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Released April 7, 2004


HATTIESBURG -- Seventeen University of Southern Mississippi students placed in the Mississippi Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) auditions in March at Southern Miss in Hattiesburg. Competing with other universities and colleges statewide, more than 35 student vocalists in the School of Music at Southern Miss were among a field of 350 students from 15 schools.

"We are extremely proud of what all of our (Southern Miss) students have accomplished at the auditions," said Dr. Maryann Kyle, assistant professor of music/voice. "There were so many talented singers auditioning from all over the state. That our students placed so well only accentuates the great progress we are making toward becoming the preeminent voice department in the region."

The Southern Miss students placing in the auditions include the following: soprano Hillary Ginther of Bristol, Va., placing first, soprano Robyn Holmes of Petal, placing second, and mezzo-soprano Andrea Gabrielse of New Orleans, La., placing third in the freshman women category; tenor Daland Jones, of Ripley, winning first place in the freshman men category; soprano Alice Wright of Mobile, Ala., winning first place in the junior women category; baritone Joe Styron, of Mandeville, La., winning first place among junior men; soprano Bevan Byers of Palm Bay, Fla., winning third place in the senior women category; and soprano Robyn Holmes of Petal, winning first place in the younger college musical theatre category.

Other Southern Miss winners also include the following: tenor Hunter Graybeal of Bristol, Tenn., placing first and soprano Meredith Melvin of Petal, placing third in the older college musical theatre category; mezzo-soprano Rocio Tamez of Monterrey, Mexico, placing first and soprano Lynn Beach Smith of Columbia, placing second in the older advanced students category; soprano Emily Hindrichs of Slidell, La., and soprano Tania Leal of Puebla, Mexico, tied for first in the younger graduate women category; soprano Allanda Small of Hattiesburg, placing second in the older graduate student category; baritone Robert Bradley of Greeneville, Tenn., placing first place in the older graduate men category; and soprano Claudia Martinez of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, taking first in the avocational student category.

The auditions are held annually in conjunction with the members' conference. Teachers are invited to bring students to compete and the competitions are adjudicated by NATS members. Classified by age and level of experience, the students compete in three rounds-a preliminary round, a semifinals round that includes scoring, and the finals round in which students are ranked.

For more information, contact Dr. Maryann Kyle at (601) 266-6059.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM