Hill-LaRoche Wins Statewide Singing Artist Award

For more information, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – March 13, 2012 – This month Coker College Assistant Professor of Music Serena Hill-LaRoche won the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award (NATSAA) for the state of South Carolina.

She will travel to the University of Maryland next month to participate in the organization’s Mid-Atlantic Region competition, which will include a representative each from Maryland/Washington, D.C., Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

“Winning the NATSAA for South Carolina is an impressive accomplishment not only for Dr. Hill-LaRoche but for the music program and the entire College,” said Associate Professor of Music Will Carswell, who directs choral and vocal studies at Coker.  “For majors and non-majors alike, students who train with her will learn both by her excellent instruction as well as her fine example.  She is a gem in her field and a wonderful colleague as well.”

“I am honored to represent South Carolina in the Mid-Atlantic competition,” said Hill-LaRoche.  “But more than that, I am deeply grateful for leadership of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, which recognizes a fundamental truth that collegial competition strengthens both scholarship and performance in vocal music.  Without a doubt, these experiences help us hone our skills and apply the knowledge gained both to our work in the classroom and to our performances on stage.”

An active performer, Hill-LaRoche has recently been featured in works such as Handel’s “Messiah,” Haydn’s “Creation” and “Seasons,” Brahm’s “Requiem,” Vaughan William’s “Dona Nobis Pacem” and Handel’s “Samson.” She has performed with the South Carolina Philharmonic and Firenze Lirica. Hill-LaRoche’s international recital engagements include performances in Italy and Spain.  She has sung with Opera at University of South Carolina, Opera in the Ozarks, Studio Lirico, Greenville Light Opera, Central Florida Lyric Opera and Piccolo Players.

Hill-LaRoche was a 2003 finalist in the Southeast Regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions and most recently, a 2008 National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award Regional finalist and the 2006 Artist of the Year with FBN Productions. In 2003, she was the Bizet Award winner for the Orpheus National Young Artist Vocal Competition and a Palmetto Opera Competition finalist in 2005.

She earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Alabama, and a Master of Music and Doctor of Music Arts degrees from the University of South Carolina.  At Coker, she teaches applied voice, diction and vocal pedagogy and serves as the faculty liaison for PULSE, a private-public collaboration to improve educational opportunities for students in Hartsville.

Upcoming engagements for Hill-LaRoche include a concert titled "Celebration of Inspiration" at 4:30 p.m. April 18 in Columbia, S.C., as part of the "Week of Remembrance: A Celebration of Jewish Culture," sponsored by the Opera-tunity Foundation.

Founded in 1944, the National Association of Teachers of Singing is the largest professional association of teachers of singing in the world with more than 7,000 members in 27 countries.

For more information about music programs at Coker College, contact Carswell at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


PHOTO: Coker College Assistant Professor of Music Serena Hill-LaRoche.



Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.


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