Mercer voice students win big at Georgia NATS auditions

Courtesy of NATS
Students of Mercer's Townsend School of Music recently experienced great success at the Georgia National Association of Teachers of Singing competition, taking home a variety of awards including 5 state titles. 

Courtesy of NATS Students of Mercer's Townsend School of Music recently experienced great success at the Georgia National Association of Teachers of Singing competition, taking home a variety of awards including 5 state titles. 

Elliot James, Staff Writer

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The Georgia chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singers (GANATS) holds an annual student audition, giving students an opportunity to gain audition experience, place in a variety of categories and receive state recognition.

This year, Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music sent 23 singers to the event in Statesboro, Georgia at Georgia Southern University. The student auditions took place on Nov. 6 and 7. Of the 23 students who auditioned, 11 students placed in the preliminary competition. Freshman James Hoskins, sophomore Joy Mote and graduate student Ruby Stillions went on to receive first place overall in the state for their categories. Senior Clay Mote was named the winner of two overall state categories.

In an email, Martha Malone, the chairwoman of vocal studies at Mercer, said that this was an “important statewide competition,” highlighting that this was a competitive event where 375 individual auditions were heard over the two-day period.

GANATS consist of 28 divisions, involving high school, college and adult categories in classical and musical theater styles.

“The Vocal Studies faculty are proud of the singers and pianists who represented the university and School of Music,” Malone said.

Of those who placed at the 2015 GANATS auditions, Ruby Stillions, a graduate vocal performance major at Mercer, won Overall State Winner for Adult Musical Theater Women. At her student audition, Stillions performed “Nobody Makes a Pass at Me” from the musical “Pins and Needles.”

“The event went extremely well,”Stillions said, noting that Mercer was well represented in the students who placed. She also said that there was a tremendous level of support that the students gave to one another.

Stillions studies under Dr. Richard Kosowski at the Townsend School of Music and cites him as the reason she has progressed as much as she has.

Mercer’s GANATS prelimanary competition winners are as follows:

First Year College Men

James Hoskins: 1st Place Prelim, Overall State Winner

James Ruffin: 3rd Place Prelim

Second Year College Women

Joy Mote: 1st Place Prelim, Overall State Winner

Abbie Paris: 1st Place Prelim, State Finalist

Fourth/Fifth Year College Women

Betsy Swanson: 1st Place Prelim, State Finalist

Dominique Williams: 2nd Place Prelim, State Finalist

Fourth/Fifth Year College Men

Clay Mote: 1st Place Prelim, Overall State Winner

James Varghese: 2nd Place Prelim, State Finalist

Advanced College Women

Ruby Stillions: 1st Place Prelim, State Finalist

Randi Short: 2nd Place Prelim, State Finalist

Lower College Musical Theater Women

Joy Mote: 3rd Place Prelim

Upper College Musical Theater Men

Clay Mote: 1st Place Prelim, Overall State Winner

Adult Musical Theater Women

Ruby Stillions: 1st Place Prelim, Overall State Winner

 

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