By Suzanne Weiss/Director of Public Relations
MANITOWOC, Wis. — Silver Lake College music student and vocalist Kevin Sievert — known to many as this summer’s "Lakeshore’s Rising Stars" winner — took home two first-place awards from the Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) student auditions held in Milwaukee earlier this month.
Sievert, a senior, was the first-place winner in the Men’s Upper College Musical Theater and the Men’s Fourth/Fifth Year College Classical divisions during the competition, which took place at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Nov. 4 and 5.
"The audience was very engaged in his performance, especially in ‘Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat’ from the musical ‘Guys and Dolls,’ which was an audience favorite. The crowd erupted after he was done singing. It was really fun to watch,” said his instructor Emily Davis, adjunct voice faculty.
She accompanied Sievert and five of her other vocal students to the event. They included freshmen Theresa Nier, Benjamin Karnitz and Noah Liermann, as well as seniors Dawn Welling and Jeffrey Erdman.
“This is the largest group of Silver Lake College students we’ve ever had attend the event. To have so many students participate shows their ambition and ability to perform several pieces at a high level early in the school year,” Davis said. “We’ve got talent. Students here are working hard and receiving a good education. It’s exciting for the school, the program, the music community, and all that we’re building here at Silver Lake College.”
While Davis has competed in the vocal auditions before, it is her first year bringing students.
“It was just incredible having a first-place winner in my first year going to NATS. I couldn’t be more excited about the outcome. I’m very proud of all of their work,” said Davis, who is in her second year of teaching at Silver Lake College.
She teaches vocal pedagogy, opera workshop and singers’ diction along with having an active private studio.
Davis received her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and her Bachelor of Arts in Music and History from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
“The success of the singers from Emily Davis’ studio at NATS is a direct reflection on her abilities and work within the voice studio. Professor Davis is dedicated to her students and has high expectations for each of them. Her training and background enable her to support the students’ technical development, and their success demonstrates her abilities as a pedagogue,” said Dr. Rachel Ware Carlton, assistant dean of the School of Liberal Arts and director of graduate music.
In addition to singing and receiving feedback from competition judges, her students attended a master class given by Karen Brunssen from Northwestern University in Chicago and had the opportunity to hear fellow students from around the state sing throughout the weekend.
“They were inspired by watching all the finalists perform,” Davis said. “Now they’re excited to learn new repertoire.”
The mission of the National Association of Teachers of Singing is “to encourage the highest standards of the vocal art and of ethical principles in the teaching of singing; and to promote vocal education and research at all levels, both for the enrichment of the general public and for the professional advancement of the talented,” according to its website.