November 5, 2019

UWS has strong showing at state classical voice competition

Four University of Wisconsin-Superior students travelled to St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., to compete in the Minnesota National Association for Teachers of Singing (NATS) annual student competition held November 1 and 2.   

In this event, students compete against the best collegiate singers in Minnesota for a chance to place in the top three and perform to a full house in the final round of the competition. Among the schools competing were Bemidji State University, Concordia College - Moorhead, St. Olaf College, University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Minnesota Morris, and North Dakota State University.

Baritone Brock Phernetton, a choral music education major, and member of UWS track & field, took second place honors in the sophomore men’s collegiate division.

"I am honored to have received the placement I did, especially at a competition as prestigious as NATS," said Phernetton. "In fact, I am still taken aback by even making it into the semifinal round, let alone placing second within finals."

Soprano Victoria Thompson, mezzo-soprano Taryn Pederson, and soprano Taylor Jones – all voice performance majors – also performed strongly in the preliminary round of the competition. These students study voice with Dr. Vicki Fingalson Madison, Professor of Voice & Opera. Accompanying the singers was UW-Superior alumna and pianist Beth Sobczak, a former student of Dr. E Beth Gilbert.

"The thing that impacted me most was the support I received from my teacher, Dr. Fingalson, and my good friends and colleagues, Tori Thompson, Taylor Jones, and Taryn Pederson," said Phernetton. "They were willing to stay there with me, awaiting the results after two long days of competition. Without them there, this placement would not have meant nearly as much to me. After this amazing experience, I am definitely thrilled for the years to come, both at NATS and studying at UWS with these wonderful people."

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