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School of Music voice student places at national competition

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Karen Colchado Davila, a senior music education major at Texas A&M-Kingsville from Corpus Christi, placed in the finals round of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) national competition.

Davila tied for second place in the finals round of the Graduate/Advanced Category of American Negro Spirituals at the virtual NATS student auditions.

The competition featured more than 1,100 singers who were eligible to enter from the regional rounds submitted auditions for the National Preliminaries in 18 different categories. Only 54 singers in North America made it to the final rounds in those 18 individual categories.

How did you prepare for this competition?

Davila: First, practice is key. I spent hours of practicing, memorizing, and connecting with the text of the music. Since this year the competition was virtual, I probably took a total of 6-8 hours of recording my pieces. I would say the recording process was definitely the most tiring and challenging part of this competition. As a performer, you want everything to be perfect, from the notes to the smallest detail and expression, but we all know that there is no such thing as perfection. To be able to transmit the feeling of these pieces, was my goal. When you’re recording, there’s always something that might go wrong and you want to re-record. Maybe I accidentally sang the wrong note, forgot my words, or came in at the wrong time, all these mistakes would cause me to re-record my pieces. It was definitely tiring on the mind and voice, but in the end, all the effort and dedication paid off.

What does placing at this competition mean to you?

Davila: All my life I struggled with my self-esteem when it came to my voice. I was (and still am) my worst critic, but placing in this competition made me realize that I should trust myself and those around me when they tell me that when I put in the time and dedication, I can go far, that I am good enough. It feels good to acknowledge what I am capable of and it pushes me to continue towards my goals/dreams.


What are your long-term goals?

Davila: What I truly dream of is graduating with my doctorate in music and teaching at a collegiate level alongside my husband, who also attends TAMUK School of Music.  I also would like to perform at local opera houses and be a part of big and small productions alike!


How has your time at TAMUK prepared you to reach your goals?

Davila: When I first entered TAMUK I didn’t know the potential I had as a vocalist. Dr. Brou, my voice professor, has been with me the entire journey here at TAMUK and has helped me grow into the voice I have today. If it wasn’t for her dedication and guidance, I don’t think I could have unlocked my potential. Reflecting through the years I have been here, there has not been one professor that has not pushed me and encouraged me to do my best. I believe TAMUK has helped me grow and become more confident in my future!

Category: General Univ , Arts/Sciences

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