Choral Student Places Eighth in International Quartet Competition

UT senior Hailey Myatt, third from left, is part of ClassRing, a barbershop quartet that placed eighth in the world at last month's Sweet Adelines International Quartet Finals in Las Vegas.

UT senior Hailey Myatt, third from left, is part of ClassRing, a barbershop quartet that placed eighth in the world at last month’s Sweet Adelines International Quartet Finals in Las Vegas.

UT senior Hailey Myatt joined a barbershop music group last year after responding to a Facebook message from three members searching for a bass singer to complete their quartet in St. Louis, Missouri.

After a week of Facebook messaging, Myatt booked a plane ticket to St. Louis and sang with Heather Krones, Mary Duncan, and Michaela Slamka for the first time. Their voices and personalities clicked immediately, so the quartet began their journey as ClassRing in March 2014.

Last month, ClassRing placed eighth in the world at the Sweet Adelines International Quartet Finals in Las Vegas. It was the quartet’s first time competing at the international level.

“Having the opportunity to compete at International was the most incredible experience,” Myatt said. “Meeting with thousands and thousands of your friends from around the world is like a giant family reunion.”

The quartet placed second in the 2015 Sweet Adelines Regional competition with a score high enough to qualify for one of ten wildcard spots at the international competition.

Myatt balanced her studies in vocal music education with twice a week ClassRing rehearsals via Skype. The long-distance quartet met in person to rehearse every six to eight weeks.

“We are delighted to have our talented music education student Hailey Myatt represent the School of Music. It is unprecedented that her quartet was able to achieve this honor in their very first time at the International Competition, as it normally takes a number of years as a group working together to place this highly,” said Angela Batey, professor and associate dean for diversity in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Myatt said she and her ClassRing sisters are “still in shock” after placing eighth out of the 50 quartets that competed at the international level. There are about 950 quartets around the world that perform and compete.

One of Myatt’s favorite memories from the international competition was hearing the crowd go wild before their performance. “The house was packed and our loved ones were in the audience and watching from home on the webcast,” she said. “Support and love like that can’t be measured.”

The quartet has no plans of slowing down. ClassRing plans to continue competing at the international level.

For Myatt, music has been a lifelong passion. She sang in the choir from the fifth grade through her senior year at Wilson Central High School in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. In high school, she sang in a vocal jazz group, women’s ensemble, and Sweet Adelines young women’s quartet.

Myatt hopes to continue competing with ClassRing and start her career as a vocal music educator after graduation, but will always cherish the memories of the international competition.

“Being a Sweet Adeline has certainly changed my life,” she said.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, amy.blakely@utk.edu)