Students place at singing competition

Hesston College students who advanced at regional NATS competition

Hesston College voice students competed among the best collegiate vocalists in a four-state region at the annual National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) West Central Region Vocal Competition Oct. 24 to 25 in Denver. Thirteen students represented Hesston College during the weekend competition with five advancing to at least the semifinal round and three placing.

Earning second place finishes were Galed Krisjayanta (Sukarta, Indonesia) in the Sophomore Men’s Classical Division, Taylor Zehr (Archbold, Ohio) in the Freshman and Sophomore Women’s Musical Theatre Division and Nathan Patron (North Newton, Kan.) in the Freshman Men’s Classical Division. The top three places in each division are eligible to compete in the NATS National Competition at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, in July.

Krisjayanta, Zehr and Patron were also selected to sing in master classes at the convention.

Students who advanced to the semifinal round were sophomore Bryce Elder (Ottawa, Kan.) in the Sophomore Men’s Classical Division and freshman Lorren Oesch (Caldwell, Idaho) in the Freshman Women’s Classical Division.

Other Hesston College students who competed were Rachelle Adrian (Mountain Lake, Minn.), Mary Bender (Harrisonburg, Va.), Molly Bruner (Wauseon, Ohio), Havela Lehman (Keizer, Ore.), Elliott Leichty (Harrisonburg, Va.), Anna Martin (Harleysville, Pa.), Casey Perez (Kalona, Iowa), Caleb Schrock-Hurst (Harrisonburg, Va.) and Andry Stutzman (Harrisonburg, Va.).

All of the Hesston College participants are voice students of faculty member Matthew Schloneger or adjunct faculty member Holly Swartzendruber. Schloneger was also a clinician for the convention’s high school master class.

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.