CU graduate student named best singer in Kentucky

-A A +A
By The Staff

Ashley Sidebottom

Campbellsville University

Marcelo Ferreira, a graduate student at Campbellsville University from Brazil, was named the best singer in Kentucky in a preliminary round of a national singing competition March 7.

The National Association of Teachers of Singing hosts an artist awards competition for singers at the state, region and national levels every two years in conjunction with NATS conferences.

The association kicked off its 40th biennial competition in February, with the preliminary round for Kentucky at Georgetown College on Friday, March 7.

Ferreira will advance to the regional competition April 4 at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

The national semifinals will be June 26 and finals June 27 in Nashville, Tenn.

The NATSAA competition is designed to assist singers prepared to launch a professional career and monetary and performance prizes are offered through the competition.

The national winner will be awarded $5,000 cash, a New York solo recital debut in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and a $2,500 NATS Award toward personal expenses on the trip to New York. Other cash prizes and awards will be offered to the remaining top finishers.

Singers are between the ages of 21 and 35, and must be either a member of NATS or have been coached for one academic year by a current NATS member.

Ferreira's vocal coach, Dr. C. Mark Bradley, professor of music at CU, said, "Campbellsville University has never had a student that was skilled enough or experienced enough to contend for the contest, which will choose a national champion, until Marcelo Ferreira."

Bradley said most of the competitors are usually doctoral students, university professors or very experienced singers.

"I have been to this national competition at least 25 times and have heard the winners. Marcelo is at least as good, if not much better, than the singers who have won over this period of time," Bradley said.

"I think he has an excellent chance to be the national winner," he said. "However, we must get by the next hurdle of winning the regional competition. We are currently working very hard to reach that goal."

Ferreira also was a finalist in the Orpheus National Music Competition at Middle Tennessee State University recently. He won a Cynthia Vernadakis Award at that competition.

Dr. Robert Reynolds, a graduate of CU with a doctorate in piano performance from the University of Kentucky, is Ferreira's accompanist.

Ferreira will perform in a master's recital on Sunday, April 13 at 3 p.m. and he will also perform in the opera scenes program on Friday, April 25 at 8 p.m. Both performances will be in The Gheens Recital Hall of the Gosser Fine Arts Center on Campbellsville University's campus.

- Ashley Sidebottom is a staff writer at Campbellsville University.