Celinda Herevia, a senior music major at The University of Texas-Pan American, auditioned at the South Texas Chapter meeting of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) at Texas State University in San Marcos April 3 and came home with several high honors.
Herevia, a graduate of Edcouch-Elsa High School, won first place in the Senior Women division, as well as the Alice Dutcher Thornton Certificate of Honor for exhibiting outstanding career potential. The Alice Dutcher Thornton Award is given to a singer from one of the six most advanced college divisions.
She is also a member of the University Choir, the Valley Symphony Chorale, the Baroque Ensemble and Orquesta de Cámara Euterpe, which is comprised of student musicians from Reynosa and South Texas. Herevia is one of several UTPA music students planning to attend the South Texas Chapter of NATS conference titled "More Power for Performers for Musicians" at The University of Texas at San Antonio in May. Herevia studies voice with Ruth Crews, assistant professor of music at UTPA.
Thirteen other students participated in the auditions including Luis Alfonso López, Reynosa, Mexico - who earned third place in the Junior Men's division, and Vanessa Villarreal of Harlingen, who was named a semi-finalist in Adult Beginners. Both Villarreal and López are under the instruction of Crews.
Also taking honors were Kristina Venecia of Mission, who earned eighth place in the largest division - Freshmen Women. Erica Aldape of Edinburg was named as a semi-finalist in the same division. Venecia and Aldape are under the direction of Dr. Vivian Munn, associate professor of music at UTPA. Drs. Kenneth Saxon and Christopher Munn of the UTPA Music Department accompanied the singers on piano.
Also participating at the auditions were Marilu Manzano of Mission and Gina Perez of Pharr, students of Crews; Monica Dominguez of McAllen, Lesseth Garcia of Mission, and Kristal Soto of Edinburg, students of Munn; and Vicente Guerrero of Donna, Joe Martinez of Pharr and Zachary Lewis of McAllen, students of Dr. Richard Davis.
NATS is the primary professional organization for voice teachers and has members throughout the world. The South Texas chapter holds both fall and spring meetings annually.
Students who participate in the auditions at the chapter or region level (Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico) are required to perform an operatic or oratorio aria and two art songs, one of which must be in English. This year's chapter auditions featured more than 200 students from high school through advanced adult.