April 29, 2014
Seven music students have been racking up state and regional honors this year. They all study voice with Dr. Toni Anderson, who heads the college's Music Department.
Jalen Smith, Elissa Morman, Austin Taylor and Linda Jackson were recognized at the Georgia State National Association of Teachers of Singing event late last year. The statewide competition included approximately 400 students who study voice in colleges and universities or from private instructors.
Smith placed first in the freshman men category, Morman placed second in junior women, Taylor earned third-place honors in the musical theater men's division and Jackson won second place in sophomore women.
The awards kept coming at the spring Southeast Regional NATS auditions. Taylor came away with second place in sophomore musical theater men, while Morman placed second in junior musical theater women.
Other winners included Meagan Cascone, second place, freshman musical theater women; Amy Docalavich, third place, sophomore musical theater women; Alyese Wilkerson, second place, senior musical theater women; and Jackson, semifinalist, sophomore women.
Dr. Anderson said the singers' hard work has paid off.
"I am so proud of these musicians," she said. "This regional competition included vocalists from Georgia, Alabama and Florida."
Winners at the regional finalist level are invited to enter the national competition by submitting a YouTube audition, she said. From there they advance to the semi-finals and then the finals, which are held at the national conference in Boston this July.
Jackson also received recognition from the Georgia Music Teachers Association at its spring meeting. She placed first and will be the conference recitalist at the group's fall convention.
Dr. Anderson said Wilkerson recently got good news.
"Alyese has been accepted into the prestigious graduate vocal performance program at Belmont University in Nashville," she said. "And she has been named a fellow in the Nashville Opera program. This honor provides a $6,000 scholarship as well as learning and performance opportunities with the Nashville Opera."
Dan McAlexander, college president, praised Dr. Anderson's dedication.
"Dr. Anderson's commitment to students is a true testament to the college's vision of providing transformative experiences to all of our students," he said. "We are so proud of the accomplishments of her singers."