On March 1 and March 2, Shenandoah Conservatory hosted the annual spring conference of the Virginia chapter of National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Over the course of the two-day event, the conference welcomed 486 singers and 79 NATS member teachers. The event ran smoothly thanks to the help of student volunteers and voice faculty involvement.
The conservatory has had a long relationship with VANATS: many conservatory faculty members have served the organization in various capacities over the years. Currently, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Voice (Soprano) Kathleen Bell ’19, M.M., serves as vice-president, and at this year’s conference, Chair of the Vocal/Choral Division and Associate Professor of Voice (Tenor) Byron Jones ’04, D.M.A., was elected president.
Nicholas Pallesen, a transformational coach, discussed mental wellness, mental performance and performance anxiety. Singers and teachers gathered in Goodson Chapel – Recital Hall to speak about challenges and how to confront them with confidence and understanding.
Sopranos Sarah Wofford ’17, ’20, Maryann Hayden ’22, and tenor Christos Kokkinis ’19 all won their respective categories and performed in the honors recital. Twenty-four more singers from Shenandoah either placed second or third, or scored high enough to advance to the regional round of competition.
Wofford received a Master of Music in Performance (Voice) and is a Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance (Voice) candidate who studies with Opera Producing Director and Adjunct Artist-in-Residence of Voice (Soprano) Nancy Gustafson, M.M. Hayden and Kokkinis are each currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Performance and study with Gustafson and Jones, respectively.