History of NATS

The 1950s

President Homer Mowe 1950-52

  • Homer_G_Mowe.jpgThe Council of Past Presidents was formed.
  • Canadians became eligible for membership in 1950.
  • Walter Allen Stults donated a president’s gavel that he had carved in 1900 to NATS at the 1951 Chicago Convention, the first convention without MTNA.
  • 228 members attend the first stand alone convention.
  • The number of Vice-Presidents was increased to four.



President Walter Allen Stults 1952-54

  • William_A_Stults.jpgThe first Budget Committee was appointed.
  • In 1952 the Southwestern District Convention featured a student competition, the first of what would come to be known as NATS Student Auditions.
  • A 1950 report “Proposed Curriculum for Training of Teachers of Singing In Universities and Schools of Music” was distributed to over1200 institutions. This report was favorably received with many institutions implementing the report’s recommendations.
  • NATS conducts research on public school choral programs.


President Bernard Taylor 1954-56

  • Bernard_U_Taylor.jpgThe first Singer of the Year (SOTY) Competition was held at the 1955 Chicago Convention.
  • Six 1954 Workshops were held with the themes: Church music, vocal and choral practice, vocal music in school and community, vocal pedagogy, demonstrations of teaching, repertoire.
  • The Board of Directors was reorganized and bylaws revised to insure more democratic procedures as well as representation from each district.
  • Harvey Ringel was appointed editor of the Bulletin in 1955 following the resignation of Leon Carson. Helen Huls was later appointed Circulation Manager.

President E. Clifford Toren 1956-58

  • E_Clifford_Toren.jpgThe First Officers Handbook for NATS was published and distributed at the 1957 Kansas City convention.
  • The first annual student auditions were held with each regional governor deciding the fee and repertoire requirements.
  • Toren promoted three important needs for the future success of NATS: more young members, the hiring of an Executive Secretary, and the dream of an international voice conference.
  • The official list of 138 Charter Members of NATS was established and approved for the historical record.

President Dale V. Gilliland 1958-60

  • Dale_V_Gilliland.jpgA NATS committee on Public School Vocal Affairs joined with MENC to study state requirements for teacher certification.
  • The first American Institute of Vocal Pedagogy (AIVP) program, a series of courses that led to a fellowship in the AIVP, was held in 1959 at Indiana University.
  • The 15th Anniversary Convention was held in Cincinnati.
  • Membership reaches 1,844.
  • ACOVE publishes a pronouncement on choral rehearsal techniques developed with leading choral conductor.