Alcorn students excel at regional voice competition

Two of Alcorn State University’s vocal music majors wowed the judges with their singing abilities at a regional voice competition.

For the second consecutive year, sophomore O’Neil Jones won first place in the Younger Student Adult Women and Men Division at the Southern Regional National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Conference Nov. 12-14 at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. With the win, Jones qualifies to represent the Southern region at the NATS Voice Competition in Chicago, Illinois in July 2016. The Southern region is comprised of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

“I am very humbled by the win,” said O’Neil. “I say this because I believe it is the hard work that I put in over the course of the year with Dr. Byron Johnson that allowed me to excel at the regional NATS competition for the second consecutive year. I am now working harder than ever to ensure that I will represent Alcorn, myself, and Dr. Johnson well.”

Sophomore Danielle Watson placed fourth in the same division as Jones. She credits the competition as one of the driving forces behind her development as a performer.

“My performance at the competition has become a benchmark for my progress as a performer,” said Danielle. “Last year, I only made it to the semi finals, but this year I successfully achieved my goal of placing in the finals. I must say that I am overjoyed and look forward to seeing what the future will bring.”

Byron Johnson, assistant professor of music in the Department of Fine Arts, applauded the students for their outstanding performances.

“All of the students performed at an exceptionally high level,” said Jones. “They are prime examples of the many good things that occur in the department.”

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