Southeast Music Students Earn Awards at Annual MMTA/MNTA and NATS Competitions


Students from the Department of Music at Southeast Missouri State University recently participated in the annual Missouri Music Teachers Association (MMTA) and Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Conference and Auditions and earned several awards.

Instrumentalists from 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.

“The students represented the University extremely well, and we’re very proud of their accomplishments,” said Dr. Kevin Hampton, chair of Southeast’s Department of Music.

The awards presented to Southeast students and the category in which they placed are:

  • Woodwinds, undergraduate, lower division (freshmen and sophomores) category
    • Winner: Jenny Hunt of Island Lake, Illinois, clarinet, and student of Dr. Gabrielle Baffoni, instructor of clarinet and saxophone
  • Woodwinds, undergraduate, upper division (juniors and seniors) category
    • Winner: Dereck Morrison of Whitewater, Missouri, saxophone, and student of Baffoni
  • Brass, undergraduate, upper division (juniors and seniors) category
    • Honorable Mention: Andrew Davis of Nashville, Ilinois, trombone, and student of Dr. Robert Conger, professor of music
  • Brass, undergraduate, lower division (freshmen and sophomores) category
    • Honorable Mention: Kyle Shewcraft of De Soto, Missouri, trombone, and student of Conger
  • Chamber Music (Young Artist Division) category
    • Alternate (second place): Southeast Trombone Quartet with Eric “Matthew” Flanagan of Cape Girardeau; Andrew Davis of Nahsville, Illinois; Kyle Shewcraft, of De Soto, Missouri; and Trey Moss of Jackson, Missouri; students of Conger
  • Brass (Young Artist Division) category
    • Alternate (second place): Eric “Matthew” Flanagan, of Cape Girardeau, trombone, and student of Conger
    • Honorable Mention: Trey Moss, of Jackson, Missouri, trombone, and student of Conger

Seven Southeast vocal students participated in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Central Region Student Auditions and Conference. More than 400 of the best vocalists from Iowa, Illinois and Missouri competed.

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.

Demi Avery of Sappington, Missouri; Jeremy Bates of Pacific, Missouri; Zaria Christopher of Cape Girardeau; Brittany Moleski of St. Louis, Missouri; Jadie Soverink of Jackson, Missouri; Bailey Schnurbusch of Cape Girardeau; and Kendall Staggs of Jackson, Tennessee, participated in the first round of auditions.

Moleski, student of Lori Shaffer, instructor of voice, and Stoverink, student of Dr. Leslie Jones, associate professor of music, advanced to the semi-final round.

Southeast faculty participating in the NATS Conference were Dr. Christopher Goeke, professor of music; Jones; Dr. Timothy Schmidt, assistant professor of music; and Shaffer.