Sharing local talent – Group headed to California for vocal competition

Teacher Emily Lowrey, left, and students Sienna Smith, Cassie Marsischky, Stran Beeler, Chrissy Jessop, Rachel Krueger and Tessa Carff prepare to head to Hayward, California, for a competition Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 18-19. The group is performing in the NATS Cal-Western Region singing competition.

A group of youth singers from Sevier County is heading to California for a regional singing competition, but first they are planning on giving a preview of their talents to the local community.

Monroe vocal instructor Emily Lowrey is preparing to take six of her students to participate in the NATS Cal-Western Region singing competition in Hayward, California, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 18-19.

“For this competition I invited the students I felt like would have the ability and work ethic,” Lowrey said. Lowrey has been teaching vocal performance for several years and runs a private studio. She’s also helped with the vocal coaching for Richfield High School’s musical for the past two years.

“I want these kids to know how talented they are,” Lowrey said. One of the participants, Rachel Krueger, has already won a vocal contest at NATS Central Utah Chapter competition at Brigham Young University Nov. 23. She competed in the classical and musical theater categories, winning first place in the Upper High School Classical Treble Division.

Others who are participating in the competition include Sienna Smith, Cassie Marsischky, Stran Beeler, Chrissy Jessop and Tessa Carff.

“This is a something they can put on their resumes and help with scholarship opportunities in the future,” Lowrey said.

The contest requires students to take private lessons, learn music, rehearse and prepare to perform in front of a panel of judges. 

“It’s almost like American Idol, but in an educational setting,” Lowrey said. 

Of the six students going, three are competing in two divisions. 

“It’s a lot of work,” Lowrey said. 

The Cal-Western Region includes Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah. The competitions allow students to receive written feedback and compete for cash prizes.

Regional winners will be eligible to advance to the national competition, which will be held in Knoxville, Tennessee, in June. 

The group is hosting a recital of the students’ competition pieces, which includes genres ranging from jazz to opera. 

The recital is slated for 7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 13, at the Annabella Community Center, 295 East 300 North in Annabella. 

Donations to help with trip costs will be welcome at the recital. 

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