category: Campus News C-N Alumna Constance Mack Wins Army-Wide Talent Competition category: Campus News | December 18, 2012 U.S. Army Specialist Constance “Connie” Mack ’09 is the U.S. Army’s “Rising Star,” having won the eighth season of Operation Rising Star. A student linguist stationed at the Presidio in Monterey, California, Mack bested 12 finalists over the course of last week’s competition. Modeled after FOX television’s American Idol, Operation Rising Star drew participants among soldiers, officers and family members from posts the world over. The dozen finalists performed live daily from Dec. 8 through 15, moving through preliminary by winning votes that were cast online. The finals were based on the opinions of judges Sergeant Major of the Army (Ret.) Jack Tilley, The Voice’s Debra Byrd and country recording artist Michael Peterson. Mack graduated from DeKalb School of the Arts before coming to C-N, where she earned a BA in music. She credits her mom as the person who most influenced her style and allows that jazz is her favorite genre of music. During her C-N years, she was part of several groups, including Women Singers, Redemption, an auditioned, ten-member troupe; and A Cappella Choir, another auditioned group for which she was a soloist and section leader who was elected by her peers to serve as president. – Mark Brown, Alumni Relations Those who know her from Carson-Newman say it is great but not unexpected news. “Congratulations to Connie Mack on her continued excellence in singing and artistry,” said Dr. Angela Holder, Mack’s voice professor and director of Redemption. “She continues to be a very versatile singer, excelling in a variety of styles and singing with great expression and meaning. We are all very proud of her and pleased, but not surprised at this recognition.” As 2012’s Rising Star, Mack received a cash prize and a professional studio recording session.