Outstanding performances earn Saint Martin’s singers recognition in vocal competition

March 28, 2011

LACEY, WASHINGTON — Saint Martin’s University vocalists brought home several awards from a competition for the Tahoma District Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) earlier this month. Twelve Saint Martin’s singers participated in the March 15 event, showcasing their talent for three judges. The students competed against performers from other higher education institutions, including the University of Puget Sound, Pacific Lutheran University and Highline Community College.

Among the winners was Saint Martin’s student Geoffrey LaForce, who placed first in the category of Classical: College II Men. LaForce led a sweep of the category, with Saint Martin’s men winning every award from first place to second honorable mention. LaForce also won first place, and Emily Parnham second place, in the category of Musical Theatre: College. January Sanchez won first place for Musical Theatre: Adult.

“I am very proud of all our students,” says Darrell Born, chair of Saint Martin’s Department of Music and director of the University’s Chorale. “They worked very hard to prepare, perfecting three vocal pieces of differing styles and languages. From those three, they were asked to sing two. This intense preparation showed, both in the results and through the written feedback from the judges. Our students consistently do well in this competition, year after year. This year was no exception.”

Below is a complete list of Saint Martin’s singers who won or placed in the NATS competition:

Saint Martin’s Student Category Award Level
Geoffrey LaForce Classical: College II Men First Place
Ryan Craig Classical: College II Men Second Place
Chris Poulakidas Classical: College II Men First Honorable Mention
Charles Fontilles Classical: College II Men Second Honorable Mention
Geoffrey LaForce Musical Theatre: College First Place
Emily Parnham Musical Theatre: College Second Place
January Sanchez Musical Theatre: Adult First Place


NATS is dedicated to encouraging the highest standards of singing through excellence in teaching and the promotion of vocal education and research. Today NATS boasts more than 6,500 members in the United States, Canada and more than 25 other countries around the world, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom, and the number of countries represented is growing every year. For more information about Tahoma District Chapter of NATS, visit their website at tahomanats.org.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Everett College, Centralia College, and Tacoma Community College.

For further information:

Jennifer Fellinger
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Saint Martin’s University