Johnson placing first highlights GKSOM success at NATS National Student Auditions

Kathleen Johnson
Kathleen Johnson

Johnson placing first highlights GKSOM success at NATS National Student Auditions

calendar icon25 Jul 2017    

Recent University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Glenn Korff School of Music graduate Kathleen (Kate) Johnson won the Upper College (Junior and Seniors) Women’s Classical Vocal category at the NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) 2017 National Student Auditions (NSA) in Boulder, Colorado on Friday. Johnson was a student of Kate Butler at Nebraska. 

Current student Tyler Cox was the third-place winner in the Lower College (Freshmen and Sophomore) Men’s Musical Theatre category. Cox is a student of Alisa Belflower.

Johnson, who was born and raised in Omaha, sang and was awarded first place in the NATS West Central Regional Auditions, which made her eligible to enter into the YouTube round that's preliminary to semifinals.

“This past Friday in Boulder, I sang in the semifinal and final rounds and was honored to be awarded 1st place in the Upper College/Independent Studio Women category of NATS's 2017 National Student Auditions.”

Johnson has decided to take a gap year between graduating with her Bachelor of Music degree and the beginning of graduate studies to explore graduate programs.

“I’ll be investing my energy in that undertaking, along with important national competitions coming up, while based in Omaha for the year. I’m looking forward to performing at the Centennial Gala of the Alliance Française d’Omaha this September.

“I also hope to have other opportunities to perform locally. I’m thrilled to continue my private studies in voice with Kate Butler and am interested in taking dance and French language classes in addition.”

Butler said, “Kate Johnson is a remarkable young singing artist. She performs with extreme musical intelligence, refined artistry, and superb instincts.  She works with exceptional diligence, perseverance, and professionalism, and holds music and poetry in very high regard.  

“She has developed a solid, reliable, healthy vocal technique which supports her authentic expression and musical phrasing.  She shares her joy in music-making as she sings with an openhearted, generous spirit.  Kate is able to be sensitive and vulnerable, yet rock solid at the same time.  Her soprano voice is not only beautiful and appealing, but Kate has a unique sound, as do the great vocal artists.  It has been pure joy to be her teacher and mentor.”

Winners were selected in 14 categories, along with second-place, third-place and honorable mention finishers, resulting in more than $35,000 in prizes being awarded. This year, NATS regions, chapters, individual members, and associate members donated more than $12,000 to the NSA Award Fund. This marked National Association of Teachers of Singing’s fourth year for national semifinal and final rounds. As a result, more than $100,000 in prizes have been awarded to students of NATS teachers.

“Our University of Nebraska-Lincoln students performed beautifully in their six national semifinal auditions,” Belflower said. “Nebraska has every reason to be proud of how beautifully these students performed as well as their professional decorum.”