OBU music students

Ten Ouachita students earned 12 finalist honors at the recent Southern Region NATS auditions. Front row, from left, Ouachita’s Susan Monroe and Dr. Natilan Crutcher with finalists Mallory Cain, Chaney Campbell, Bonnie Gentry, Dylan Blackwood and Sammy Campione, along with Dr. Glenda Secrest and Dr. Maggie Garrett. Back row, from left, finalists Carlin Campbell, Clay Mobley, Bella Owen and Hannah Anderson with Ouachita’s Phyllis Walker and Dr. Jon Secrest.

ARKADELPHIA -- Ouachita Baptist University music students earned 12 finalist honors at the 2019 National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Southern Region Conference and Student Auditions.

More than 300 students from colleges in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi attended the competition, which was held at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

Of all of those competing, 26 Ouachita students earned finalist or semifinalist honors.

The competition is a three-round audition in which students first participate in a preliminary round of auditions and then receive written feedback from voice professionals on how to improve their performance skillset. Following the preliminary round, students advance through a semi-final round and then, depending on their scores, a final round. Finalists may be awarded first through fifth place or receive an honorable mention.

NATS auditions provides students with an opportunity to receive professional critiques, audition experience and cash awards.

"It's always an honor to see our students representing Ouachita," said John Alec Briggs, lecturer in music. "It's a good representation of the commitment our students have towards developing their careers.

"Auditioning is something musicians do throughout their careers, so it's helpful for the students to consider their NATS performance as yet one more audition under their

belts," Briggs said. "The more they do it, the more comfortable they will become with the process. NATS gives students the opportunity to present their work

for evaluation by voice teachers who don't hear them on a regular basis."

"For me, NATS is just another way to get more experience in what I want to do for the rest of my life," said Bella Owen, a freshman musical theatre major from

Jonesboro, who placed third in the freshman women division and second in the lower college music theatre women division. "NATS is a way to connect with other artists in hopes of bringing some attention to the importance of the fine arts as a whole."

The following Ouachita students were named finalists and qualified for national competition, in order of hometown:

Arlington, Texas -- Bonnie Gentry, a senior musical theatre student of Dr. Jon Secrest, earned fourth place in the senior women division.

Austin, Texas -- Hannah Anderson, a sophomore musical theatre student of Dr. Glenda Secrest, earned fourth place in the junior women division. She also was a semifinalist in the upper college music theatre women.

Jonesboro -- Bella Owen, a freshman musical theatre student of Dr. Natilan Crutcher, earned third place in the freshman women division and second place in the lower college music theatre women division.

Little Rock -- Mallory Cain, a junior musical theatre student of Dr. Maggie Garrett, earned fifth place in the lower college music theatre women division.

Monument, CO -- Katie Kuss, a sophomore music and Christian studies/Christian ministries major and student of Dr. Glenda Secrest, earned an honorable mention in the sophomore women division.

Rogers -- Chaney Campbell, a freshman musical theatre student of Dr. Glenda Secrest, earned first place in the lower college music theatre women division.

Rose Hill, KS -- Carlin Campbell, a junior musical theatre student of Dr. Maggie Garrett, earned third place in the lower college music theatre men division.

Walnut Ridge -- Dylan Blackwood, a senior musical theatre student of Dr. Jon Secrest, earned second place in the upper college music theatre men division.

Waxahachie, Texas -- Sam Campione, a sophomore musical theatre student of Dr. Jon Secrest, earned second place in the lower college music theatre men division.

Wylie, Texas -- Clay Mobley, a senior music industry student of Dr. Jon Secrest, earned second place in the senior men division and first place in the upper college music theatre men division.

Other Ouachita students named as NATS semifinalists, in order of hometown, include:

Alexander -- Hannah Hill, a senior musical theatre student of Dr. Glenda Secrest, was a semifinalist in the upper college music theatre women division, and Matthew Mayfield, a freshman musical theatre student of Dr. Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the freshman men division.

Bono -- Jaden Rich, a junior musical theatre student of John Alec Briggs, was a semifinalist in the lower college music theatre women division.

Bryant -- Sharayah Wallace, a senior musical theatre student of John Alec Briggs, was a semifinalist in the upper college music theatre women division.

Caraway -- Karlee Sanders, a sophomore choral music education student of John Alec Briggs, was a semifinalist in the sophomore women division.

Cleveland, TX -- Hannah Gothard, a junior musical theatre student of Dr. Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the lower college music theatre women division.

Hot Springs -- Stuart Sowerbutts, a junior music industry student of John Alec Briggs, was a semifinalist in the sophomore men and lower college music theatre men divisions.

Little Rock -- Elizabeth Dawson, a junior musical theatre student of Dr. Glenda Secrest, was a semifinalist in the upper college music theatre women division.

Minden, LA -- Melodie DuBose, a junior musical theatre student of Dr. Glenda Secrest, was a semifinalist in the upper college music theatre women division.

Sheridan -- Madeline Martin, a senior musical theatre and mass communications major and student of Dr. Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the upper college music theatre women division.

Shreveport, LA -- Ray Medina, a sophomore musical theatre and mass communications major and student of John Alec Briggs, was a semifinalist in lower college music theatre women division.

Siloam Spring -- Payton Hickman, a sophomore musical theatre student of Dr. Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the sophomore men division.

TexARKana -- Makenna Schaeffer, a sophomore musical theatre student of Dr. Maggie Garrett, was a semifinalist in the lower college music theatre women division.

Wichita, KS -- Hailey Smith, a sophomore musical theatre student of John Alec Briggs, was a semifinalist in the lower college music theatre women division.

Wylie, Texas - Kinsey Potts, a sophomore musical theatre student of Dr. Jon Secrest, was a semifinalist in the lower college music theatre women division.

Wynne -- Emma Lawyer, a junior musical theatre student of Dr. Glenda Secrest, was a semifinalist in the upper college music theatre women division.

Ouachita's collaborative pianists for the competition included Kristen La Madrid, Susan Monroe and Phyllis Walker.

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Ten Ouachita students earned 12 finalist honors at the recent Southern Region NATS auditions. Front row, from left, Ouachita’s Susan Monroe and Dr. Natilan Crutcher with finalists Mallory Cain, Chaney Campbell, Bonnie Gentry, Dylan Blackwood and Sammy Campione, along with Dr. Glenda Secrest and Dr. Maggie Garrett. Back row, from left, finalists Carlin Campbell, Clay Mobley, Bella Owen and Hannah Anderson with Ouachita’s Phyllis Walker and Dr. Jon Secrest.

Ashly Stracener, Ouachita Baptist University

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