Lauren Carr Wins 2020 NATS National Musical Theater Competition


Lauren Carr placed first in the 2020 NATS National Musical Theater Competition on Saturday night January 11 at the Roosevelt Hotel Grand Ballroom in midtown Manhattan. A 2019 Elmhurst College alumnus, Carr raised $ 7,500 in cash and prizes. She is currently studying with Jennifer Mather.

Of the seven finalists, Sarah Ambrose, a student of Christy Welty, placed second; Terrance Searcy, a student of Joseph Mason, placed third; and Rebekah Howell, a student of Robert Best, placed fourth.

The finalists receiving an honorable mention were Julianne McBride, a student of Karen Rees; Cassi Mikat, student of Sally Mikat; and Austin Stole, a student of Jerry Elsbernd.

The semi-finals and finals of the National Musical Theater Competition were held in conjunction with the Winter Workshop of the National Association of Singing Teachers (NATS) and were held in front of an audience of top professionals from the music industry. Contest sponsors include the NATS Foundation, Hal Leonard Corporation, Stage Door Connections and Jolie Stratton.

As the first place winner, Carr collects a $ 5,000 cash prize, a $ 1,000 gift certificate from Hal Leonard Corporation, a career management service package from Stage Door Connections and a winner’s concert at the upcoming National NATS Conference in Knoxville, TN. Last summer, Carr won first place in the NATS National Student Auditions Upper College Music Theater division.

The NATS National Music Theater Competition (NMTC) was launched in 2011 as the first national competition for the emerging professional musical theater soloist. Now in its fifth iteration, NMTC has provided industry connections to past competitors and winners that have led to their success.

The full list of winners is below:

1st place ($ 7,500 package): Lauren Carr, Upper Marlboro, MD
2nd place ($ 3,000 package): Sarah Ambrose, Glendale, AZ
3rd place (Louise Lerch Prize – $ 1,000): Terrance Searcy, Tifton, GA
4th place (Bill Hayes Prize – $ 750): Rebekah Howell, Houston TX
Honorable Mention (sponsored by the NATS Foundation – $ 500): Julianne McBride, Houston, TX, Cassi Mikat, New York, NY, and Austin Stole, Richfield, MN.


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