Two theatre students took home the first and second place prizes in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Musical Theater competition in Denton last Wednesday.
Sophomore theatre studies major Caroline Reyes placed first and sophomore musical theatre major Shelby Ringdahl placed second in the MT III – college women division.
Participants were required to have three songs to perform in front of a panel of three judges in an allotted time of five minutes. Reyes said the judges required two contrasting musical songs and one artistic or classical song to judge the versatility of the performers.
“I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be,” Ringdahl said. “I was nervous during the first round because I’ve never done this competition before, and I didn’t know what to expect.”
After presenting their three songs, both Reyes and Ringdahl advanced to the semi-finals along with junior musical theatre major Fatima Rodriguez.
Ringdahl said they then performed for another panel of different judges to advance to the final round. There Reyes and Ringdahl chose a song out of their three to perform in front of an audience of all of the participants and those attending the event.
“It’s just exciting; I didn’t even see the judges in the finals,” Reyessaid. “I mean I knew that they were somewhere but I didn’t pay attention to them.”
In addition to winning first place overall, Reyes was also the female winner of the Anne Weeks Jackson Award.
Reyes sang “Into the Woods” by Stephen Sondheim from the musical “Into the Woods”, and Ringdahl chose to perform “O Mi Babbino Caro” by Giacomo Puccini.
Both students trained with voice teacher Angela Turner Wilson at the university, who accompanied them to the competition.
Reyes said it was Wilson who gave her the idea to wear a red dress to go along with her final song “Into the Woods,” as it is sung by Little Red Riding Hood in the play.