SFA vocal students received honors at a regional competition that included over 500 students from Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Pictured, seated, from left are Joseph Dennis, Joshua Dennis and Patrick Taylor Russell. Standing, from left, are Cairee Mayfield, Elise Baldwin and Stephen Hanna.

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Stephen F. Austin State University vocal students received several of the top honors at the recent Texoma regional conference of the National Association of Teachers of Singing held in Denton.

Tenor Joshua Dennis, of McKinney, received first place in the Edward Baird Singer of the Year Competition, a contest that recognizes singers whose artistry qualifies them for entry into professional careers.

His brother, Joseph, received first place in the graduate men's division and the Grady Harlan Award, a certificate given to the most promising professional voice selected from the first place winners in the senior and graduate divisions.

Patrick Taylor Russell, a baritone from Edinburg, received second place in the graduate men's division. Russell and the Dennis brothers are students of Bruce Fowler, assistant professor of voice.

Jacksonville bass Stephen Hanna placed first in the junior men's division. He studies with Dr. Scott LaGraff, associate professor of voice.

Cairee Mayfield, a baritone from Houston, received Honorable Mention in the sophomore men's division, and Spring soprano Elise Baldwin received second place in the freshman women's division. Both are students of Nita Hudson, SFA vocal instructor.

"Every year our students go head-to-head with those from UNT, OU, SMU, Baylor, and other large programs in the region, and every year they fare extremely well," said LaGraff. "The voice faculty couldn't be more proud of their accomplishments."