Gardner-Webb Students Earn Honors at Annual Music Competition

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Vocal Students Qualify for Regionals

By Chelsea Sydnor ’18, GWU Communications Intern 

Four students from Gardner-Webb University qualified to compete in the Mid-Atlantic Regional competition sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing. The students, along with faculty from the Department of Music are, from left, Julia DeSerio, Dr. Stafford Turner, Madeline Bame, Dr. Jondra Harmon, Kordell Hemphill and Sydney Hardin.

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.— Six Gardner-Webb University students recently participated in the state competition for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Four of these students placed or qualified to compete in the Mid-Atlantic Regional competition in Virginia. The students have each trained with Dr. Jondra Harmon, instructor of voice and coordinator of vocal studies.

Senior music education major Julia DeSerio of Pacolet, S.C., won second place among fourth- and fifth-year women.

DeSerio performed four pieces that she enjoys singing and that she believes showcase who she is as a singer and represent her current vocal development.

“It is a great experience to share your craft and love of music with others and to have the opportunity for other voice teachers from across the state to hear what Gardner-Webb Music has to offer,” she said. “[The competition] is about personal growth and coming out of the experience with tools to be a better version of yourself.”

Freshman music education major Madeline Bame of Gastonia, N.C., won third place among first year women.

Bame has been studying voice for eight years, and began practicing her competition pieces one year ago. She feels that any performance is an opportunity to improve her stage presence.

“Practicing helped prevent performance anxiety and helped me succeed,” she said. “I learned performance and professional skills from the judges’ comments, that will contribute to further success as a collegiate musician.”

Also qualifying to compete in the Mid-Atlantic region were sophomore Kordell Hemphill from Pacolet, S.C., a music major with emphasis in business and music industry, and junior Sydney Hardin of Shelby, N.C., a music education major. The Mid-Atlantic region includes high school and college students from North and South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland.

Harmon said this is the first year four students from the University have advanced to the regional competition. “We are proud of the legacy of excellence in music these students are perpetuating, as well as how they are representing GWU,” she praised.

NATS is the largest professional association of singing instructors in the world, with over 7,000 members in the U.S., Canada and 30 other countries.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university that prepares students to become critical thinkers, effective leaders and compassionate servants in the global community. Emphasizing a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics, Gardner-Webb ignites learning and service opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Ignite your future at