NATS 2024 Winter Workshop

Schedule Overview

  • Saturday, January 6: Morning check-in (8-9 a.m. ET) at Manhattan School of Music and full day of workshop sessions (9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET)
  • Sunday, January 7: Full day of workshop sessions (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET) with NATSAA Finals in the evening
  • Monday, January 8: Workshop sessions continue (9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. ET) with NMTC Finals in the evening 


Optional Bonus Activity - Pre-Workshop

Broadway Up Close banner

  • Friday, January 5: Winter Workshop attendees may attend a *COMPLIMENTARY* tour by Broadway Up Close the day before the workshop starts. Join your fellow NATS members and friends for the Shubert Brothers & Beyond Group Tour. The group will meet outside the Lyceum Theatre on 45th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, departing at 3:15 p.m. ET. The tour is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, and it is about 1/2 mile in distance.

Session Titles and Descriptions

Constructive Collaboration: Pedagogic Tactics for Building a Unique & Sustainable Vocal Footprint with the CM (Commercial Music) Singer

Presenter: Justin John Moniz

The challenges associated with teaching contemporary styles often depend upon a teacher’s ability (and willingness) to embrace a singer’s unique vocal footprint. Often contemporary singers are reluctant to implement technical alterations which may impact their desired aesthetic or overall sound. This session will equip voice teachers with pedagogic tactics to assist in both technical assessment and collaborative approaches for building unique and sustainable practices with the CCM singer.

Interpreting Operatic Arias

Presenter: Warren Jones

Unleash your dramatic potential in this session focused on interpreting arias from French, German, Italian, and English opera. Attendees will learn how to transform sung performances into breathtaking portrayals of human emotion with collaborative and stylistic nuance.

This session has a master class component. Interested vocalist/pianist teams should send a link to a video performance of suitable repertoire to for consideration.

The Voice is Not a Piano: A Guide for Coaches 

Presenter: Rachelle Jonck

The voice achieves musical goals (for example legato) in intrinsically different ways than the piano (and most other instruments). Explore the skills a pianist/coach needs to play a positive role in the development of the singer.

This session has a master class component. Interested vocalist/pianist teams should send a link to a video performance of an Italian song/aria to for consideration.

You Say Either, I Say Neither — Let’s Work the Whole Thing Out

Presenter: Ann Evans Watson and Sarah Wigley

Double the fun! Contemporary performance is a collaborative art, yet how do we work together to create the magic when our lived experiences and expertise are all so different? We’ll examine how voice teachers, coaches, and pianists with different genre and pedagogical backgrounds can create a collaborative working environment with individual singers to adjust towards cohesive, inclusive, and adjacent guidance for a variety of contemporary vocal stylings as we shift a piece from one genre to another.

Versi Sciolti and Versi Lirici: Italian Diction Beyond the IPA

Presenter: Rachelle Jonck

In this session, we’ll take a deep dive into Italian poetry and how it influences text underlay, phrasing, and rubato for more authentic diction and effective performance.

Audition 101

Presenter: Merri Sugarman and Eric Jordan Young

Hear from top industry professionals, Merri Sugarman, Casting Director (Ain't Too Proud, Phantom, Les Miserables, Jersey Boys, etc.) and Eric Jordan Young, Performer/Director (Ragtime, Chicago, Seussical, Look of Love etc.) on auditioning in 2024. We will discuss what makes a good self tape, how to choose the right material, and ways to best represent yourself in an audition room. Additionally, Merri will share important takeaways from her book, "From Craft to Career: A Casting Directors Guide for the Actor."

Broadway Mock Auditions 

Presenter: Michael Cassara and Michael Maliakel

Casting Director Michael Cassara (Ogunquit Playhouse, The Old Globe, Asolo Rep, Hangar Theatre, Argyle Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Denver Center, and dozens of other companies) and Broadway Performer, and previous NMTC winner, Michael Maliakel (Aladdin, Phantom of the Opera, TV: Bull, FBI) will run a mock audition session. This is a wonderful chance to hear from experienced folks about life behind/in front of the table. Finalists will be randomly selected to perform in this masterclass as an educational opportunity to learn from these experienced artists.

Collaborative Art Song

Presenter: Warren Jones

Embark on a captivating journey of artistic expression where we will explore the diverse landscapes of French, German, Italian, and English art song. This session will delve into the collaborative aspects of musical artistry, discovering the magic that emerges when voice and piano intertwine in harmony. Learn the subtleties of stylistic nuances and embrace the power of interpretation, as you breathe life into each lyrical tale.

This session has a master class component. Interested vocalist/pianist teams should send a link to a video performance of suitable repertoire to for consideration.

Ornamentation and Variation

Presenter: Rachelle Jonck

In this session, attendees will learn and use the basic units of pitches to ornament slow music and vary coloratura patterns in a variety of classical styles.

Easy Does It...?: A Panel Discussion with Q&A

Presenters: Warren Jones

In his work as a world-renowned collaborative pianist and pedagogue, Dr. Jones has noticed an increase in reliance on quick answers for problems that used to take some curiosity, ingenuity, and fortitude to solve. Join him and a special panel of selected guests as they investigate how students can traverse a world full of easily obtained information, yet still connect deeply and meaningfully to the musical material at hand.

To be considered for the panel, please send a short written response to Dr. Jones’ provided prompts to for consideration.

  • What are your thoughts about how to address this issue in teaching?
  • Do you see constructive ways forward that will benefit students in a real and lasting way, creating a truly personal bond between students and knowledge, one that will survive past the next test or audition or performance?


Presenters: Ann Evans Watson

In this session, attendees will learn about new collaborative models for holding musical theatre studio classes, and including a variety of art forms to facilitate success including dance, painting, Laban movement, and more.