NATS Artist Awards (NATSAA)

NATSAA_2016_Logo.pngThe biennial NATS Artist Awards (NATSAA) competition is designed to assist singers prepared to launch a professional career and, to that end, substantial monetary and performance prizes are offered. The competition takes place every other year, in conjunction with NATS National Conferences. Preliminary competitions are held regionally, and semifinals/finals take place at the NATS National Conference.

"Throughout its history, the purpose of this [NATSAA] competition has been to select, through a series of elimination rounds on the district, regional, and national levels, singers whose artistry indicates that they are ready for a professional career and to encourage them toward that goal with a cash prize and the opportunity for performance engagements." - Edward Baird, President of NATS, 1985-1987

2016 Downloadable Flyer

Apply for NATSAA

Important Dates for NATSAA 2016

Application deadline: Jan.13, 2016

Preliminary Auditions: March-April 2016

National Semifinals and Finals: Chicago at the 54th NATS National Conference - July 7-8, 2016

2016 Regional Locations:

2016 NATSAA Region Information

Cal-Western Region

REGIONAL AUDITIONS – March 26, 2016 – Phoenix, Arizona
Location: Christ the Lord Lutheran Church, 9205 E. Cave Creek Rd, Carefree, AZ 85377
Contact: Cindy Dewey,

Central Region

REGIONAL AUDITIONS – March 11-12, 2016 - Wheaton, Illinois
Location: Wheaton College, 501 College Ave, Wheaton, IL 60187
Contact: Karen Brunssen, 

Eastern Region

REGIONAL AUDITIONS – March 11-13, 2016 – Montclair, New Jersey
Location: Montclair State University, 1 Normal Ave, Montclair, NJ 07043
 Lori McCann, 

Great Lakes Region

REGIONAL AUDITIONS – April 2, 2016 – Detroit, Michigan
Location: Oakland University, 2200 N Squirrel Rd, Rochester, MI 48309
 Brian Horne, 

Intermountain Region

REGIONAL AUDITIONS – April 16-17, 2016 – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Location: University of Calgary, Rosza Center
 Kimberly James, 

Mid-Atlantic Region

REGIONAL AUDITIONS – March 17-18, 2016 – Charleston, South Carolina
Location: College of Charleston, 66 George St, Charleston, SC 29424
 Barbara Ann Peters, 

Mid-South Region

REGIONAL AUDITIONS – March 31-April 1, 2016 – Knoxville, Tennessee
Location: University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996
 Angela Holder, 

New England Region

REGIONAL AUDITIONS – April 3, 2016 – Danbury, Connecticut
Location: Visual and Performing Arts Center, Veronica Hagman Concert Hall, Westside Campus, 43 Lake Avenue Ext., Danbury, CT, 06811
Contact: Richard Weidlich, 

North Central Region

REGIONAL AUDITIONS – March 18-19, 2016 – Northfield, Minnesota
Location: St. Olaf College, 1520 St Olaf Ave, Northfield, MN 55057
 Alison J. Feldt, 

Northwestern Region

REGIONAL AUDITIONS – March 5, 2016 - Seattle, Washington
Location: Seattle Airport Marriott, 3201 S 176th St, Seattle, WA 98188
Contact: Nancy Bos, 

Southeastern Region 

REGIONAL AUDITIONS – March 17-18, 2016 – DeLand, Florida
Location: H. Douglas Lee Chapel at Stetson University, 421 N Woodland Blvd, DeLand, FL 32724
 Melanie B. Williams, 

Southern Region

REGIONAL AUDITIONS – March 11-12, 2016 – Monroe, Louisiana
Location: University of Louisiana at Monroe, 700 University Ave, Monroe, LA 71209
Contact: Jon Secrest, 

Texoma Region

REGIONAL AUDITIONS – March 11-12, 2016 – Fort Worth, Texas
Location: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2001 W Seminary Dr, Fort Worth, TX 76115
Contact: Jason Lester, 

West Central Region

REGIONAL AUDITIONS – April 2, 2016 – Hays, Kansas
Location: Fort Hays State University, 600 Park St, Hays, KS 67601
Contact: Reginald Pittman, 



National Semifinals and Finals: Chicago - July 7-8, 2016


First Prize - More than $13,000 in cash and prizes

  • $5,000 Cash
  • A New York Solo Debut in a major choral work with orchestra and chorus sponsored by DCINY
  • $4,000 Scholarship to attend the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria
  • $1,000 Gift Certificate from Hal Leonard Corporation
  • Solo recital at the next NATS National Conference

Second Prize - More than $6,000 in cash prizes

  • $4,000 Cash
  • $2,000 Scholarship to attend AIMS in Graz, Austria
  • $500 Gift Certificate from Hal Leonard Corporation


Additional cash prizes to all remaining semifinalists

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant must be at least 21 but not more than 35 years of age on the deadline entry date: January 13, 2016
  • Membership status of teacher or applicant:
    • The applicant’s most recent teacher must be a full or associate member of NATS (in good standing) with whom the applicant must have studied continuously for at least one academic year;
      - OR -
    • The applicant must be a full or associate member of NATS in good standing for at least one year prior to January 13, 2016 
  • First-place winners in prior NATSAA national auditions are ineligible. 
  • The final decision on all matters of eligibility rests with the Vice President of NATSAA. 

Note: Performers in NATS-sponsored auditions, competitions, recitals, and other activities such as workshops, shall perform from lawful editions and shall support and obey the law relative to copyright and the NATS Copyright Policy.

Application Process


If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the NATS Executive Office at 904-992-9101 or . The completed application, including payment of the fee of $75 U.S. by credit card must be submitted online through the NATS website no later than January 13, 2016. Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered.

