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Ouachita students earn state NATS recognition

Ouachita competitors in the 2023 National Association of Teachers of SingingApril 04, 2023 - Addie Woods

Thirteen students from the Division of Music in Ouachita Baptist University’s School of Fine Arts placed as finalists or semifinalists at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Arkansas Spring Conference held Feb. 24-25 at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark.

With 13 of 15 participants earning recognition, “Ouachita had one of the highest ratios of attendees to finalists in a wide variety of categories,” said Dr. Candice Aipperspach, associate professor of music. “This showcases the excellence sought in the vocal area at Ouachita and the hard work of the students.”

Six Ouachita students were named Arkansas NATS finalists:

  • Brandon Holloway, student of Dr. Natilan Crutcher, earned first place in classical second year; tenor, baritone and bass (TBB) division with a performance of “Goodbye!” by Paolo Tosti. Holloway is a sophomore vocal performance major from Little Rock, Ark.
  • Veronica West, student of Dr. Maggie Garrett, earned first place in classical third year treble division with a performance of “Habanera” from Carmen by Georges Bizet. West is a junior choral music education major from Benton, Ark. 
  • Logan Babel, student of Dr. Maggie Garrett, earned second place in lower college musical theatre TBB division with his performance of “Lost in the Wilderness” from Children of Eden by Stephen Schwartz. Babel is a sophomore worship studies major from Beebe, Ark.
  • Mavric Herrera, student of Dr. Kara Claybrook, earned second place in upper college musical theatre TBB division with a performance of “I am Aldolpho” from The Drowsy Chaperone by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison. Herrera is a junior worship studies major from Wylie, Texas.
  • Alli Hylkema, student of Dr. Candice Aipperspach, earned second place in lower college musical theatre treble division with a performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables by Claude-Michel Schönberg. Hylkema is a freshman communications & media/integrated communications major from Jackson, Tenn.
  • Kieran Malmer, student of Dr. Maggie Garrett, earned second place in classical second year treble division with a performance of “Durch Zärtlichkeit und Schmeicheln” from Die Entführung aus dem Serail by W.A. Mozart. Malmer is a sophomore choral music education major from Little Elm, Texas.

Eight Ouachita students were named semifinalists:

  • Eli Butler, a junior musical theatre major from Greenwood, Ark.
  • Annslee Clay, a junior musical theatre major from Benton, Ark.
  • Genevieve Cooper, a freshman musical theatre and business administration double major from Frisco, Texas
  • Carleigh Himmelsehr, a freshman kinesiology/exercise science major from Fate, Texas
  • Sierra Hoss, a junior musical theatre major from Fouke, Ark.
  • Tyranni Hubbard, a senior theatre arts major from Little Rock, Ark.
  • Kieran Malmer, a sophomore choral music education major from Little Elm, Texas
  • Deanne Puryear, a freshman worship studies major from Jonesboro, Ark. 

In addition to Aipperspach, students were accompanied at the competition by Kara Claybrook, visiting assistant professor of music; Dr. Natilan Crutcher, visiting assistant professor of music; Dr. Maggie Garrett, professor of music; and Dr. Jed Kim, visiting assistant professor of music.

“It’s a blessing to help these students develop the gifts and talents the Lord has given them,” Crutcher said. “This competition was a great opportunity for the students to share the growth of their artistry with other universities in Arkansas.”

Additional Ouachita students who participated in the competition were AnnaMarie Cobb, a sophomore choral music education major from Arkadelphia, Ark., and Halle Jones, a sophomore musical theatre major from Fort Worth, Texas.

For more information on the NATS competition, contact Dr. Maggie Garrett at garrettm@obu.edu or (870) 245-5274.

Lead photo: Ouachita students and faculty who attended the National Association of Teachers of Singing Arkansas Spring Conference, held Feb. 24-25 in Jonesboro, included (back row) Tyranni Hubbard, AnnaMarie Cobb, Deanne Puryear, Logan Babel, Mavric Herrera and Brandon Holloway; (middle row) Sierra Hoss, Carleigh Himmelsehr, Halle Jones, Alli Hylkema, Kieran Malmer and Veronica West; and (front row) Susan Monroe, Dr. Maggie Garrett, Dr. Kara Claybrook, Dr. Natilan Crutcher, Dr. Candice Aipperspach and Dr. Jed Kim. All are pictured from left.

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