Black Hills State University will host the third annual South Dakota National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition (SD NATS) Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26 in Clare and Josef Meier Hall.

Although this is the first opportunity for BHSU to host the statewide competition, BHSU students are not newcomers to the competition. At the first annual SD NATS competition held in Brookings, BHSU student Tyler Raad took first place in the senior male division and BHSU student Ashton Vandenhoek took second place in the female senior division. The following year both Raad and Vandenhoek earned first place in their respective divisions in Vermillion.

“We are just so pleased about the success our students have had in the first two SD NATS competitions, and we definitely are looking forward to hosting this event in our wonderful facility,” said Dr. Nancy Roberts, BHSU assistant professor of music and voice instructor. “For an event that is only in its third year, our students have done exceptionally well.”

Roberts and Dr. Jonathan Nero, assistant professor of music and voice instructor, have 10 BHSU students entered in this year’s competition; last year eight BHSU students participated. Other universities participating in the competition are Northern State University, South Dakota State University, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and the University of South Dakota.

SD NATS, which formed just three years ago allows students of vocal instructors a chance to showcase their talent and compete against other students across the state. NATS student adjudications (auditions) are designed to nurture singers at various levels of voice study.

The competition offers an exciting experience where singers perform and receive written feedback about their performances. Singers meet and hear other singers, NATS teachers get to know their colleagues better, and everyone has the chance to hear a variety of songs.

The event begins with a preliminary round, where students sing only for a panel of adjudicators and a small audience. Finalists will perform Saturday evening in Clare and Josef Meier Recital Hall. The two-day event is free and open to the public.