Seniors take top honors in statewide music competition
RELEASED: November 1, 2007
DANVILLE, KY—This weekend, Derrick Grant '08 and Shannon Bailey '08 enjoyed success at a music competition traditionally dominated by larger universities. The National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) holds a statewide competition in Kentucky once every fall; this year marks Centre’s first entry in the event. Bailey, of Fort Thomas, Ky., took the top honor in her division, and Grant, of Louisville, finished third in his division.
"The competition in general is extremely strenuous, and it really takes a lot out of you," Grant says.
There are three rounds in which students compete to advance. The first round requires vocalists to score an average of 90 percent or above from three judges. In the second round, students compete against other men or women in their category for the top three spots, and those students then advance to finals.
"I didn't really do my best [in the second round]," Bailey says. "My throat was dry, and my intonation of pitch was poor. Basically, I was a mess afterwards." She does admit, however, "I’m certainly my worst critic!"
As finalists were posted, Grant and Bailey were content to have performed in semi-finals and didn’t expect to advance. They were surprised when they each secured one of the three finalist performance slots in their respective categories.
"Standing backstage, waiting for my turn in the final round, was the hardest thing in music I've ever done," Grant says, "My nerves were crazy, and I was having trouble getting my breath." The final round required vocalists to choose one song to perform in concert for 200 audience members consisting of family, other finalists and approximately 50 judges.
Bailey says she was relaxed during the awards presentation, already suspecting another performer to have won her division but still pleased with her performance throughout the day. "I felt so honored and shocked when I heard my number called for first place,” Bailey says.
Both Grant and Bailey are quick to mention that their success was not achieved alone. Bailey insists, "Talent and hard work can only get you so far in life, especially in something like this."
She continues: "I would give Professor Moutz 90 percent of the credit for our success at NATS." AdrianaLia Moutz, an adjunct professor of voice at Centre, spent many hours preparing her students for the NATS competition.
Grant praises Moutz's commitment to personal education, saying, "She's spent countless hours helping me outside of the classroom, especially in the time leading up to the competition, giving me instruction daily, sometimes up to two hours at a time."
Moutz is especially proud of her students and the recognition they have brought to Centre.
"People are beginning to see that we at Centre College not only provide a strong academic education, but also shape strong musicians," Moutz says. "I'm very proud of my students because I know they've worked very hard for this and have truly represented Centre well."
As far as Bailey is concerned, her success is dedicated to Moutz.
"Professor Moutz does everything for her students, asking little in return," Bailey says. "I was mostly excited to win because it made her so happy, and I was able to give back to her."
- end -
Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422