Madonna students get vocal at competition

By Idamarie Tedesco

Madonna University is full of some of the most talented, studious, and bright students in Michigan.

We have athletes, artists, writers, and singers.

Award-winning singers, that is: Marlena Hamton, Aaron von Allmen, and Anna Dreslinski.

These students participated in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Michigan District Adjudication held at Grand Valley State last semester.

"For the competition, I prepared three pieces; an art song, aria, and a lieder selection," said von Allmen," The piece I prepared for the master class, however, was ‘Vi ravviso’ from Bellini's opera ‘La Sonnambula’. A very challenging piece, the classic bel canto style brought out beautiful phrasing in the melody, and an energetic, dance-like rhythm in the rondo."

A Spanish and Vocal major here at Madonna, von Allmen won a spot as one of four soloists in the Master Class presentation by Deborah Baxter of Wichita University , a very well-known vocal technician.

When he's not busy singing, well, he still sings.

"I am a bass soloist with the Archdiocesan Choir of Detroit, chorister with Arbor Opera Theater, the choir here at Madonna, supernumerary with Michigan Opera Theater, and I've recently found a home with the Starlight Theater in Waterford. The list goes on!"

Each of the 140 vocalists was asked to perform three operatic/art song selections for three university instructors in their individual category.

Also participating in the competition as a classical music vocalist, Vocal Performance major Dreslinski was also a part of the Lyric Theater's production of the comedic opera "Gianni Schicchi."

"That was my first crack at opera! I loved singing it all, I don't think I have a favorite style," said Dreslinski.

The third student to compete was Hampton, who received second place in the Mature Beginners category.

The N.A.T.S. organization has been around for more than two centuries.

It has offered college vocalists the chance to compete in this prestigious event.

"It takes a great amount of study, commitment, and desire for excellence to participate in these type of competitions/adjudications," said Barbara Wiltsie, Director of Lyric Theater.

There will be a regional N.A.T.S. adjudication for students to compete in March.