JBU Students Make State-Wide Vocalist Competition Semifinals

Siloam Springs, Ark (March 8, 2001) — Of the 13 current JBU students who participated in the Arkansas State Competition of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) held the last weekend of February, an even dozen made the semi-finals. Half of these contestants placed first, second or third in the finals. “This was a bumper crop of finalists for us this year,” says Terri Wubbena, Associate Professor of Music and head of the Music department at John Brown University, on the students’ return from site of the statewide at the University of Central Arkansas.

The JBU representatives competed against singers from colleges and universities throughout the state of Arkansas. Wubbena says, “Our placements in the competition would be a high percentage for any university much less a one of our size. Not only does this validate the quality of students we have in our music program but also the quality of teaching that occurs here.”

Students making semi-finals at the Arkansas State NATS Competition were: one local high school student who studies with Paul Smith, Associate Professor of Music at JBU, Jessica Allen, Jenn Caba, Matt Haney, Seth Primm, Jennifer Vandergrift and Matthew Vest. Placing in the finals were: 1st place Freshman Men, Ryan Shield; 2nd place Freshman Women, Amy Sterling; 1st place Junior Women, Kate McKaskill; 3rd place Junior Women, Eva Cantu; 2nd place Junior Men, Nate DePoint; 2nd place Student Adult, Derek Dewey. In adittion, JBU graduate Raquel King, who studies with Dr. Elizabeth Cochran, Assist. Prof. of Music at JBU, tied for 1st Place Graduate Level Women, and an area high school student who studies with PaulSmith, Associate Professor of Music at JBU, placed 3rd in the High School Women’s Division.

Micci Gerbrandt, a piano major who studies with Dr. Linda Beckman, Assist. Prof. of Music at JBU, and Lonnie Ostrander, JBU staff accompanist, accompanied JBU vocalists and JBU faculty members Dr. Elizabeth Cochran and Mr. Paul Smith worked with the students in preparation for the competition.

Ms. Wubbena said, “Prospective students and parents want to know that the quality of education they receive at JBU is comparable to and/or exceeds the quality they would receive elsewhere. To be able to tell students and parents what happened at NATS is wonderful. It is gratifying that we consistently have students who do well at NATS.”

The National Association of Teachers of Singing is the largest association of teachers of singing in the world. With over 5,000 members worldwide, NATS encourages the highest standards of singing through excellence in teaching and the promotion of vocal education and research.

John Brown University is a private university with an enrollment of more than 1,500 students from 46 states and 30 countries. JBU is a member of the Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.