CWU News

CWU Vocalists Break the Sound Barrier at Annual NATS Competition

More than half of the CWU singers at the annual Inland Empire Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing placed in the 12 final rounds of the auditions. More than 30 Central Washington University students competed; 18 students continued through to the final rounds. Central singers took 8 out of 12 first places, 6 second places and 4 third places. In some instances, CWU swept entire categories. The competition was held at CWU on November 4 and 5.

“I’m extremely proud of all everyone who prepared significant repertoire requirements and performed with confidence and skill under pressure so early in our quarter!” enthused Gayla Blaisdell, CWU music professor of voice and opera. “And congratulations to our wonderful voice faculty for your top-notch teaching!

The following singers placed at the top of their division:

Lower Division Musical Theater
Sophia Bos                1st
Jodi Salisbury           2nd

Upper Division Musical Theater
Jessica Reid               1st
Sara Baumert             2nd

2nd Year Women Category
Heather O’Donnell    1st
Isabella Hanreiter      2nd

3rd Year Women Category
Katie Kibota                1st
Hannah Bryan            2nd
Holly Osborne            3rd

3rd Year Men Category
Michael Ash               1st
Matthew Usher          2nd
Arthur Verdusco        3rd

4th/5th Year Women Category
Sami Ruiz                   1st
Bonnie Blanchard      3rd

Graduate Category
Tatiana Kruse             1st

Adult Category
Josh Johnson             1st
Amanda Baggett        2nd
Ruth Newkirk              3rd

Pianists Martin Kennedy, Maria Roditeleva-Wibe, Adrienne Shields, Aaron Hirsch, Brianna Eddy and Tatiana Kruse accompanied the singers.

Founded in 1944, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Inc. (NATS) is the largest professional association of teachers of singing in the world with nearly 7,000 members in the United States, Canada, and nearly 30 other countries.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,

November 10, 2016