Lander student and actor Mary Evan Giles sits in the courtyard outside the Greenwood Community Theatre. Giles was selected to be one of the 14 college students competing in the National Association of Teachers of Singing finals in Boston on July 5-7.
(Maddy Jones | Index-Journal)
Lander student and actor Mary Evan Giles sits in the courtyard outside the Greenwood Community Theatre. Giles was selected to be one of the 14 college students competing in the National Association of Teachers of Singing finals in Boston on July 5-7. (Maddy Jones | Index-Journal)
For many people living in the Greenwood area, the Dixie Drive-In has been the site of quite a few memorable moments. Mary Evan Giles can now count herself among those.
The 20-year-old Greenwood native was at the legendary Greenwood eatery with her father, Joey Giles, and two friends when she learned she advanced to the National Association of Teachers of Singing finals in Boston on July 5-7. While she was telling her friend about a delay in the announcement of those who would advance to Boston, her phone buzzed.


“I got an email and it was from them,” Giles said. “I went through the list and my name was on it and I flipped out in the middle of the Dixie.”
Giles, a junior at Lander University, is among 14 in the national competition that pits freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students against each other. Giles competed in the state event in Columbia and earned the highest score. She tied for the highest score at the regional level in Greensboro, North Carolina. She was one of the top finishers in the YouTube round.
Lander associate professor of music (voice, theory and opera workshop) Lila Noonkester recommended Giles for the competition.

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