She Sings for Chocolate Brings Six Vocal Arts Students to Annual Singing Competition

Fort Myers students wow judges in Tampa Bay Chapter-wide auditions
Pamela Pyles Linkhart, the President and Founder of She Sings for Chocolate, is pleased to announce six of her vocal arts students recently competed in the Tampa Bay Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Annual Student Auditions. Ranging in age from 14 to 17, the students competed in musical theater and classical categories at the Feb 22 competition at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Bower School of Music. More than 100 singers traveled to the event, which was held in Fort Myers for the first time in its history, representing college, university as well as private voice studios in Tampa, St Petersburg, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Spring Hill, Bradenton and many more Florida cities.

Emily Zalud, age 14, was the youngest of Linkhart’s students to compete. The Fort Myers High School freshman has studied with Miss Pamela since fifth grade, and performed classical selections by Antonio Caldara and Louis Sophr.

Fifteen-year-old Nicole Mirabile, a sophomore at Lehigh Senior High School, sang pieces from Show Boat and Sweeney Todd, winning third place in the category of Musical Theater: First or Second Year High School Women. Mirabile has studied with Miss Pamela for a year and a half.

Fort Myers High School sophomore Bryanna Walker took first place in her age group for both classical and musical theater. She performed works from Francesco Durante, Franz Joseph Hayden, Richard Rogers and Andrew Lloyd Weber. The 16-year-old, who has been a student at She Sings for Chocolate for five years, was also voted Most Promising Female Singer by the judges.

Gabby Jones, 17, a junior at Fort Myers High School, has also studied with Miss Pamela for five years. She performed classical music from Francesco Durante and Franz Schubert, and songs from Les Miserables and Me and Juliet.

Bishop Verot High School junior Casey Stephan, 17, began studying with Miss Pamela in the summer of 2013. She performed musical theater works from the shows Funny Girl and Mamma Mia.

Victoria Woodcock, 17, is a senior at Cypress Center for the Arts and holds dual enrollment at Florida Gulf Coast University. She has studied with Miss Pamela since eighth grade and took first place in the category Classical: Third or Fourth Year High School Women. Her repertoire included Mozart and Hayden.

“I am very proud of my students,” said Linkhart, who acknowledged many years are required for a singer to build his or her instrument.

Singers at the NATS competition are judged on voice characteristics and technique such as quality, range, resonance, evenness of scale, breath control, diction, vowel purity, language accuracy and intonation. Musicianship and artistry, including stage presence, interpretation of a song and projection of mood are also strongly considered.

“I am thankful for such wonderful parents that have given their time, effort and support for years to their singer and She Sings for Chocolate,” she said.

In addition to enjoying the opportunity to compete, students attended a lecture presentation titled “How to work well with your collaborative pianist.”

National Association of Teachers of Singing was founded in 1944 with the purpose of
“establishing and maintaining the highest possible standards of competence in the voice
teaching profession, to conduct and encourage research and to disseminate resulting
information at large, and to encourage effective cooperation among vocal teachers for their protection, welfare and advancement.”

She Sings for Chocolate has provided private voice instruction for singers and speakers since 2004.

About She Sings for Chocolate
Located at 13550 Reflections Parkway in Fort Myers, She Sings for Chocolate® vocal arts studio is “building today’s voices for tomorrow’s opportunities.” She Sings for Chocolate was founded in Southwest Florida in 2004 by world-renowned soprano and professional voice instructor Pamela Pyles Linkhart.

She Sings for Chocolate provides exceptional vocal instruction by conducting master classes, annual performances, and studio training for singers and speakers. Students learn the art of performing with professional pianists in front of live audiences as well as improving their music theory, ear training, diction, elocution, and overall communication skills. Other unique opportunities include competing in local and state competitions and receiving personal coaching for school-of-the-arts middle and high school and college entrance evaluations. The studio’s collegiate and talent affiliations add tremendous benefits to its students for future professional advancement.

Visit or call (239) 810-4413 for more information.
This article was submitted by a Guest Author of the Above Board Chamber.