Vocal coach Beth Preston (left), with LA sophomore Caleb Wight, Great Salt Bay eighth grader Ava Nery, LA senior Kayleigh Tolley, and LA senior Jonah Daiute (photo courtesy of Kim Tolley).

Four students from the Voice Studio of Beth Preston traveled to Bates College to compete in the Maine NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Classical Competition. Lincoln Academy students included Jonah Daiute, Kayleigh Tolley and Caleb Wight. Also competing from Great Salt Bay School was Ava Nery. All the singers performed in the morning preliminaries in front of a panel of three judges. Accompanied by the incomparable, Sean Fleming, each student was required to sing three classical pieces, art songs or arias, with at least one of them in English. Ava performed in Division I (7th and 8th grade students), Caleb performed in Division II (9th and 10th graders) and Jonah and Kayleigh performed in Division III (11th and 12th grade students), the most competitive field of singers. They were judged on tone production, breathing, articulation, musicality, style, interpretation, diction, artistry, and full characterization of the lyrics. After the preliminary round, three singers with the top scores advanced to the finals. Kayleigh Tolley won 2nd place in her division.

Voice teacher, Beth Preston, directs the Lincolnaires Chamber Choir at Lincoln Academy and teaches privately from her home studio, coaching award-winning singers in both musical theater and classical technique. She is the director of Tapestry Singers, a community choir in Newcastle, ME and has provided the vocal coaching for most of Heartwood Regional Theater Company’s musicals. This will be her last year teaching at Lincoln Academy. “After 24 years at L.A. (for a total of 37 years in the public schools) I’m ready to work independently,” said Preston. “I will continue to teach privately, direct Tapestry Singers, and start a children’s choir.” For more information on summer lessons or the children’s choir that will start in the fall, email bethpreston1955@gmail.com