Tarleton professor among top finalists at national singing competition

NATSAA Finalist

NATSAA Finalist

Thursday, July 14, 2016

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Dr. Heather Hawk, assistant professor of vocal performance at Tarleton State University, received fourth-place honors at this month’s 44th annual National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Artist Awards competition in Chicago.

Hawk, who also serves as vice president of the Dallas-Fort Worth Area Chapter of NATS, represented the Texoma Region as one of 14 semifinalists invited to the national competition after winning the tri-state vocal contest hosted by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in March.

The 14 national semifinalists were trimmed to a final group of six singers during the July 7 semifinal round.

An award-winning soprano, Hawk received the fourth-place Berton Coffin Award and a $2,000 prize for her outstanding performance. She was accompanied on piano by Masako Narikawa.

At the regional semifinal and finals competition, Hawk performed 14 songs and arias from various languages and time periods. Judges then selected songs from her repertoire to fill a 15-minute performance.

During the first round of competition Hawk performed: Io son l’umile ancella from the Italian opera Adriana Lecouvreur by Francesco Cilea, Come scoglio from the Italian opera Così fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Selige Nacht by Joseph Marx, Villanelle by Cécile Chaminade, and  Love Went a Riding by Frank Bridge.

Upon advancing to the second round, Hawk’s finals performances included: Io son l’umile ancella, Fleur jetée from Gabriel Fauré’s Opera 39, Villanelle, Anne Boleyn from Libby Larsen’s Try Me, Good King, and Hat dich die Liebe berührt by Joseph Marx.

“I practiced for at least an hour per day for about three months to prepare for the audition, and I practiced approximately three hours each day the week before competition,” said Hawk. “To memorize all 14 songs, I had to know the music backward and forward to feel comfortable.

“I’ve always wanted to compete in the NATS competition, so to be able to represent the Texoma region at the national level is such an honor,” she said.

To view Hawk’s performance at the NATS Artist Awards competition, visit https://www.facebook.com/OfficialNATS/videos/1133263243378667/.

NATS, founded in 1944, encourages the highest standards of vocal art and ethical principles in teaching singing, and it promotes vocal education and research at all levels. NATS now is the largest association of teachers of singing in the world, with more than 6,500 members in the U.S., Canada and 25 other countries.

Tarleton, a member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven educational experience marked by academic innovation and exemplary service, and dedicated to transforming students into tomorrow’s professional leaders. With campuses in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and online, Tarleton engages with its communities to provide real-world learning experiences and to address societal needs while maintaining its core values of integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence and service.


Contact: Kurt Mogonye
[email protected]

A founding member of The Texas A&M University System, Tarleton is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 15,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, A&M RELLIS at Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity, and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.