Two Trumbull residents qualify for national singing competition

Two Trumbull students are among ten Western Connecticut State University music undergraduates and one WCSU music alumna who have qualified for a national singing competition this year, placing them among the most gifted young voice students across the United States.

WCSU participants swept three first-place, three second-place and five third-place honors in the recent New England regional round of the 2015 National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) student competition. Their placement among the top three singers in their regional divisions has qualified them to compete in the NATS national online screening round, where video submissions of their performances will be reviewed by a panel of judges to select 14 singers nationwide in each category to advance to the national semifinals. The NATS semifinal and final rounds will be held in July during the NATS summer workshop at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Benjamin McCormack and Daniel Satter, both of Trumbull, were among those who placed in the top three of their divisions in the regional competition.

“The National Association of Teachers of Singing is the largest professional organization for singing teachers in the United States,” WCSU Professor of Music Dr. Margaret Astrup remarked. “For our students to occupy most of the winning places for the entire New England region is quite remarkable!”

WCSU students who won first-place honors in their categories included junior mezzo-soprano Kassiani Kontothanasis, of Meriden, in the Upper College Women's division; junior tenor Charles Widmer, of Oxford, tied for first in the Upper College Men’s division; and sophomore soprano Arianna Carlo, of Brookfield, in the Lower College Women's division.

Other Western students who placed in the top three of their divisions included:

• Graduate/Advanced Women division: WCSU 2010 alumna and mezzo-soprano Karolina Wojteczko, of Derby, third place.

• Upper College Men's division: junior tenor Benjamin McCormack of Trumbull, second place; junior baritone Steve Valenzuela, of Waterbury, third place.

• Lower College Women's division: sophomore mezzo-soprano Nicole Salamon, of Greenwich, second place; sophomore soprano Sophia Cannavo, of Winsted, and sophomore mezzo-soprano Kaitlyn Carruthers, of Fairfield, tied for third place.

• Lower College Men's division: freshman baritone Matthew Feinberg, of Cheshire, second place; freshman baritone Daniel Satter, of Trumbull, third place.