Lawrence University Students Earn Six Firsts at State Singing Competition

Lawrence University conservatory of music students earned first-place honors in six divisions, including both music theatre categories, at the 2003 Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) audition competition held Nov. 7-8 on the Lawrence campus.

Senior Jacob Allen, who finished second a year ago in this competition, and sophomore Jennifer Nummerdor won top honors in the upper college division and lower college music theatre categories, respectively.

Other winning performances included Julie Silver in the sophomore women division; Matthew Vitti in the sophomore men division, Pete Petersen in the junior men division and Patrick Ireland, a 2001 winner in the sophomore division, in the senior and continuing senior men division. Allen, Vitti, and Ireland are students in the voice studio of professor Ken Bozeman. Silver and Nummerdor study under voice professor Karen Leigh-Post and Petersen is a student of Joanne Bozeman.

In addition, Alisa Jordheim, a senior at Appleton North High School who studies with Lawrence voice professor Patrice Michaels, placed first in the high school music theatre division. First-place finishers were awarded $100 for their winning efforts.

A total of 49 Lawrence students and two Lawrence Academy of Music students participated in this year’s NATS competition, with 18 of them advancing to the finals. Second-place honors went to sophomore Brad Grimmer and seniors Ricardo Lesperance (graduate division), Matt Schafer and Rachel McNeill while Andria Helm and Elaine Moran earned third-place honors in the senior women and upper college music theatre divisions, respectively.

The 2003 NATS competition featured 425 singers from colleges and high schools throughout Wisconsin. Depending upon the category, competitors are required to sing two, three or four classical pieces from different time periods with at least one selection sung in a foreign language. Acclaimed mezzo-soprano Karen Brunssen, a voice professor at Northwestern University, served as guest judge for the competition.