College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Performing Arts major to sing at national round of NATS Auditions


The Department of Performing Arts is proud to recognize voice student Emily Schultz, who is among the top fifteen singers in her musical theatre category to advance to the final round of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) auditions next month. After receiving top marks at the state, regional and national semi-final rounds, Emily will travel to Chicago on July 2 to audition before a panel of esteemed vocal instructors for the opportunity to earn a cash prize. “Emily has been a shining star since arriving at Clemson,” said Dr. Anthony Bernarducci, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral and Vocal Studies. “Her talent as a singer is matched with her powerful abilities as a storyteller, which makes her performances so captivating.”

The junior from Easley, South Carolina learned to play trumpet and clarinet at a young age, and later discovered her love of singing in middle school. “I entered a local competition called ‘The Best Singer in the District,’” remembers Schultz. “I had never sung before, but I felt that I needed to at least try. Ever since that day, I knew that singing was what I wanted to do.”

“Emily not only has a beautiful voice, but a remarkable work ethic, which has had a huge impact on her accomplishments,” said Dr. Lisa Odom, Assistant Professor of Voice and Musical Theatre and Emily’s vocal instructor. “Emily also possesses the unique ability to move between musical styles, allowing her to excel in classical, commercial, and musical theatre genres.” Emily’s versatility extends to her abilities as a songwriter, where she is an accomplished composer of jazz, pop and R&B music. After graduation, Emily plans to pursue music professionally as a singer/songwriter in a commercial music studio. You can find her original music and stay up to date on her career by following “Emmy Mae” on any streaming platform.

Emily’s success brings national recognition to Clemson’s distinctive performing arts major, which allows Clemson students to explore all disciplines of the arts, including theatre, music, audio engineering, scenic and costume design, arts administration and more. “The moment I spoke with the faculty during my audition, I knew that Clemson was a good fit for me,” remembers Schultz, who will graduate in 2023 as a performing arts major with a concentration in voice, and theatre minor. “The Vocal Arts Program is my home away from home. I am truly honored to represent the program on a national level,” she says.

Three other Clemson voice students received distinction in the regional rounds of the 2022 competition: Kevin Arnold won second place for Musical Theatre Tenor/Baritone/Bass Voice and first place for Classical Tenor/Baritone/Bass voice; Ashlyn Blakely won third place for Freshman/Sophomore Commercial Voice; and Kaitlyn Masai won third place in Sophomore Musical Theatre voice.

Pictured below: Emily performs at Clemson University Commencement, May 2022.

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