Two WCU student vocalists rank high at regional contest

Western Carolina University student vocalists Mitchell Hutchings of Charlotte and Heather Hallmark of Burlington recently earned high marks while competing against the best college singers in the region.

Hutchings scored a third-place finish in the “junior men” category and Hallmark placed third in the “continuing education” category at the regional competition of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, held at Meredith College in Raleigh in April. The WCU students were competing against student vocalists from the two Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Hutchings and Hallmark qualified for the regional competition, along with another WCU student, Dan Rohrig of Vanceboro, by virtue of their high placement in a statewide NATS contest.

Hutchings is a junior majoring in vocal performance under the direction of music department professor Robert Holquist. Hutchings played a major role in the university’s recent production of “ Oklahoma !” and has been involved in many university performances both on- and off-campus.

Hallmark, a sophomore music major, is a dean’s list student at Western and was the winning vocalist at WCU’s 2006 Concerto Competition. She is a student of Mary Kay Bauer, associate professor in the music department.

Hutchings also participated in the Heafner/Williams Vocal Competition, which is open to all college students and residents between the ages of 17 and 40 who live in the 37 counties west of Charlotte. Hutchings won third place in the contest held in Lincolnton in April, receiving a plaque and scholarship to support his studies.

For more information about WCU ‘s department of music, call (828) 227-7242.