student to bring home a first place win since 2003.

Freshman Taylor Zehr (Key West, Fla.) placed fourth in the Freshman-Sophomore Women’s Musical Theater Division.

Freshmen Bryce Elder (Ottawa, Kan.) and Jason Schroeder (Anthony, Kan.) represented Hesston in the semifinal round of the Freshman Men’s Musical Theatre Division.

High school student Jerod Fox (Newton, Kan.), who takes private voice lessons for college credit with Hesston College voice instructor Matthew Schloneger, took third place in the Men’s High School Division. Two of Schloneger’s private voice students also placed in their categories, with Joshua Powell taking second place in the Graduate Men’s Division and Nathan Patron taking second place in the Men’s High School Division.

In addition, 2012 Hesston College graduate and current Tabor College (Hillsboro, Kan.) senior Robert Howell (Newton, Kan.) placed third in the Junior-Senior Men’s Music Theatre Division.

Other students competing from Hesston were sophomores Josh Booth (Newton, Kan.) and Megan Goodrich (Buchanan, Mich.) and freshmen Rachelle Adrian (Mountain Lake, Minn.), Mary Bender (Harrisonburg, Va.), Havela Lehman (Keizer, Ore.) and Matt Lind (Harrisonburg, Va.).

Hesston College music faculty member Ken Rodgers and staff member Karen Unruh provided accompaniment for competing students.

The NATS Vocal Competition pits students against one another based on their age level and gender in either classical or musical theatre. Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming compete with students from colleges and universities of all sizes.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time that Hesston College has ever had more than one student advance to the finals,” said Schloneger. “We compete against the largest schools in the region who bring mostly voice majors to the competition, so this is a huge accomplishment.”