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Released December 11, 2003


HATTIESBURG - Seven students at The University of Southern Mississippi placed in the 2003 National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) southern regional auditions Nov. 6-8 at Mississippi College in Clinton.

More than 20 student vocalists in the School of Music at Southern Miss were among a field of 520 students from 43 schools registered to compete. Among these schools were Louisiana State University, Loyola University, University of New Orleans, Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi and University of Arkansas.

"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 region. 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 tenor Daland Jones of Ripley, winning first place in the freshman men category; soprano Hillary Ginther of Bristol, Va., winning second place in the freshman women category; baritone Joe Styron of New Orleans, winning third place among sophomore men; and Emily Hendrichs of Slidell, La., winning first place in the younger graduate women category.

Other Southern Miss winners also include mezzo-soprano Hope Fairchild of Purvis, winning second place in the older graduate women category; tenor Rudy Gatlin of Ellisville, winning first place in the older graduate men category; and baritone Robert Bradley of Greenville, Tenn., winning second place in the older graduate men category.

The southern region of NATS includes teachers and schools from Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The auditions are held annually in conjunction with the members' conference. Teachers are invited to bring students to compete and are judged by NATS members. Classified by age and level of experience, the students compete in three rounds-a preliminary round, a semifinals that includes scoring and the finals round, in which students are ranked. There is no advancement beyond the regional auditions.

Jones, Ginther, Hindrichs, and Bradley are students of Kyle. Styron, Fairchild, and Gatlin are student of Dr. Larry Smith, professor of voice.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM