Carnegie Mellon Press Release: May 28, 2004
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Press Release

Eric Sloss

For immediate release:
May 28, 2004

Carnegie Mellon University Graduate Wins National Society of Arts and Letters Competition

PITTSBURGH—Megan Hilty, 2004 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University's musical theatre program, won the $10,000 First Place Award in the National Society of Arts and Letters' (NSAL) annual competition. The national competition was held in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, May 20-22, 2004.

"This award and the wonderful friends and networking opportunities that opened up to me through NASL is nothing short of a miracle for me. I met a number of NASL alumni that will help me throughout my career. Now I can start my life as a performing artist with some ease — due to the wonderful opportunity of the NSAL and the amazing opportunities presented through Carnegie Mellon," Hilty said.

The focus of the competition for young artists rotates yearly between the categories Art, Music, Dance, Literature and Drama. In celebration of the 60th anniversary of NSAL's founding, the special category musical theatre was selected for 2004.

Each contestant presented a five-minute audition, including two contrasting songs from musical theatre with a bridging monologue between the two. The competitors were judged on voice, choreography, stage presence and mastery of songs and flow of the entire presentation. Hilty performed "I Can Cook Too," from Leonard Bernstein's On the Town, and "Simple" from Maury Yeston's Nine.

The National Society of Arts and Letters Pittsburgh Chapter is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for young artists between the ages of 14 and 29. Through chapter and national competitions, NSAL endeavors to discover America's exceptionally gifted emerging artists at the beginning of their careers. The society creates opportunity through encouragement, collaborations, scholarship, competition, awards, exhibition and performance, and introduces them to members of their profession. NSAL has 26 chapters in the United States and more than 1,400 members. Some 19 chapters participated in this competition.

The School of Drama is one of the nation's most distinguished degree-granting theatre programs and is one of five schools within Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts. The College of Fine Arts is a community of nationally and internationally recognized artists and professionals organized into: Architecture, Art, Design, Drama and Music, and their associated centers and programs. For more information, contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765 or by email at


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