DECATUR, Ill. -- The Millikin School of Music announces that alumnus Jorie Clark ’23 is a national finalist in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) 2023 National Student Auditions competition. Held annually, this competition is the premier event for the largest organization of singing teachers in the world. The National Association of Teachers of Singing celebrates the art of singing through competitions and auditions designed to showcase talented singers, performers, and composers who are rising stars. Singers compete for over $44,000 in prizes, awarded in the final rounds.
Competing in a crowded field of talent in October 2022, Clark took home 2nd Place in the Upper Level Treble Classical category of the Central Region, which qualified her to move on to the national semifinals this past April. After a stellar showing, she has advanced to the final round competition, which will be held this July in San Diego as part of the NATS’s biennial summer workshop. This year’s theme is “Shine On: Inspiring Diverse Repertoire.”
As a student at Millikin, Jorie Clark was the 2022 winner of the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra Concerto/Aria Competition and won the prestigious Hollis Prize in 2019, accompanied by Mary Beth Sederburg. The Hollis Prize was first awarded in 2003 and is unique among undergraduate music competitions for its recital performance format and rigorous audition process. Students compete in a semi-final round for the chance to perform in front of a live audience during the final event. In addition to creating a forum where students can hone their skills, the Hollis Prize competition acclimates students to the competition structure they will encounter in other professional arenas like the NATS Auditions.
Clark’s voice professor at Millikin, Amy Fuller, is thrilled and not a bit surprised by the news:
“Jorie's upcoming participation as a finalist is a thrilling reward and a great honor reflective of all her hard work, devotion, preparation, and studies at Millikin. Her stunning soprano voice, artistry and musicianship have been aptly displayed since the beginning of this involved competition.”
Clark graduated from Millikin in May with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and an already impressive resume of performance experience. In addition to winning the Hollis Prize, Clark played leading and supporting roles in Millikin’s productions of “Suor Angelica,” Cosi Fan Tutte,” “Trial by Jury,” “A Hand of Bridge,” “The Magic Flute,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Nina: La Storia Nicosta,” and “From Berlin to Broadway.” Additionally, she performed with Millikin Women, the University Choir, and Millikin’s student-led Baroque Ensemble, Camerata, in the Five Cities Baroque Festival concert series. In 2018, she made her debut with the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival in Mark Adamo’s “Little Women,” where she covered the role of Beth and sang in the female quartet under the direction of Carleen Graham (Houston Grand Opera). In 2019, she played Jenny in Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” at the same festival. Clark is furthering her education by pursuing her Master’s in Voice Performance at DePaul University School of Music.
Ensuring students like Clark graduate with a full resume of performance experience is at the heart of Millikin’s core learning philosophy of “Performance Learning.” Students in the School of Music are expected to perform in a range of recital and concert opportunities while completing their studies. This practice acclimates students to life as professional musicians while creating a strong foundation for future success. School of Music Director Brian Justison, had this to say about Clark’s experience at the school:
“Jorie has been a standout since arriving at Millikin. Her artistry and work ethic combined with an extraordinary vocal instrument to yield one laudable performance after another.”
The School of Music is rooting for Clark’s success in July and beyond.
To learn more about the National Association of Teachers of Singing and its various competitions, visit nats.org.
To find out more about Performance Learning at Millikin University, visit millikin.edu/academics/performance-learning.