Several students from the BYU–Hawaii Music Program placed in a regional competition through the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Dallin McKinney, Brandon Sorilla, Ralph Mallapre, and Aimee Johnson all placed in the competition and study voice privately with Dr. Melissa Glenn. Two singers are advancing to nationals: Mia Malit, who studies with Dr. Melissa Glenn, and Julia Hernandez, who studies with Dr. Erica Glenn.
It was their first time competing on this level for many of these students. However, Melissa Glenn, one of the vocal instructors on campus, encouraged them to enter and helped prepare them to perform. Starting with low expectations of their outcome, these students knew the value of getting feedback and desired to grow and learn from the opportunity.
Julia Hernandez, majoring in psychology, started vocal training last fall. She looked at this competition as a way to improve her vocal techniques. Little did she know she would not only place but move forward onto nationals. Another, Dallin McKinney, majoring in interdisciplinary music and theatre, felt like an underdog with his background in contemporary music, aka pop. McKinney was thrilled to have placed after performing two of his original songs. Commenting, "so much satisfaction and validation" came through this experience.
These students walked away with invaluable experiences and helpful critiques. Some felt the judge's comments validated their singing and performing. In contrast, others further realized that the music industry is very competitive and that learning to receive feedback and move forward with it is crucial to your success. Ralph Mallapre, a student, majoring in vocal performance, commented that "as a performer, being ready and giving it your all even if it's through a virtual event is important. There's still a connection you need to make to your audience. Practice to improve and love what you do."
We are proud of these students for sharing their unique gifts and talents with us and the world. Congratulations to Dallin McKinney, Brandon Sorilla, Ralph Mallapre, Aimee Johnson, Mia Malit, and Julia Hernandez.