It’s no wonder that the energetic and elegant Victoria Hill sang, interviewed and stunned her way to earn the coveted title of 2019 Miss Georgia in the competition that is part of The Miss America scholarship competition. The spunky senior at Reinhardt University has an effervescent personality, quick wit and captivating blue eyes that belie the hard work ethic that has helped her hone her vocal technique and handily win a host of other singing competitions.

Among those is Schmidt Vocal Competition, which she won in 2017, performing a winsome rendition of “Frere voyez le beau bouquet” from Massenet’s opera Werther. She also participated in the Schmidt Vocal Institute (SVI), a two-week summer intensive training program for high school singers. She credits these experiences with helping her make progress as a singer and preparing her for the rigors of performing and competing.

“I am the biggest fan of Schmidt’s competition and institute! Attending SVI was a life-changing experience for me. It gave me so much confidence,” says the Canton, Georgia native. “One of my greatest joys is to be around people who are like-minded concerning music and opera. It was so much fun to live and work with people who also loved to sing and perform. The friends I made at SVI continue to be people I keep in touch with and meet again through the course of our career paths.”

The SVI curriculum also exposed Victoria to broader experiences and training.

“So many aspects of SVI shaped who I am. For example, it was my first opportunity to be in an opera scene. I had the time of my life playing a pants role in a Mozart opera. This sparked my interest in pursuing opera performance. Also, I attended my first yoga class at SVI and now I do acrobatic yoga and teach it to my friends! I learned about Alexander Technique for the first time, too,” explains Victoria, referring to the technique that helps singers learn optimal posture, movement and breathing to support healthy singing.

“When I speak to high schoolers as part of my work as Miss Georgia, I always mention things that I learned at Schmidt. Most importantly, my message for them is, ‘Don’t give up!’,” she reports. “I didn’t win the Schmidt Vocal Competition on my first try. I vividly remember Ben Smolder standing at the lectern encouraging all who didn’t win. He said, ‘Please don’t be discouraged! I could line my living room walls with rejection letters! You have to put things into perspective. A ‘no’ isn’t a no forever. It’s just not your time. And someday, it will be your time!’”

Now is decidedly Victoria’s time. Since her Schmidt experience, she has gone on to earn First Place in the Prestigious George Shirley Vocal competition, First Place in the 2017 National NATS competition for Classical Music, and Third Place (2018) and Second Place (2019) in the nation in the NATS competition for college musical theater women.

Congratulations, Victoria, on all of your achievements! We send our best wishes for your continued success in the Miss America competition!