Amateur singers prepare for UPC’s K-State Voice contest

Katie Keck, junior in accounting, performs "Make You Feel My Love" by Adele at UPC's K-State The Voice in the Student Union Ballroom on Saturday, April 9. (Clayton Kistner | The Collegian)

Throat lozenges and tea bags might normally indicate that someone contracted the flu, but for 15 students at Kansas State, it means they are auditioning for the annual K-State Voice singing contest.

The K-State Voice competition is promoted and produced by the Union Programming Council and awards three finalists with a cash prize. Winners will receive $250, $100 and $50 for first, second and third place, respectively.

The auditions, held Friday night in the Union Ballroom, consisted of 15 students singing covers in front of an audience composed of family and friends.

After hearing the 15 competitors, the three judges selected three competitors each to be on their respective teams. The judges are Danielle Winchester, senior in hospitality management; Hannah Maddy, senior in communication studies; and Cheryl Richt, instructor of voice for the School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

Some participants competed with their own musical accompaniment. Kristin Yankey, sophomore in electrical engineering, played the piano during her audition.

Winchester selected McKennzie Duncan, sophomore in animal sciences and industry, to be on her team. Duncan covered Adele’s “All I Ask” and said she selected the song because of its emotional resonance.

“It brings out the soulfulness in everyone,” Duncan said.

Sarah Bures, co-chair of the UPC music committee and junior in marketing, said she enjoyed hosting the event because it is fun to interact with the contestants.

“It’s kind of a unique event that showcases solo artists,” Bures said.

Michael Tiede, UPC member and senior in mechanical engineering, said he has attended the K-State Voice finale before, but never the auditions.

“Everybody was really good,” Tiede said. “I did not expect that. They all did a great job.”

The nine winners from the auditions will compete again at the K-State Voice finale, held April 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Union Ballroom.