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Voice students take first place in competition

NATS students 

Lamar University voice students from the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music earned numerous award placements at the annual Greater Houston Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing classical auditions on March 25, 2017, at the University of Houston.

With nearly 7,000 members in the United States, Canada, and nearly 30 other countries, the National Association of Teachers of Singing is the largest professional association of teachers of singing in the world. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to encouraging the highest standards of singing through excellence in teaching and the promotion of vocal education.

"We are extremely proud of our talented students," said Serdar Ilban, assistant professor of voice. "This year, a large number of high school and college students competed - 210 to be exact - in the classical categories. LU students competed against students from some of the top-tier schools in the Houston area."

Debra Greschner, LU music instructor and former president of the Greater Houston NATS chapter, said, “The competition grew so much recently that we chose to hold the musical theatre competition on a different date this year, a testament to the various interests of the voice teachers and their students in the Greater Houston area.”

Lamar University captured six of the twelve college and adult division categories. The six first place winners include Jason Choi, Brea Marshall, Chasiti Walker, Houston; Earl Sigee, Beaumont; Cortney Prescott, Pasadena; and Keith Walls, Detroit, Mich.

Second-place winners were Geralyn Harper and Manuel Lugo, Beaumont. Destani Wilson, Mesquite and Colton Wright, Nederland, took third place rankings. Caleb Sellers, Nederland, received an Honorable Mention.

"Through these award-winning performances each year, our talented students and dedicated voice faculty have once again proven why Lamar is a sought-after destination for vocal study in higher education," said Brian Shook, interim chair of the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music.

In addition to Ilban and Greschner, Jammieca Mott, LU instructor of voice, provided instruction for the students. Other schools represented in the competition included Sam Houston State University, Houston Baptist University, Lone Star College – Kingwood, Lone Star College – Montgomery, Prairie View A & M, and Texas Southern University.

For more information about the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music, visit or call (409) 880-8144.