UWSP College of Fine Arts and Communication students honored

Metro Wire Staff

Several students from the College of Fine Arts and Communication have been recognized for their achievement in theater design and vocal music.

Hannah Clark, West Bend, a May graduate in drama, was awarded the 2020 Melvin R. Laird Exceptional Artist Award from the college. The award will fund a project to meld theater history and modern theater design through the creation of multiple staging interpretations of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”

The project will be shared online to serve as an educational resource for students of theater design. Clark will attend Northwestern University in the fall to pursue a master’s degree in stage design.

Two jazz vocalists were selected as part of the 43rd Annual Downbeat Student Music Awards—an international competition is the largest and most prestigious in the jazz world, with thousands of submissions each year. Both students studied with Associate Professor Timothy Buchholz, director of vocal jazz ensembles at UW-Stevens Point and UW-Stevens Point at Wausau.

Recognized were:

  • Faith Hatch, senior, Lodi, jazz studies – Vocal Jazz Soloist Undergraduate College winner
  • Lexie Lakmann, senior, Onalaska, choral education, and jazz studies – Vocal Jazz Soloist Undergraduate College Outstanding Performance

Six students competed online as part of the North Central Regional National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) auditions in March. Students from North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan submitted performance videos that were evaluated by a panel of judges.

Three of the students further qualified for the semi-final round and will compete again in the NATS Virtual National Conference in June. They study with Professor Susan Bender and Associate Professor Matthew Markham, who are both active in the Wisconsin chapter of NATS.

Listed with their vocal category, the students are:

  • National semi-finalist: Laura Lydia Paruzynski, May graduate, Rockford, Illinois, musical theater – Upper Musical Theatre Treble
  • National semi-finalist: Maddie Crenshaw, sophomore, Racine, musical theatre – Lower Musical Theater Treble
  • National semi-finalist: Natalie Romanick, first year, Eldridge, Iowa, voice performance – Lower Classical Treble
  • Regional finalist: Madalyn Walters, junior, Appleton, voice performance – Third-Year Classical Treble
  • Regional finalist: Kelly Nielsen, sophomore, Greenwood, piano and voice performance – Second-Year Classical Treble
  • Regional finalist: Morgan Gates, first year, Sun Prairie, voice performance – First-Year Classical Treble