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Vocalist takes top honors at local, regional competitions

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College freshman Blake Overman is already making waves in local and regional vocal competition.

Overman, Peck, in his first semester studying with Soyoun Chun, Bethel assistant professor of music and instructor of voice, took first place in his division, Oct. 24 at the Tabor College Vocal Festival and Competition in Hillsboro.

Overman was the top singer among college freshmen and sophomore men.

A week later, Overman was one of two Bethel student vocalists to make the annual trip to the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) West Central Region conference and student auditions.

The event was held this year at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, Oct. 30–31.

Overman placed 2nd in the Lower College/First Year Men Classical division, competing against singers from both small private colleges and large state universities in a region covering Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming.

Overman is a member of the Bethel College Concert Choir.

NATS was founded in 1944 and is the largest association of teachers of singing in the world. NATS has more than 6,500 members in the United States, Canada and more than 25 other countries.

The NATS mission is “to encourage the highest standards of the vocal art and of ethical principles in the teaching of singing, and to promote vocal education and research at all levels, both for the enrichment of the general public and for the professional advancement of the talented.”

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015-16 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2015–16. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to

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