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CVCC music student Messick advances to national competitio­n


Catawba Valley Community College music student Noah Messick has advanced to the national level of the National Associatio­n of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competitio­n following his placement at the regional NATS level.

Messick placed second in the Classical music category and third in the Musical Theater category after competing against students from five states — North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Messick said the auditions leading up to him reaching the national level have been stressful, but well worth it.

“It is overwhelmi­ng, but it’s motivated me,” Messick said. “In our country as a whole, community colleges aren’t known to have outstandin­g music programs. I think people overlook community college music programs, especially here at CVCC since for so many years its had so many outstandin­g students who have dominated competitio­ns and then dominated at the four-year schools they went to. I feel like — we as a nation — need to be taking community college music programs very seriously. We’re going against all of these four-year schools.”

Messick becomes the seventh CVCC music student in the past six years to qualify for nationals — joining Austin Medlin, Sylvester Stroud, Brendan Hanks, Corey Knighton and Ishmael Parsons (Parsons qualified twice). The previous six reached the top eight nationals with one — Knighton — taking first-place honors.

“I never thought I could achieve something like this in my lifetime,” Messick said. “I never really competed a lot when I was in high school. I only got super competitiv­e when I went to college. Being a part of that list is an absolute honor. I’m very blessed and very fortunate for my voice teacher, my accompanis­t and all of the people who have supported me. Without them I wouldn’t be where I’m at.”

CVCC Director of Music Caroline Simyon said Messick’s regional placement is a product of dedication to his craft.

“Noah works hard. Practice pays off. Hard work pays off,” Simyon said. “We’re very proud of him.”

CVCC music instructor Freda Herrell agrees with Simyon.

“When the students start working and put their heart into it, it’s amazing what they can do,” Herrell said.

As part of his regional audition, Messick performed six total pieces — three in each musical category (Musical Theater and Classical).

Musical Theater pieces selected by Messick included “Be Prepared” from The Lion King, “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and “I Can’t Stand Still” from Footloose.

In the Classical category, Messick chose “The Dodger” by Aaron Copland, “Du bist wie eine Blume” by Robert Schumann and “Già il sole dal Gange” by Alessandro Scarlatti.

Messick said deciding what pieces he should perform was a “team effort” by himself and his instructor­s.

“My instructor­s specifical­ly helped me out with picking my classical pieces, but with my musical theater pieces one of the pieces I asked for was ‘Be Prepared,’” Messick said. “Everyone plays a part in picking those pieces and what fits best for me. When I listen to a piece and I love it, it literally clicks for me. I can connect with pieces very easily and fall in love with them.”

In the first round of NATS national competitio­n, Messick will be competing with 30 first- and second-year students in each category for the right to advance.

Messick submitted his video audition for the nationals NATS level earlier this month. He will find out out if he’s making the trip to Chicago for an in-person audition when the first round results are released on May 15.

If he reaches the second and final round of nationals, Messick will perform in Chicago, Ill. — a place he’s already perform at when he was 12 years old singing in the Crossflame Youth Choir at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church for Minister of Music Ron Sinclair.

“It’s very overwhelmi­ng,’ Messick said of potential reaching the national level. “It’s nerve-racking waiting more than a month to get these results, especially since I’m going against people from all over the country. This is something I’ve never done at all. I thought regionals was crazy because I’d never gotten this far competing against people. I can only work harder from here. It’s all about working hard, trying to get to Chicago and doing the best I can.”

Two other CVCC alumni — Ishmael Parsons (Brevard College, spiritual and musical theater) and Caleb Wilson (UNC Charlotte, classical) are also competing, but in the junior and senior categories.

For more informatio­n on the Associate in Fine Arts in Music at Catabwa Valley Community College, please visit or contact Simyon at 828327-7000, ext. 4305 or email

 ?? ?? From left, CVCC music instructor Freda Herrell, CVCC music student Noah Messick and CVCC Director of Music Caroline Simyon.
From left, CVCC music instructor Freda Herrell, CVCC music student Noah Messick and CVCC Director of Music Caroline Simyon.

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