Dane Feenstra, a Monmouth College senior from Pittsfield, was one of two finalists in his category at the Illinois division of the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition, held earlier this month at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais.
“Dane is a very talented singer and an excellent, intelligent musician,” said his voice instructor, assistant professor of music Tim Pahel. “He has worked very hard, which certainly paid off this year at the NATS competition. All of us in the music department are proud of him and excited about his accomplishment.”
Pahel explained that the competition involved singers from all colleges and universities in Illinois, making it “quite competitive.”
In all, more than 200 students participated, with Feenstra competing in the “Junior Men” category. Judges can designate up to three performers as finalists, and Feenstra was chosen along with a student from Moody Bible Institute.
Neal Woodruff, professor of music at Olivet Nazarene and the NATS state governor, said there is no advancement from the state competition for undergraduates, but added, “Since NATs is the standard organization for teachers of singing, the (finalist) recognition has great value for students pursuing professional auditions or graduate school.”
The National Association of Teachers and Singing was founded in 1944 and is now the largest association of teachers of singing in the world. Its mission is to encourage the highest standards of the vocal art and of ethical principles in the teaching of singing. It also seeks to promote vocal education at all levels, both for the enrichment of the general public and for the professional advancement of the talented.