JBU Music Students Take First at Arkansas NATS Competition

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Siloam Springs, Ark (March 11, 2002) - Two JBU music students took first place honors at the Arkansas State National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro on Feb. 22-24. Senior Derek Dewey took first place in the young adult men category, and freshman Paul Tharp took first place in the freshman men category.

Three other JBU students received awards at the competition: Kate McCaskill- 2nd place, senior women category; Nate DePoint- 3rd place, senior men category, Matt Haney- 2nd place, junior men category.

Of the ten JBU students who competed at NATS, eight advanced to the semifinals and five went on to place in the final competition. In addition to the students listed above, these three students advanced to the semifinals competition: Ryan Shields, Matthew Vest, and Harry Walls. All of the students study with JBU music faculty member Paul Smith and were accompanied by Lonnie Ostrander.

"We are so proud of these individuals and their fine vocal abilities,” said Paul Smith, associate professor of voice and choral music. “Throughout the region and the state of Arkansas, John Brown University continues year after year to garner top awards in the area of vocal competition. The educational philosophy of John Brown University is ‘Head, Heart, and Hand.’ I can't think of a more fitting statement in light of what these young people have accomplished."

The NATS competition is open to all colleges and universities in the state of Arkansas.

John Brown University is a private university with an enrollment of over 1,600 students from 45 states and 33 countries. JBU is a member of the Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities as well as the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

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