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UST Vocalists Shone Brightly as Finalists in GHNATS Regional Competition

Priscilla Salisbury and Adam KramerThe University of St. Thomas-Houston hosted the Greater Houston National Association of Teachers of Singing (GHNATS) regional competition on March 19, 2022. The popular event brought talented collegiate and high school singers from all over the region to campus and Cullen Hall. Competing collegiate singers represented UST, Sam Houston State University, Texas Southern University, Houston Baptist University, Lamar University, A&M Commerce, Houston Community College, San Jacinto Community College and all area community colleges. Serving as guest judges for the final rounds were professors from Texas A&M, Texas Christian University and Baylor University.

UST Standouts in the Competition

From St. Thomas, singing finalists were Priscilla Salisbury and Adam Kramer.

Salisbury is a gifted soprano and graduating MSM student who took first place for the second consecutive year in the graduate advanced division of GHNATS.

Kramer is a highly talented freshman baritone who took third in his division, singing. Kramer also was a finalist in the Fall Texoma NATS division—one of the largest regions in the country.

In addition, Alan Saldaña Silva was a semifinalist in the graduate men’s division, and Jessica Thrift, a UST junior music major, competed.

UST Associate Professor and Chair of Music, Dr. Brady Knapp, said, “I am very proud of these amazingly gifted UST voice major students. It is a continuous blessing to work with them all weekly one-on-one in the voice studio. They are gifted singers, remarkable musicians, and interesting and caring people. They have represented our entire campus with excellence. And they are the inspiring hope of the future of the classical singing culture.”

Salisbury reflected on what UST’s Music Program has meant to her. “My experience at UST has been exceptional,” she said. “I owe much of my success to Dr. Knapp. He is an outstanding professor who has helped me grow vocally, artistically and professionally. His encouragement and confidence in my musicianship skills motivates me to sing to the best of my abilities. I couldn't be in a better music program than UST.”

Fantastic Accompaniment

Dr. Knapp also highlighted the fantastic piano accompaniment of Jasmine Hatem, UST adjunct professor of piano, coordinator keyboard and director of the University’s music preparatory program.

“Professor Jasmine Hatem from our UST piano faculty was invited to play the finals and was exemplary as always! She was an extraordinary colleague to many supporting singers all day, and she played a master class for three semifinalists in the afternoon.”

More Singing Events

Upcoming opportunities to enjoy the marvelous voices from UST are:

·      April 2, at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., at UST’s Cullen Hall (free) — “Stephen Sondheim Review.” Delight in scenes from musicals.

·      April 26, 7:30 p.m., at St. Anne Catholic Community, 2140 Westheimer Rd. — Eastertide Service of Lessons & Carols with the UST University Singers