April 23, 2011 7:40:00 PM
Two Mississippi University for Women voice students sang recently in the student auditions held by the Mississippi chapter of National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Soprano Alisa Toy won first place in the finals in her division. The junior music education major is the wife of education professor Dr. Royal Toy.
She said, "It is a great joy to be able to return to school after a 12-year, child-bearing hiatus and even greater joy to return to the competitive stage. I feel honored to have the support from family and MUW faculty to make such opportunities as NATS a reality. Winning is just a bonus."
Mezzo soprano Jessica Horton advanced to the semi-finals. She is a senior music education major.
Toy and Horton are students of Dr. Cherry Dunn, assistant professor of music. Toy will perform in a junior-senior recital Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Carrier Chapel on the university campus, along with mezzo soprano DeNondrea Forrest.
Student auditions, which took place at William Carey University, are held once a year and participants are required to prepare three or four songs or arias. There are three rounds including preliminary, semi-finals and finals.
"The top three or four singers in each category (there are 20) sing in the finals, which is in itself an honor as they are competing against around 150 singers from all the universities in Mississippi," Dunn said.
"For Alisa to win first place was wonderful. Jessica also sang well, but her category was very competitive," she added. "They both are strong singers and represented the W very well. I am very proud of both of them, as they have worked hard to reach the level they are now."