(WAFB) - Andre Chiang has a voice that can raise goosebumps in an audience.
He took away first place in the 45th National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) artist awards competition in New York City on January 5. Chiang was awarded a substantial cash prize, as well as a scholarship to attend the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria. The prize is a plum for the LSU voice studio of Dennis Jesse, Chiang's supervising teacher during his graduate work.
Chiang, a native of Mobile, AL, might've been perfectly fine with a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He was performing often, but said something was missing.
"When I decided to pursue a DMA after freelance singing for eight years, I knew that I needed to find a school and a teacher that would help me continue developing as a singing actor and help expand my teaching acumen," Chiang said. "What I have gotten so far from the faculty in both the voice and opera programs [at LSU] has far exceeded my expectations and helped me realize how much further I can push the limits in my own singing, communicating to students, and the science of the voice. A program with such a rich and prestigious history to look toward and hope to emulate provides a great springboard for my development."
So, Chiang represented LSU before a tough audience at NATS. Teachers were no doubt impressed when Chiang sang an aria from the Verdi opera comedy "Falstaff." Since Chiang made himself go back to school, because inside he knew he could me more, LSU apparently will be hanging another star on its alumni doors. He'll be up there next to Lisette Oropesa, who's now been in more than 100 Metropolitan Opera productions in New York since graduating LSU.
As part of his new prize, Chiang also will be awarded several prestigious performance opportunities, including a solo debut at Carnegie Hall in a major choral work, with full orchestra and chorus, sponsored by Distinguished Concerts International New York and a featured solo performance at the upcoming NATS National Conference in Las Vegas. Remember his name!
As a cherry on top of this prize for LSU's program, LSU voice students also took part in the National Opera Association (NOA) Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition, held at the NOA Convention in New Orleans from January 3 through January 7. Students performed selected scenes in-full from Mark Adamo's "Little Women" and LSU's upcoming collegiate premiere of David T. Little's "Dog Days," earning first place awards in both age divisions of the competition. Watch for the "Dog Days" premiere performance coming soon to LSU.
"I am immensely proud of the work performed by our students and faculty within the LSU Opera program," said Todd Queen, dean of the Music and Dramatic Arts. "The continued success of our operatic works and recognition of our talented singers at national and international levels demonstrates the excellence we strive for every day at the College of Music & Dramatic Arts."