University of Portland hosts National Association of Teachers of Singing Classical Auditions; sends 7 UP students to regional finals

February 5, 2016

The University of Portland hosted the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Cascade Classical Auditions on January 29-30. The annual vocal competition is for high school and college students from Oregon and Southwest Washington, with the largest categories comprising lower college women (freshmen and sophomores) and upper college women (juniors and seniors). The competition attracted 160 students from the NATS Cascade Chapter to the UP campus, and competitors from the University of Portland music program included three first place winners.

Lower College Women

  • Maddie Tran, sophomore: first place
  • Alissa Henderson, freshman: second place

Upper College Women

  • Lauren Kulesa, senior; Taylor Kendig, junior: tied for first place 
  • Nicole Benavente, senior: third place

Upper College Men

  • Tanis Gonzaga-Guzman, junior: third place

All those listed will continue to the regional round in March, and those who go on from there will compete at the NATS National Convention in Chicago in July.

"I am enormously proud of the hard work and dedication of all of the singers who competed in NATS,” Nicole Hanig, UP music professor and director of vocal studies, said. “These students do not rely on talent but instead focus on the lifelong tasks of achieving skill and artistry, which is the mark of great musicians. I also commend these young musicians for supporting their colleagues throughout an arduous day of competition."


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5000 N. Willamette Blvd.,
Portland, Oregon 97203-5798