MTSU to host ‘Tennessee VSA Young Soloist...

MTSU to host ‘Tennessee VSA Young Soloist’ event Feb. 27

Seven young musicians from across the state will perform at MTSU on Feb. 27 for the Tennessee VSA Young Soloist competition.

The musicians will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Hinton Music Hall inside MTSU’s Wright Music Building.

VSA Young Soloists poster webThe competition, which is organized by VSA Tennessee, is open to any vocalist or instrumentalist ages 14 to 25 with any form of disability. The state event feeds into an international competition, which is hosted by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

All types of music are accepted, including country, classical, jazz, rap, rock, bluegrass and world music.

VSA Tennessee is a statewide nonprofit organization that provides resources, tools and opportunities for arts programming for people with disabilities. It’s also an affiliate of VSA, the international organization on arts and disabilities founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith and formerly known as Very Special Arts.

Tennessee contestants submitted country, jazz and classical entries for the 2013 Young Soloist event, organizers said.

“The entries this year are the strongest overall group of entries that VSA Tennessee has ever seen,” said judge JP Williams, a singer-songwriter for Major Bob Music.

“Not only are they talented musicians, but the creativity and artistic expression is extremely impressive.”

Each state’s Young Soloist winner receives a small monetary award, a plaque and performance opportunities. Recordings of performances by the top two state winners are submitted to the national VSA Young Soloist Competition.

Winners at the national level receive $5,000 scholarships and the opportunity to perform at the Kennedy Center.

VSA Tennessee Executive Director Lori Kissinger, who teaches organizational communication at MTSU, has once again recruited members of her experiential learning classes to help with the event.

Kissinger’s Organizational Communication 3250 EXL class is coordinating the logistics. Last semester, her students worked in several capacities on “The Golden Ratio Project,” an arts performance that ultimately will travel to Athens, Greece, for an international arts education exchange.

“We feel honored to be involved with such a great project,” said MTSU junior Brian Schulist, who is majoring in organizational communications and is a member of the EXL class.

“These young performers are extremely talented and each bring a unique genre to the competition. With so much talent on one stage, it will be a great night of music!”

The VSA Young Soloist state competition is open to the public. Tickets are $5 each and may be purchased from students in the Organizational Communication EXL class or at the door on Feb. 27.

For more information, visit or contact Kissinger at or 615-210-8819.

The Tennessee VSA Young Soloist competition is sponsored by the First Tennessee Bank Foundation.