Southeastern vocalists claim awards at state competition

Southeastern Louisiana University vocal performance students recently received accolades at the Louisiana Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition. Pictured, from left, are Joshua Staes, William Dopp, Alfred Harper, Andrew Butler, Jody Bennett, Ryan Blanchfield, Sara Cage, Caitlyn Rodrigue, Cody Sires (alumnus) and Camryn Rodrigue.

Ten Southeastern Louisiana University vocal performance students and one alumnus were finalists at the Louisiana Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition held recently at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.

Among those honored for Southeastern were four first-place winners: Sara Cage of Baton Rouge, William Dopp of Independence, Caitlyn Rodrigue of Thibodaux and Joshua Staes of Baton Rouge.

Cage was the first student in SLU history to earn three first-place awards at the competition, scoring the top prize in the senior women’s division, the Hall Johnson spiritual category, and upper level music theater-women.

In addition, Cage received the Governor’s Award as the most promising student at the competition.

Also receiving first-place nods were Dopp, sophomore men; Rodrigue, sophomore women; and Staes, older advanced men.

Other SLU students recognized at the competition include the following: Andrew Butler of River Ridge, second place, sophomore men; Cody Sires, now a Southeastern alumnus of Violet, second place, older student adult women and men; Alfred Harper of New Orleans, third place, junior men; Jody Bennett of Hammond, fourth place, junior men; Ryan Blanchfield of Hammond, fourth place, younger advanced men; Camryn Rodrigue of Thibodaux, fourth place, sophomore women; and Brennan Simmons of Hammond, honorable mention, senior men.

The auditions were judged by voice teachers from the NATS Louisiana Chapter. Students participated in lectures and master classes as part of the conference.

Members of the Southeastern voice faculty who contributed to conference events included Jennifer Sciortino Mouledous, Joy Ratliff, Alissa Rowe, Stephen Rushing and Kay Wainwright Schepker.

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