best singer/artist award winners

Georgetown’s three first place winners in the recent National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) State Competition: Chuck Harris, foreground, Elizabeth Levay, and Ryland Pope. Ryland also won Best Singer/Artist Overall.

Georgetown College has some of the best singers in the state you’ve probably never heard – yet.

The 11 Georgetown singing students who practically brought the house down at Murray State University last weekend in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) State Competition plan to entertain the community and campus a number of times over the course of the school year. First up: 9 p.m., Tuesday (Oct. 28) in the College’s John L. Hill Chapel with the inaugural SNATS Parody Concert. The admission of $2 will go towards music scholarships and future funding of travel to such competitions.

“We hope that the audience will come well-rested because we intend to wear them out with laughter!” said Heather Hunnicutt, their coach and Coordinator of Vocal Studies. “The entire goal of this hour-long concert is fun – for the audience and the performers. You’ll hear high-quality performances from any and all genres and styles…but they must have comedic flair! We’ll show we are serious about music but don’t always take music too seriously.”

Sophomore Chuck Harris, one of three to take first place in a state NATS category (Underclass Musical Theatre), will sing his prize-winning “I’m Not Smart.” “It’s a hilarious number that will have you laughing from the start,” said Harris, who’s smart enough to be tabbed as the concert emcee. “I’m proud to be attending the best music college in Kentucky,” said the ’06 Scott County graduate who had major roles in the high school’s productions of Guys and Dolls and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

The other NATS winners are Elizabeth Levay of Maysville, who will reprise her (Freshmen Classical) “My Dear Marquis,” a maid’s reaction to being caught playing above her rank; and Ryland Pope, a senior from Harlan who also took Best Singer/Artist Overall.  Coach Hunnicutt deemed his Senior Classical winning number too serious for this show, so Ryland will combine with Georgetown native Daniel Ng on “Agony” as the two Prince Charmings from Into the Woods.


These two talents hail from Stamping Ground in Scott County: Sarah Smith, the runner-up at NATS in Sophomore Classical, and Michael Cannon, a semifinalist in both Sophomore Classical and Underclass Musical Theatre.

The repertoire requirements for Ryland at the two-day state competition were no walk in the park, or woods – four pieces for upperclassmen with a mix of foreign language and English pieces, operatic arias and art songs or musical theatre numbers from different time periods.

At NATS, Ryland competed with pieces in English, Italian, Spanish and French. For the Finals, he sang “Se vuol ballare” from “Le nozze di Figaro” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – a piece that he first sang in the Georgetown College Opera and Musical Theatre Workshop in spring 2007. Growing up he sang in the renowned Harlan Boys Choir. Georgetown community patrons may have seen him in College Maskrafters productions of “She Loves Me” and “Pirates of Penzance.”

Other featured performances at Tuesday’s Parody Concert include Dr. Sonny Burnette and Dr. Mami Hayashida on a new composition by the department’s chairman (Burnette); a performance by Hunnicutt and Ng in Victor Borge comedic style; and NATS runner-up (Sophomore Classical) Sarah Smith of Stamping Ground doing “Getting Married Today” from Company.

You’ll hear the rest of the state NATS semifinalists perform as well: Cara Hazzard, a junior from Buckner (Oldham County), singing “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair” from South Pacific; Bowling Green junior Cate Kilgore singing “Diva’s Lament” from Spamalot; Rae Dunn, a freshman from LaGrange, KY, singing “Green Dog”; and Scott County native Michael Cannon singing “Dentist” from Little Shop of Horrors. Cannon, a sophomore from Stamping Ground, reached the NATS semis in both Underclass Musical Theatre and Sophomore Classical categories.

All of the aforementioned students can be heard again this spring at the GC Opera & Musical Theatre Workshop Performance on April 9. Ryland Pope, Michael Cannon, Chuck Harris, Cate Kilgore, Sarah Smith and Daniel Ng are all part of the College’s first-ever opera, “The Secret Marriage,” at 7 p.m., Dec. 4-5 in Hill Chapel.