By McKenna Shuler, UCA Publicity Intern Everyone loves a bit of friendly competition. And what better motivator to rise above the rest than passion for what you do? On Feb. 25, Colorado State University’s most talented undergraduate vocalists come together to compete to win the coveted title of “Singer of the Year” in the University’s 13th annual competition of the same name. Along with the title, students are also competing for a grand total of more than $50,000 in scholarship money. Awards available to students are the Singer of the Year award, the Most Improved award, the Charles and Reta Ralph scholarship, and the Irene Binkley scholarship. Awards are given based on both the students’ performance as well as their progress towards their degree. Dr. Tiffany Blake, coordinator of voice for the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, believes that the competition is good for both current and prospective voice students. “It is important to recognize the hard work and effort of our current undergraduate students,” she says of the competition, “rather than only using scholarship money for the purpose of recruitment.” Hard work, indeed! This event is one of the most important for the vocalists competing, as it is a culmination of their work for the entire 2016-2017 school year. Not only that, it also provides them with the opportunity to shine as a solo musician. Previous winners of the competition include Vanessa Doss (2014), Justin Little (2015), and Ingrid Johnson (2016). The tradition of this competition has allowed these students, as well as others before them, to continue exploring their passion for singing. In an interview after her victory last year, Johnson had this to say about the importance of the competition: “Though it may simply seem like a competition, Singer of the Year is so much more. It shows a mere glimpse into the progress people have made over their various years at CSU.” Singer of the Year holds great meaning to everyone given the opportunity to compete, regardless of whether or not they are granted the winning title. The students all work tirelessly to improve their musical abilities so that they might have the chance to represent themselves and the university to the best of their ability. The competition gives each singer something to work towards, a goal to help keep themselves motivated through the year. And although not everyone can walk away as the winner, the competition is a grand showcase of the talented voice students at CSU. Every student has poured their heart and soul into preparing for this competition; the results of their tremendous efforts will most definitely be something you won’t want to miss. Ticket Information This event is FREE and Open to the Public. Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office in the UCA lobby Monday through Friday, 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 60 minutes prior to performances, by phone at (970) 491-ARTS (2787), or online at www.CSUArtsTickets.com.