The NATS Mentoring Program for Composers

The National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) is pleased to announce the 2021-2022 NATS Mentoring Program for Composers. This unique mentoring opportunity for emerging and early career art song composers aims to promote and encourage the composition and performance of new works.

Composers of vocal music (especially art song and opera) are encouraged to apply for this program. Between 8 and 10 selected composers will be paired with a mentor for about 8 months, from October 15, 2021 – June 1, 2022. The mentoring will involve one-to-one online contact approximately once a month.

Depending on the schedule of the mentors, the needs of the mentees, and the interests of both parties, the mentors might critique short works, give general counsel about writing for voice, offer advice about resources, point the mentees toward appropriate performers and presenters, give information about recording and publishing opportunities, and just generally be a sounding board for any questions the mentees might have. 

At the end of a year, it is hoped that the mentees might have some of their works presented by NATS, either on the web, or as part of regional or national NATS events. As a special feature of last year’s program, the Cincinnati Song Initiative commissioned and premiered a song from each of the composer mentees. An encapsulating experience for the 2022 program is still under development and will be announced soon.

There is no cost for the NATS Mentoring Program and no application fee. There are no age or stylistic limitations, but the program is intended for those in the early stages of their professional careers or those nearing the end of their formal education.

The 2021/22 mentors:

Application Procedure

The application asks you to submit a short biography (200 words), a composer’s statement (150 words), a head shot, and two short work samples (as PDFs and also as sound files). The composer’s statement should indicate your experience with vocal music, and why this program would be helpful to you.

Deadline to apply: September 17, 2021

Applicants will be notified by October 12, 2021

Apply now

Previous Years

2020 class of composer mentees

The 2020/21 class of composer mentees was reserved for composers from underrepresented groups, with a special emphasis on Black composers. The Cincinnati Song Initiative commissioned a song from each composer mentee and they were featured in a video recording in May 2021.

2020/21 mentors:

The 2020-2021 mentees and mentors pairs:

Mentee Mentor
Mason Bynes, Boston, MA Tom Cipullo
Jerrell Gray, Baton Rouge, LA  Andrea Clearfield
Jens Ibsen, Pacifica, CA Anthony Davis
Quinn Mason, Dallas, TX  Jake Heggie
Lauren McCall, Lawrenceville, GA  Roy Jennings
James Morris, Westminster, CO  Tom Cipullo
Dave Ragland, Nashville, TN  Michael Ching
Del’Shawn Taylor, South Bend, IN  Juliana Hall
Maria Thompson Corley, Lancaster, PA  Evan Mack
Khyle Wooten, Tallahassee, FL Lori Laitman