|From Alternate to Casting: Harter Clingman’s NMTC Journey|
Harter Clingman learned about the National Music Theater Competition like most performers learn about NATS competitions, from his voice teacher. Harter has been working with Carol Loverde, his voice teacher, since 2009 when he was a student at Columbia College in Chicago and had studied with her while competing in the Chicago Chapter Music Theater Competition in 2010. When she suggested he audition for NMTC she included four months of free voice lessons, which is where Harter’s journey began. As he tells it, “It was a very positive experience that just kept getting more positive.”
When he auditioned in Chicago, he felt great. He was honored to earn one of the alternate spots but admittedly frustrated. Then a few weeks before the competition he got a call and learned that there was a spot to fill in the semifinals. “My first thought was elation.” Said Harter, “My second thought was how am I going to get there?”
Thanks to airline vouchers from his parents, Harter was able to make his way to Orlando, FL to compete in the semi final round of the competition. When he didn’t make it into the finals he was disappointed, but Loverde helped steer him into The Ultimate Music Theater Audition Pre-Conference Workshop. The panel workshop was an excellent experience for Harter.
“This is where the whole weekend began for me,” Harter explains, “I thought I was there for the competition, but [my experience] ended up being about the conference. It was a career booster that laid opportunities before me.”
Later Harter took advantage of the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line auditions being held in conjunction with the conference. As it turned out, someone from the panel had told the RCCL casting director about Harter. He worked his way through the callback process and to the final step of submitting his paperwork. RCCL casts based on need and availability and Harter is officially in their system. Congratulations, Harter!
More about Harter
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"It's an exciting time to be a NATS member. While other professional associations are cutting back on member services for voice teachers, NATS keeps adding benefits and partnerships for members and students. I'm excited about the new music theater competition, the Orlando conference, and the partnership with Carnegie Hall - The Achievement Program - to mention a few. To borrow Joan Boytim'a phrase, I'm more 'nuts about NATS' than ever!" -Cynthia Vaughn, proud NATS member since 1984