David Young wins the 2022 NATS National Musical Theater Competition


David Young placed first in the 2022 National Association of Teachers of Singing National Musical Theater Competition on Saturday, January 8 at Neidorff-Karpati Hall, Manhattan School of Music.

A Depauw University alumnus, Young received $5,000 in cash and prizes for winning the top prize. He was most recently a student of Caroline Smith and hails from the Eastern Region of the NATS.

“I’m incredibly grateful to all of my teachers and coaches who have helped me get to this point,” Young said. “It was such an honor to receive this prestigious award and to have met such esteemed and accomplished judges. I cannot thank NATS enough for this opportunity and I am so happy to be part of this family!”

Of the 21 finalists who performed, Lauren Salazar, a student of Donna Hinds Sawyer, placed second; Eric Sebek, a student of Jan Prokop, came third; and Blake Stevenson, a student of Thomas Michael Allen, placed fourth.

The remaining finalists were Delaney Bigley, a student of Abigail Martin; Taylor Goodwin, a student of Craig Allen; and Brianna Reed, student of Kelly Holst.

The 2022 National Musical Theater Competition Semi-Finals and Finals were held in conjunction with the National Association of Vocal Teachers (NATS) Winter Workshop. The singers performed to a live audience of top music industry professionals as well as through a live stream on the NATS website. Sponsors include Hal Leonard Corporation, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Foundation Heritage Fund of the NATS Endowment.

See the program

As the first place winner, Young receives a cash prize of $5,000, a concert at the 2022 NATS National Conference in Chicago, and a $1,000 gift certificate from Hal Leonard Corporation. In 2020, Young took first place in the NATS National Student Auditions Upper Classical TBB division and second place in the Upper Musical Theater TBB division.

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

A full list of winners is below:

1st place ($5,000 in cash and prizes): David Young, New York, NY

2nd place ($3,000 in cash and prizes): Lauren Salzar, Houston, TX

3rd Place (Louise Lerch Award – $1,000): Eric Sebek, Nutley, NJ

4th place (Bill Hayes Prize – $750): Blake Stevenson, San Juan Capistrano, CA

Honorable Mention (Sponsored by the NATS Foundation – $500): Delaney Bigley, Lancaster, PA, Taylor Goodwin, Rock Hill, SC, and Brianna Reed, Oklahoma City, OK.

A devotee of a wide range of performing arts, David Young is often credited for his “tremendous versatility” and “great movement, dancing and singing”.

David began his vocal training when he was just 8 years old with Relana Luss at the Bay Area Theater and Voice Academy. From 2007 to 2016, he starred in over 25 musicals with the academy and performed several times at the Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, where he also performed the role of Doctor Dolittle in the premiere in 2012 by Doctor Dolittle JR. David earned his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at DePauw University, where he studied with Caroline Smith and received the prestigious Fitzpatrick Opera Award. Recently, David made his professional debut with Opera Grand Rapids as Martin Halstrom in Douglas Pew’s Penny.

While at DePauw, David performed in a variety of musicals, operas, plays and short films, such as A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Monty Navarro), La bella dormente nel bosco (Il Principe), Macbeth (Macbeth), Cinderella (Prince Charming), Le Nozze di Figaro (Don Basilio), Young Frankenstein (Victor Frankenstein, The Hermit) and Street Scene (Harry Easter). He was also a laureate of the 2017 and 2019 DePauw Concerto Competition, where he performed Mozart’s “In quegl’anni” and R. Strauss’ “Heimliche Aufforderung” and “Morgen” in concert with the DePauw Symphony Orchestra.

In 2018, he performed the operatic role of Eisenstein in Ozark’s Die Fledermaus, where he was the youngest person in OIO history to play a leading role in a main production. In 2019 David joined the College Light Opera Vocal Company where he performed the roles of Captain Corcoran (HMS Pinafore), Sir Francis Chesney (Where’s Charley?), Conrad Birdie (Bye Bye Birdie), George Banks (Mary Poppins) and Sir Roderic Murgatroyd (Ruddigore).

Throughout the pandemic, David has achieved great success in many competitions across the country. Some of these included the Opera Grand Rapids Collegiate Vocal Competition (1st place), the 2020 Dayton Opera Guild Tri-State College Vocal Competition (1st place), the 2020 National Association of Teacher’s of Singing (NATS): Classical (1st place), The 2020 NATS National Auditions: Musical Theater (2nd place), The National Classical Singing Competition: College Classical Division (2nd place), The 2020 SAS Performing Arts Company Singing Competition (Finalist ), the James Toland Vocal Competition 2020 and 2021 (finalist), the Grand Concours Vocal Competition 2020 (Finalist) and the American Traditions Vocal Competition 2021 (Quarter-finalist).

Learn more at davidyoungsings.com.


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