1.Online applications must include: 

a.payment of the non-refundable entry fee of $75.00 in U.S. funds via credit card (Visa or MasterCard). No refunds will be given.

b.Applicants MUST provide proof of legal age at the regional audition site. This proof must be provided in the form of an original, government-issued document such as a valid driver’s license, and the applicant must provide a copy of this documentation which will be retained by the Association until the completion of the NATSAA competition. Failure to bring both the original and the copy of this documentation will result in disqualification. (COPY CANNOT BE RETURNED) 

c.the NATS member number AND Email address of the applicant or the sponsoring NATS teacher

d.complete entries for all repertoire, including: 

1) TITLE and LANGUAGE of each selection 

2) COMPOSER of each selection 

3) KEY of each selection 

4) ACCURATE TIMING (duration) of each selection 

5) COMPOSER birth and death dates 

2. Completion and submission of the application is followed by Preliminary Auditions 

Applicants must compete in the regional audition of their legal residence or where they are currently studying singing.

All questions specific to the rules and regulations, or about repertoire and requirements, should be directed to Carole Blankenship, NATSAA Vice President, .

Apply for NATSAA


Repertoire Requirements

The repertoire list need not be thought of as comprising a complete recital program. The contestants and their teachers might want to consider, however, that national finalists will, in fact, present a fifteen minute program of their choosing from the submitted repertoire. 

  • Contestants must be prepared to sing at each audition level all of the songs and arias specified in Sections a, b, and c below: 

a.An aria from an opera to be sung in the original language and key. 

b.An aria from a major oratorio, mass, requiem, or cantata to be sung in the original key. 

c.Twelve (12) additional recital selections divided into four groups. The number of pieces in each group may vary but must total 12 in all, and each group except the English set must have at least two selections therein. Special note - At least one art song composed in or after 1950 (not an arrangement of a folk song) must be included in Group II, III, or IV. The song(s) must be identified and the date of composition given.

I.Songs or arias composed before 1800. No more than two arias may be included in this group. 

II.German Lieder or French Mélodies. 

III.A second group of National Art Songs consisting of any languages that are not presented in Sections II and IV.

IV.American, Canadian, or British Art Songs. Art songs with English as the original language. A minimum of three songs must be included in this group. 

  • Note that the arias in Sections a. and b. are in addition to and not part of the 12-song recital requirement of Section c. 
  • Memorization: All repertoire must be memorized with the exception of the oratorio selection (Section b). 
  • A contestant entering the auditions for a second or third time will be expected to present a reasonable amount of new repertoire. 
  • Any questions concerning the stated repertoire requirements should be addressed to the Vice President of NATSAA. 
  • Repertoire changes are NOT allowed at the district, or regional levels. Only regional winners may change repertoire.


Applicants may secure the date and location of regional auditions from their teachers, district or regional governors, and the NATS web page. 

  • Regional Winners. Each region will select a winner from the regional auditions to be sent to the national semifinal auditions, which will be held in Chicago in July 2016. Regional winners must be certified by their regional governor as to their availability to participate in the national semifinals. 
  • Expense Stipends. Semifinalists will each receive a stipend of $200 from the NATS executive office to assist in covering travel costs. Regions usually contribute additional funds. Contestants are expected, however, to be responsible for the remainder of their own additional expenses, as well as for making their own travel arrangements and hotel reservations. 
  • Finalists. No fewer than four and no more than eight finalists will be chosen at the semifinals to sing in the final auditions during the National Conference in Chicago in July 2016. Finalists and semifinalists will earn prizes of not less than $700. 
  • Accompanists. Contestants are urged to provide their own accompanists. At regional auditions accompanists can be provided for a fee if the regional governor is notified at least three weeks before the audition. At the National Semi-finals the NATS executive office will provide a travel stipend of $200 for accompanists. However, if so desired, professional accompanists will be available without expense to contestants. Notification of the need for accompanists must be given to the Vice President of NATSAA by May 15, 2016. NATS teachers are not allowed to accompany their students at any level.

Adjudication Procedures & Policies

  • Qualified adjudication will be provided for all competitions. There will be at least three judges but no more than five at each audition. Teachers having students in auditions will not be eligible to adjudicate that audition. 
  • Contestants will remain anonymous until the audition is completed. 
  • Contestants will be heard for 12-15 minutes. 
  • Contestants will sing one selection of their choice at each audition. The balance of the numbers to be heard will be requested by the judges from the repertoire submitted. 
  • National finalists will present a fifteen-minute program of their own choosing, selected from the submitted repertoire. 
  • NATS will publicize the availability of award winners for professional engagements.

NATS Policy on Copyright Laws 

The National Association of Teachers of Singing endorses a strict policy regarding copyright laws. The use of photocopied music is prohibited at all NATS sponsored events, from the national to the chapter level.

Exceptions are:

  1. Music that is out of print, still under copyright law, with permission from a publisher.
  2. Sheet music or books for which the copyright has expired, but available in CD format. (e.g., CD Sheet Music). Performers must be prepared to present proof of ownership upon request.
  3. Sheet music purchased legally from an online vendor. Such music should have either a separate page proving the performer has purchased such or a copyright notice at the bottom of the music that includes the performer's name. Performers must be prepared to present proof of ownership upon request.
  4. Music available from approved public domain websites. Performers should take particular care when accessing these sites as some do not guarantee that all works are indeed in the public domain. Current approved online public domain sites are:

Other Resources

Find birth and death dates of composers

Past NATSAA Winners

43rd NATSAA Competition for Singers Sponsor of the Winner's New York Solo Recital Debut


NATS greatly appreciates the efforts of AIMS, DCINY, Hal Leonard Corporation, the NATS Foundation and the Franco-American Vocal Academy for providing prizes for the NATS Artist Awards Competition.

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