CVCC music student Parsons advances to nationals

Catawba Valley Community College music student Ishmeal Parsons has advanced to the national level of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition for the second-straight year.


Ishmeal Parsons

Although this year has been difficult for many, Parsons persevered through the challenges and placed first in the NATS State Competition and third in the NATS Regional Competition for both the Musical Theatre and Spirituals categories.

“It is an honor to work with and teach Ishmeal Parsons,” said Caroline Simyon, Parson’s voice teacher and director of the AFA in Music Degree at CVCC. “He works diligently to improve his skills and hon his craft. This is Ishmeal’s second year of advancing to the semifinal round of the most prestigious vocal completion in the country. Currently he is ranked in the top 10 in the country for the Spiritual category. We are so proud of Ishmeal, and all of CVCC music students, faculty and administration are cheering him on.”

Parsons graduated last month with an Associate in Fine Arts in Music from CVCC and is looking forward to transferring to Brevard College this fall to continue his music studies.

“Attending CVCC was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my musical and educational journey,” Parsons said. “I am beyond grateful for the guidance, tough love, positive reinforcement and long practice hours. It was all made possible because I had a village behind me at CVCC. The students and faculty really have been behind me the whole way. When the going gets tough, they’ve always had my back and pushed me along. I am glad we went out with a bang for my last competition as a part of the Red Hawk Nation. I thank you CVCC Music Department for everything.”

For more information about the music program and the Associate in Fine Arts in Music degree at CVCC, please contact Simyon at

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