CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Nov. 13, 2009 – Students from the Department of Music at Southeast Missouri State University participated in two competitions last weekend and brought home several awards.Instrumentalists from Southeast traveled to Warrensburg, Mo., Nov. 5-8, to participate in the annual Missouri Music Teacher’s Association (MMTA) Conference and Auditions. Southeast competed against the best students from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Missouri State University, the University of Central Missouri, Missouri Southern University, Evangel University, Webster University and other colleges from across the state. The top performers from each division were selected as the winner, runner-up or honorable mention. Two students earned top ratings: Ken DeArman of Dexter, Mo., trombone, was named winner of the Collegiate Upper Division Brass category, and Jarred Harris of Cape Girardeau, double bass, received honorable mention in the Collegiate Upper Division Strings category. DeArman is a student of Robert Conger, associate professor of music, and Harris is a student of Sara Edgerton, professor of music. Also participating in the competition were Dan Allinder of Eureka, Mo., double bass; Kristen Foster of Jefferson City, Mo., cello; Matt Gates of Dexter, Mo., trombone; Angie Iacampo of Blytheville, Ark., cello; Christopher Skyles of Ballwin, Mo., cello; and Jennifer Samuels of Ballwin, Mo., cello.The same weekend, the vocal faculty and students from the Department of Music traveled to Rock Island, Ill., to participate in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Central Region Student Auditions. More than 400 of the best vocalists from Iowa, Illinois and Missouri competed. The event was held on the campus of Augustana College.The NATS Student Auditions are a three-round event in which all students perform three or four art songs and arias for a panel of three judges in the first round and receive written comments. Two-thirds of the vocalists advance to a semi-final round the next day. Only three vocalists from each division are selected to participate in the final round in which first, second, and third places are awarded. Jacob Alexander of Birch Tree, Mo., student of Department of Music Chair Christopher Goeke, won second place in the Junior Men’s division. Laura Pace of Manchester, Mo., student of Leslie Jones, associate professor of music, advanced to the semi-final round. Alexander and Pace were selected to perform in a master class with Beth Ray Westlund, master teacher, before other students and teachers in the region. Tim DePriest served as accompanist for the Southeast students for all performances. Southeast faculty participating in the conference were Timothy Schmidt, assistant professor of music, Jones and Goeke.