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Over 100 singers from across South Dakota will participate in 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 at Black Hills State University.

“We are definitely looking forward to hosting the event this year,” said Dr. Nancy Roberts, BHSU assistant professor of music and voice instructor. “It’s just wonderful to have the opportunity to hear some of the best singers from all over the state.” Roberts and Dr. Jonathan Nero, assistant professor of music and voice instructor, noted they are proud to have a growing number of BHSU students entered in the competition. A total of 10 BHSU students are 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 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 two-day event, which is free and open to the public, begins Friday, March 25 at 7 p.m. in the Clare and Josef Meier Recital Hall, with a presentation "Developing Musical Independence in Singers" by Dr. Christopher Mitchell, professor of music at Murray State University in Kentucky. The presentation is geared towards voice instructors and focuses on developing music reading and learning skills in singers in the studio, but also provides many practical, interesting ideas from research about how we learn music best that is useful in any teaching situation.

The preliminary round of the singing competition begins Saturday, March 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. when students sing for a panel of adjudicators and an audience. The final round will be held Saturday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in Clare and Josef Meier Recital Hall