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SE alumna Gibson places first nationally at NATS national student auditions banner

SE alumna Gibson places first nationally at NATS national student auditions

July 8, 2024

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University alumna Lauren Manon Gibson placed first in her division at the National Student Auditions at the 58th National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) recently.

Gibson, a native of Antlers who graduated with her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from Southeastern in December 2023, placed first in the prestigious national competition in the 4th/5th Year Treble category. She is a student of Dr. Jeremy Blackwood, Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of Voice at Southeastern.

“I’m so proud of Lauren for her top placement at the NATS national student auditions,” Blackwood said. “Watching her perform in such a competitive field and shine above the rest brings recognition to our fantastic music students and instructors. It was such a joy to see one of our best and brightest emerge as a national champion.” Gibson qualified for the national competition by placing first in her category at the Texoma Regional NATS Student Auditions in November 2023.

“I am deeply honored and thrilled to have placed first in my category at the 58th NATS National Student Auditions,” Gibson said after the competition. “This being my first big voice competition, I never expected to place, especially not in first. It was an illuminating experience to perform at such a prestigious level and to be recognized among so many talented performers. I was constantly amazed by the skill and dedication from every student.”

“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to attend this conference, with the support of my fantastic teacher Dr. Jeremy Blackwood and my wonderful mother. This accomplishment feels like the perfect way to wrap up my time at Southeastern Oklahoma State University as I prepare to embark on the next part of my educational journey. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me along the way!”

Gibson is continuing as a graduate student in the Master of Music in Performance degree program in the Jacobs School of Music at the University of Indiana, under the tutelage of Distinguished Professor of Voice Carol Vaness.