(Pictured L – R: Rachal Solomon, Orianna Gutierrez, Noelia Lee Luna, Erika Vasallo, Dr. Vindhya Khare (FIU Coordinator of Vocal Studies), Scott Bracken-Tripp (Adjunct Instructor of Voice), Gabriella Villalobos, Ethan Soledad, Catherine Magarino, Adam Levine)
Eight exceptional FIU voice students from the studios of Dr. Vindhya Khare, Robert B. Dundas, and Scott Bracken-Tripp won their category for their age at the 2019 Florida Gold Coast Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Student Auditions (annual vocal competition), held at Barry University this January.
- Soprano Rachal Solomon, a first-year masters student won first place in the Adult Women Category.
- Soprano Orianna Gutierrez, a senior studying vocal performance, tied for first place in the Fourth/Fifth Year College Musical Theater Women Category.
- Soprano Noelia Luna, a first-semester freshman won first place in the First-Year College Women Category.
- Mezzo-Soprano Erika Vasallo, a first-year masters student, won first place in Lower Advanced College Women Category.
- Soprano Gabriella Villalobos is a junior studying vocal performance who won also won first place in the Fourth/Fifth Year College Women Category.
- Bass Ethan Soledad, is a first place winner in the Second Year College Men Category. He is a sophomore studying music composition at the School of Music.
- Soprano Catherine Magarino, a junior studying vocal performance, won first place in the Second Year College Women Category.
- Baritone Adam Levine a senior studying vocal performance, placed in two categories: 1st place winner in the Fourth/Fifth Year College Men Category & 2nd place winner in the Fourth/Fifth Year College Musical Theater Men Category.
Dr. Vindhya Khare, Coordinator of FIU Vocal Studies and President of the Florida Gold Coast Chapter of NATS said, “Many highly gifted singers competed from the studios of the finest voice teachers in the region. The numerous 1st place wins by FIU singers is a testament to our students’ incredible talent and discipline. It also reflects the high caliber of training they receive at the FIU School of Music.”
The Florida Gold Coast NATS vocal competition is held every year at the end of January and includes singers from universities and private studios within Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties, and also Puerto Rico.
The students are eligible to go on to compete in the NATS Southeastern regional competition in March at Florida State University College of Music and will star in FIU’s first-ever full production of a zarzuela, Doña Francisquita, on March 1 and 2.
NATS is the largest association of teachers of singing in the world with over 7,000 members.