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November 15, 2013
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

SRU voice major Jennifer Nyce wins Williamson Memorial Scholarship

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Jennifer Nyce, a vocal performance major from Schwenksville, took first-place honors in the 2013 Chad Williamson Memorial Scholarship Competition last Sunday in Swope Music Hall.

Nyce bested 22 competitors in the annual event. She presented "Una voce poco fa" from "II Barbiere di Siviglia," by Rossini, and "Heart, we will forget him," by Aaron Copland.

Karen Legato, Chad's mother, presented the award.

Kylie Reiber, a music therapy and vocal performance major from Walworth, N.Y., took second place. She received her award from Judy Hughes, who along with her husband, Jim, sponsor the award.

J. Patrick McGill, a music education and voice major from Washington, Pa., received his third-place honor from Henry Norton, SRU's first gentleman. Norton and his wife, Cheryl Norton, SRU president, sponsor the award.

Honorable mention went to Mariah Seymour, a music education major from Ebensburg, and A.J. Pagano, a music education major from Nanty Glo.

The competition, which honors the memory of the late Chad Williamson, a Slippery Rock High School graduate, who had enrolled at SRU, but was killed in a motorcycle accident, has drawn an increasing number of talented singers since its 1992 inception.

Each competitor presents a solo classical and popular piece of music.

Nicholas Perna, a tenor and assistant professor of voice and vocal pedagogy at West Virginia University, judged this year's competition. He began his career on the operatic and concert stages and now focuses on voice pedagogy, teaching and investigation of the singing voice.

"I was quite impressed with the overall high level of singing and commitment to text communication that all of these students presented this evening," Perna said in a statement to the audience following the competition. He also met privately with a number of the singers to offer specific critiques.

The competition was established by the Williamson family and friends to recognize and support talented vocalists pursuing their academic ambitions at SRU.

Williamson was the son of Karen Legato and the late Fred Williamson.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.