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Tenor Matt Hill Wins First Prize In 46th NATS Artist Award Competition


Tenor Matt Hill Wins First Prize In 46th NATS Artist Award Competition

A field of top young vocalists from across North America offered thrilling performances as they competed in the 46th National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Artist Awards competition on Friday, January 10, 2020. The event culminated with tenor Matt Hill from Washington, DC, winning first place, earning more than $13,000 in cash and prizes. Hill is a student of Elizabeth Daniels and represents the NATS Mid-Atlantic Region.

The NATS Artist Awards competition was held in conjunction with the NATS National Winter Workshop at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. Fourteen singers, one from each NATS region, competed in the semifinal round earlier in the day, six of whom advanced to perform in the evening final round. Soprano Hannah Pagenkopf from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, finished second and also won the Dorothy Kirsten/James Browning Award for Singer with the Most Potential. She studies with Julie Harris and represents the NATS Intermountain Region.

The remaining finalists included soprano Liliana Guerrero from Tallahassee, FL, (Southeastern Region) winning the Irma Cooper Award for third place; soprano Tamra Jones from Boston, MA, (New England Region) winning the Herald Stark Award for fourth place; soprano Serena Eduljee from Issaqua, WA, (Northwestern Region) winning the Mary Wolfman Award for fifth place; and soprano Laura Basse from Helenville, WI, (North Central Region) winning the Berton Coffin Award for sixth place. Their teachers include Marcy Stonikas (Guerrero), Bradley Williams (Jones), Kari Ragan (Eduljee), and Tanya Kruse Ruck (Basse).

Hill won a $5,000 cash prize, a New York solo debut in a major choral work with orchestra and chorus sponsored by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY); a $4,000 Scholarship to attend the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria; a $1,000 gift certificate from Hal Leonard Corporation; and a featured solo performance at the upcoming NATS National Conference in Knoxville, TN. Later this month Hill performs as a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Pagenkopf won a $4,000 in cash plus a $2,000 scholarship to attend AIMS in Graz and a $500 gift certificate from Hal Leonard Corporation. She won an additional $1,000 as winner of the Dorothy Kirsten/James Browning Award for Singer with the Most Potential.

Collaborative pianists in the final round included Mory Ortman, performing with Laura Basse and Serena Eduljee; Levi Gerke, performing with Liliana Guerrero; Edward Kim, performing with Matt Hill; Samuel Oram, performing with Tamra Jones; and Ron Bennie, performing with Hannah Pagenkopf.

Sponsors of this year's event included Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY), AIMS in Graz, the Hal Leonard Corporation, and the NATS Foundation.

About Matt Hill

Matt Hill, tenor, from Laurel, Maryland enjoys a varied career as a soloist and ensemble singer, based in Washington D.C. Recent opera credits include his debut with Washington National Opera as Older brother in Dead Man Walking, understudying the title role in Candide with Washington National Opera, Marceullus in Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet with Washington Concert Opera, Parpignol in La Bohème with Wolf Trap Opera, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with the Maryland Opera Studio and Music Academy International, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with the Maryland Opera Studio, and Damon in Acis and Galatea with New Dominion Chorale.

a??Past solo concert work includes Handel's Messiah and Israel in Egypt, Mozart's Requiem, Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil, Bach's Mass in B Minor, and The Evangelist in Bach's St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion. He was a frequent soloist with the University of Maryland Bach Cantata series. He performs regularly as a soloist and chorister with the American Bach Soloists, Washington Bach Consort, and Washington National Cathedral Choirs. Matthew is also a member of the United States Air Force Band Singing Sergeants.


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