National Park College Vocalist Takes Top Prize
National Park College (NPC) student Kevin Wille won first place at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) state conference last month at the University of Central Arkansas.
Wille competed in the "Younger Student Adult Women and Men," a category for students who are beginning college-level voice study. He performed "Go, Lovely Rose," by Roger Quilter.
Wille began college nine years ago as a music education major. Now, he is returning to college as a non-traditional student after years working in restaurant management. “I wasn’t really motivated at the time, but now being an adult it’s kind of like ‘hey I really want this now.’ I want to work hard for it and make it happen. I am a lot more motivated this time around,” said Wille.
He moved from Dallas last fall and first chose NPC to pursue a degree in funeral science. He joined choir and said Dr. Allen encouraged him to take private voice lessons and get back into competitive singing. Next semester, Wille plans to return to his original dream and begin working toward a music education degree.
“This is a huge affirmation that I am where I am supposed to be. I want to do something that is fun, that I love doing, that is not going to seem like work every day,” Wille added.
"Kevin is a talented and hard-working student, so I knew he would be well prepared for this competition, but until a student is tested under pressure, you never really know. It was extremely gratifying to watch Kevin prove himself with graceful performance under pressure throughout the tournament," said Choral Director, Dr. Ferris Allen.
Dr. Allen was elected president of the Arkansas NATS chapter during the conference and will serve in the post for the next for two years.
The National Park College Singers will perform a concert featuring Renaissance works of Arcadelt, Dowland, Tallis and Weelkes, as well as settings of Renaissance texts modern composers such as Gerald Finzi and John Rutter, Wednesday, May 2 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church at 7:30 p.m. The group will collaborate with the Hot Springs Music Festival to host a December production of Handel’s Messiah.