The NATS Mentoring Program for Composersheadshots/Ben_Krause.jpg

The National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) is pleased to announce a new opportunity for composers which intersects with the work fo several national programs and committees.  Recent work between the new NATS Art Song Coalition, the Art Song Composition Award committee, and the NATS Advocacy Committee and intense interest from a group of celebrated art song composers has resulted in creation of a unique opportunity for emerging and early career art song composers to be mentored by this group in order to promote and encourage the composition and performance of new works.  

Composers of vocal music (especially art song but also opera) are encouraged to apply for this new mentoring program in which 10 selected composers will be paired with a mentor for a period of roughly 8 months, from October 15 – June 1.  The mentoring is projected to 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.  For the first year, this program will be reserved for composers from underrepresented groups, with a special emphasis on Black composers.

At the end of each cycle, it is hoped that the mentees might have some of their works presented by NATS, either online or as part of regional or national NATS events.  There is no cost for this program and no application fee and there are no age or stylistic limitations.

As a special feature of the program this year, the Cincinnati Song Initiative will commission a song from each of the composer mentees. These songs will be produced in a video recording and premiered as CSI’s season finale in May 2021.

This year’s mentors (listed alphabetically) are:     

H. Leslie Adams (General Advice)
Michael Ching
Tom Cipullo
Andrea Clearfield 
Anthony Davis
Juliana Hall 
Jake Heggie
Roy Jennings
Lori Laitman  
Evan Mack

Application Procedure

To apply, please complete the online application which consists of:
1. a short biography (200 words)
2. a composer’s statement (150 words) indicating your experience with vocal music, and why this program would be helpful to you.
3. two short work samples (as PDFs and also as sound files). 

Deadline to apply:  September 7, 2020        
Applicants will be notified by September 30, 2020


Please e-mail all inquiries to: