Clifton Ware Group-Voice Pedagogy Award

Award to support voice instruction within a group setting

Clifton Ware headshot

The Group-Voice Pedagogy Award has been established by Clifton Ware, professor emeritus (voice, voice pedagogy), University of Minnesota Twin Cities and a long-time NATS member. It is designed to highlight the concept of group voice and its potential impact for singers through offerings in community, independent, and academic settings.


Applicants for this award must be NATS members in good standing who want to advance the idea of learning to sing together in group voice instructional settings of any size. Submissions should reflect your aspirations and qualifications to further Group Voice Pedagogy and how the award will be used. These may include developing or being part of practicums, workshops, attaining or developing instructional resources, or any other number of ideas related to group voice pedagogy. The annual award amount is up to $1,000. 

Upon completion, the awardee(s) will submit a brief report to be shared in Inter Nos or the NATS website at the discretion of the association.


May 6, 2024


Apply now

About Clifton Ware and the Award

“I believe teaching voice classes provides special benefits that help students collaboratively and systematically learn all essential vocal-music skills, including voice production, song repertoire and styles, language diction, performance, and mind-body health,” Ware explains. “In addition, group voice provides dynamic social interactions that aid in developing social skills, like self-expression, empathetic listening, and therapeutic wellbeing. Group voice may include a variety of related venues from choral ensembles and classes for undergraduate voice major and non-major students to voice studio classes, pedagogy practicum courses that combine graduate students working with undergraduates, and community education voice classes for adults.”

With this award, NATS celebrates the contributions of Dr. Ware for encouraging voice educators to explore, discover, and develop the potential of their singing voices through “group-voice instruction.” His publications have helped many as they developed curriculum for class voice. (Adventures in Singing: A Process for Exploring, Discovering, and Developing Vocal Potential and The Basics of Vocal Pedagogy

“I have great admiration and respect for the NATS Intern Program, which began in 1991, when I helped organize and host the first program at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in Minneapolis,” Ware recounts. “It climaxed with my participation in the more highly-developed 2004 Intern Program held at Colorado State University, when serving as one of four master teachers.”

Ware received his doctorate from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, in 1970. His accomplishments as a singer-teacher include extensive performance as tenor soloist in recital, opera, and oratorio, and authorship of four books — Adventures in Singing (4/e 2008), Basics of Vocal Pedagogy (1998), The Singer’s Life: Goals and Roles (2005), and The Aging Challenge: Making the Most of Life After 50 (2009). He also has given numerous national and international presentations, including talks, workshops, masterclasses, and service as a master teacher with the 2004 NATS Intern Program.

Ware served as Minnesota NATS president in the 1970s, and later as member of the NATS Foundation Board. Since his retirement in 2007, he has served residences at Austin Peay University in Clarksville, Tennessee and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and he has presented occasional master classes at colleges and universities. Ware and his wife Bettye are co-founders and organizers of Citizens for Sustainability and The Sustainability Education Forum, which included producing Sustainability News + Views, an e-newsletter from 2013 to 2019. The couple also created the texts and music for 36 songs, including 13 Eco Songs (2009).