The NATS Mentoring Program for Composers
The National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) is pleased to offer the annual 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 annual program. Around 10 selected composers are paired with a mentor for about 8 months, from mid-October to early June. The mentoring involves 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.
As a special feature of the program, the Cincinnati Song Initiative commissions and premieres a song from each of the composer mentees. These have been presented in the “Let It Be New” concert events since the program's inception. Past mentees also have had the opportunity again to present their works as part of NATS events at the chapter, region or national level.
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 application asks interested composers 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.
Currently, we are no longer accepting applications for 2023/24. Applications will be available for 2024/25 in late summer or early fall of 2024.
Read more about the 2022/23 class of composers.
Watch the 2023 Cincinnati Song Initiative "Let it Be New" concert.
Read more about the 2021/22 class of composers.
Watch the Cincinnati Song Initiative "Let it Be New" concert from June 26, 2022.
The inaugural 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.
- H. Leslie Adams (General Advice)
- Michael Ching
- Tom Cipullo
- Andrea Clearfield
- Anthony Davis
- Juliana Hall
- Jake Heggie
- Roy Jennings
- Lori Laitman
- Evan Mack
|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|