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Collin College Student Garners Opera Award

Collin College student Jake Nelson
Dec. 9, 2010 – Collin College music student Jake Nelson (Plano) sang his heart out recently during the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Texoma operatic competition. Nelson took second place in the undergraduate men’s division 10 (senior men).  The only community college student in his division, Nelson competed against students from universities and colleges in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

Nelson performed songs in three languages from different historical periods. In Russian, he sang Grjaznoy's aria from the opera The Tzar's Bride by Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov. In German, he performed Lerchengesang by Johannes Brahms. In English, he sang the art song My Lizard from Despite and Still by Samuel Barber.

Nelson trained with music professor David Alexander, accompanist, voice coach and professor Natalya Nikolaevna-Pitts and theatre professor Gail Cronauer. Nelson's Russian aria performance was so authentic that a Russian accompanist began speaking with him in Russian following the performance.

“She was so surprised I wasn't from Russia. She said I sounded like I had a dialect from Southern Russia. That was one of the biggest compliments I have ever received. I worked so hard on that piece. The Russian language is beautiful to sing,” Nelson said.

Nelson plans to earn his associate of arts degree this May and transfer to a university or music conservatory to earn a bachelor’s degree in opera performance.

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Collin College serves more than 51,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.