Dr. Heather Hawk, assistant professor of vocal performance at Tarleton State University, received fourth-place honors at this month’s 44th annual National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Artist Awards competition in Chicago.

Hawk, who also serves as vice president of the Dallas-Fort Worth Area Chapter of NATS, represented the Texoma Region as one of 14 semifinalists invited to the national competition after winning the tri-state vocal contest hosted by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in March.

The 14 national semifinalists were trimmed to a final group of six singers during the July 7 semifinal round.

An award-winning soprano, Hawk received the fourth-place Berton Coffin Award and a $2,000 prize for her outstanding performance. She was accompanied on piano by Masako Narikawa.

At the regional semifinal and finals competition, Hawk performed 14 songs and arias from various languages and time periods. Judges then selected songs from her repertoire to fill a 15-minute performance.

During the first round of competition Hawk performed: Io son l’umile ancellafrom the Italian opera Adriana Lecouvreur by Francesco Cilea, Come scoglio from the Italian opera Così fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Selige Nacht by Joseph Marx, Villanelle by Cécile Chaminade, and  Love Went a Riding by Frank Bridge.

“I practiced for at least an hour per day for about three months to prepare for the audition, and I practiced approximately three hours each day the week before competition,” said Hawk. “To memorize all 14 songs, I had to know the music backward and forward to feel comfortable.

“I’ve always wanted to compete in the NATS competition, so to be able to represent the Texoma region at the national level is such an honor,” she said.