Press release

Local voice teacher and students go two for three

Thu, 05/05/2022 - 8:00am

Voice teacher and coach Betsey de Groff of Boothbay is please to announce that two of her students finished in the top three of the Avocational Age Group (age 33+) in the statewide National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Maine Chapter’s Classical Singing Competition. Those students are Karol Clark of Sheepscot and William "Skip" Simonds of Boothbay. This was Ms. Clark’s second competition and Mr. Simonds’ first. There are multiple age groupings and the two were in the oldest tier competing against the widest range of ages of others throughout the state.

"I couldn’t be more proud of these students. They spent many hours studying, practicing, working on technique, and polishing performance skills," said Ms. de Groff. "I knew they did a great job when they sang for the competition and it didn’t really matter to me whether they placed or not. They did the very best they could. It is just wonderful that a panel of professional judges recognized the quality of their singing and moved them on to the final stage."

The final stage is another round of judging to determine the final order of finish for the three finalists. It is due to take place before the end of May. This year’s competition, as last year’s, was virtual. Each competitor had to submit three songs, classical in nature, and at least one in a language not the singer’s native language. The performance was videoed and uploaded to You Tube for access by the judges for judging. Mr. Sean Fleming, one of Maine’s most well known and accomplished pianist/accompanist, accompanied both singers.

"It was just a perfect combination of factors," said de Groff. "My students sang their best, they picked the right songs, and they had a great accompanist. It all worked together and the results are fabulous!"