Birch advances to national competition
Alex Birch, a Southern Wesleyan University Music major, will be advancing to the semifinals of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) national competition, placing in the top 15 in his category for the nation.
Dr. Amber James of Southern Wesleyan’s Fine Arts Division is thrilled at Birch’s achievement.
"I have fond memories of competing in NATS as a SWU student. I remember Dean Bell making it financially possible for Dr. Melanie Rowell and I to travel to Maryland for the Regional NATS competition in the spring of 2000 where I received second place in my category for the Region,” James said. “Since then, NATS has expanded their competition to include a National level. We were blessed to have three of our students advance to the National round; Alex Birch, Josh Amerson, and Zachary Wheeler. We are thrilled to announce that Alex Birch has advanced to the semi-finals of the National NATS competition. I truly feel like I've come full circle with the NATS organization and am so glad that all of our voice students have the opportunity to compete, learn, and grow through their participation."
“It is extremely exciting and an absolute honor to have the opportunity to represent Southern Wesleyan University on a national scale,” Birch said. “This is the first time I have competed in a NATS competition, and it has truly been a transformative experience. I feel as though I have grown as a performer and musician throughout this competition, and I can't thank the SWU Fine Arts Division enough for making it possible for me to compete. My voice professor, Dr. Amber James, has been phenomenal in preparing me for this competition, always pushing me to my best and helping me find my own unique sound. I am grateful to her as well as my entire SWU family for supporting me in this endeavor!"
The finalists will be announced June 21 and the final round will take place June 28. Birch is a rising senior from Six Mile.
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