CWU News

CWU Vocalists Triumph at Inland Empire Singing Competition

Once again, CWU vocalists received top honors at the annual National Association of Teachers of Singing Inland Empire Regional Competition, held November 13 and 14 at the University of Idaho in Moscow.

At the competition, 32 CWU vocal students vied with more than 135 students from other schools in central and eastern Washington, as well as Idaho. CWU placed 14 winners in the top three in the 12 categories and swept two categories completely (Upper Division Musical Theater and Fourth/Fifth Year Women).  In addition, Central students took first place in seven out of the 12 categories.

Gayla Blaisdell, professor of Voice and Opera, was thrilled by the results.

“Our students start later than most of the other schools, and a large number of them were also in Spain for 10 days this fall,” she commented. “Not only that, but our chapter revised our category divisions, scoring rubric, and repertoire requirements this year to align with the national standards. This significantly increased the repertoire requirements for some divisions. Even with those handicaps, the Central voice students delivered exemplary performances across the board.”

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

Competition Results
Lower Division Musical Theater
2nd Place - Sara Baumert

Upper Division Musical Theater
1st Place - Michael McCormick
2nd Place - Aly Henniger
3rd Place - Jessica Reid

Second Year Women
1st Place - Katie Kibota
3rd Place - Holly Osborne

Second Year Men
1st Place - Cesar Calderone
2nd Place - Michael Ash

Third Year Men
1st Place - Theo Olson

Fourth/Fifth Year Women
1st Place - Sami Ruiz
2nd Place - Bonnie Blanchard
3rd Place - Natalie Bernstein

Graduate Category
1st Place - Tatiana Kruse

Adult Category
1st Place - Caitlin Stave

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,
November 20, 2015