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COLUMBUS, Miss.-- Shakia Butler, freshmen music education major at Mississippi University for Women, was recently awarded second place, in The Musical Theatre Division, at the 45th National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Southern Region Conference and Competition.

 “Winning second place at the competition meant so much to me. I feel like I am one step closer at being and becoming better at my craft,” said Butler.

The conference was held virtually Nov. 13- 14. Voice teachers from Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana adjudicated the competition, in advance of the conference, by watching and scoring videos submitted by the students via YouTube. The competition had three rounds - preliminary, semifinalist and finalist.

Students and teachers were able to attend conference events via zoom and watch a final concert which featured the prerecorded videos from the winners of the competition.
Butler chose, and prepared, her songs for the competition with her voice professor, Elizabeth Jones, visiting instructor of music at The W.

“I will definitely say that the virtual experience was unique and very different. Although I wasn’t there physically, I am able to say that I still felt those same emotions of excitement and anticipation that comes with competing. It was a fabulous and exciting learning experience, and I am so grateful to God that I had the opportunity to participate,” said Butler.

Founded in 1944, NATS is the largest professional association of teachers of singing in the world.

Nov. 24, 2020
Contact: Tyler Wheat
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