Lamar University voice students from the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music earned numerous award placements at the annual Greater Houston Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing classical auditions on March 28, at the University of Houston.

With more than 7,000 members in the United States, Canada, and nearly 30 other countries, the National Association of Teachers of Singing is the largest professional association of teachers of singing in the world. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to encouraging the highest standards of singing through excellence in teaching and the promotion of vocal education.

“We are extremely proud of our talented students,” said Serdar Ilban, assistant professor of voice. “This year, a record amount of high school and college students competed – 375 to be exact – in various classical and musical theatre categories. LU students competed against students from some of the top-tier schools in the Houston area.”

First-place winners from Lamar University include Dorian McCall of Fresno; Tabitha Jordan, Vidor and Tayler Thibodeaux, Groves.

Second-place winners were DeVante Shay, Beaumont; Shawn Simonson, Carthage and Emaley Torbert, Orange.

Eric Gonzales, Fort Bend; Keenen Kelley, Peoria, Ill.; and Christopher Martin, Beaumont, took third place rankings.

“I am tremendously proud of our vocalists who continue to honor us with their award winning performances,” said Kurt Gilman, chair of the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music.

Music faculty members who provided voice instruction for the students were Ilban, Debra Greschner and Robin Smith.

Other schools represented in the competition were Houston Baptist University, Lone Star College – Kingwood, San Jacinto Community College, Sam Houston State University and the University of St. Thomas.

For more information about the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music, visit or call (409) 880-8144.