Florida College Singers Compete at NATS

Booher Appointed to Head Piano Studies

After Becky Barlar made known her intentions to retire at the end of the 2015-16 school year, the search was on to find someone to take over the demanding job as Director of Piano Studies.  God answered our prayers when Adam Booher agreed to join our faculty in August of 2016. Adam comes from Tallahassee, where he recently finished his Masters in Piano Performance. During his studies he competed in the prestigious  Marian Garcia International Piano Competition. He has a wealth of performance and pedogogical skills that will be a major asset to the Fine Arts Department for years to come.
Saturday, February 20, 2016 University of South Florida

On February 20, vocal students from Florida College competed in the TBNATS (National Association of Teachers of Singers) competition at the University of South Florida.  NATS, as the students call it, is an annual competition for vocalists. Students compete in classical and musical theater categories, across numerous age divisions. Florida College has historically shined at NATS and this year was no different. Competing against colleges from all around the West Central Florida area, this year FC students competed in 8 categories with 24 possible awards, taking seven awards across five categories.  This, after a drastic restructuring of the age categories which made competition more difficult.

Female Musical Theater Lower Division: Katie Weaver - 3rd
Female Musical Theater Upper Division: Sarah Smith & Jessie Tharp - 3rd; Diana Romo - 2nd
Male Musical Theater Upper Division: Trevor Mikell - 2nd; Andrew Jonas - 1st
Female Classical Senior Division: Sarah Smith - 3rd
Male Classical Senior Division: Andrew Jonas - 1st

Overall, a fine showing knowing that Florida College (with 550 students) took almost 1/3 of all the places possible while  competing against schools with enrollments between 2,000 and 50,000 students. 

Ben Holloway Wins Silver 

Benjamin Holloway won the silver award in the collegiate composer category of the 2015 Carol Klose/Hal Leonard Composition Competition, ranking his work above submissions from students at Wheaton College and Eastman School of Music.

Hal Leonard, the world’s largest publisher of songbooks and music educational materials, created this online student piano composition competition in honor of Carol Klose, a popular piano teacher and prolific Hal Leonard composer. The purpose of the competition is to encourage the creative musical spirit that Carol always fostered, by giving piano students a platform to compose, perform and share their original pieces.Nearly 200 contestants created original compositions and submitted YouTube videos of their performances in the competition’s three age categories: junior composer, teen composer and collegiate composer. The contestants were directed to compose their pieces for piano students learning new techniques.

Benjamin’s composition, “Café au lait,” earned him the silver award. His piece was inspired by the French coffee drink and designed to provide piano students with an introduction to the impressionistic style. Many of Benjamin’s previous compositions have also been written in the impressionistic style with some jazz influences.

Becky Barlar Retires After 36 Years

Becky Barlar began teaching in the music department at Florida College in 1979, the same year that she earned her M.M. in Piano Performance at the University of South Florida. Barlar’s many years of service for Florida College have included teaching a full load of piano and music theory, serving on numerous committees, serving as accompanist for many auditions and recitals, and providing academic advising for her students. Her outstanding service has been recognized with many honors and awards, including being selected as the top-rated activities professor numerous times. Barlar will continue teaching some courses as an adjunct.