55th National Conference - National Student Auditions and Events for Students

College Showcase – NSA Semifinal and Final Rounds – Student Workshops


Click here to download a schedule of all activities geared for students, including highlights of interest to attend at the National Conference.

College Showcase

Thursday, June 21 - 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Location: Trinidad Pavilion

Visit the leading music schools from colleges and universities without leaving the hotel. Our college Showase is designed to help you get acquainted with admissions representatives, campus life, tuition and scholarships, and more.

National Student Auditions

Friday, June 22 - 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

NSA Semifinal Round

Location: University of Nevada Las Vegas Nevada (UNLV)

The semifinal round of the National Student Auditions will be held at University of Nevada Las Vegas Nevada (UNLV). This location is off-site from the conference and you will need to provide your own transportation. (Click here for transportation information.)

Practice Rooms will be available at UNLV from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Practice Rooms with pianos will be available at Tropicana Hotel on Friday, June 22 from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm.
Location: 2nd Floor, Club Tower

Sunday, June 24 - 12:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m.

NSA Final Round

Location: Partagas 123

The top finalsts from all voice categories will compete in the National Student Auditions final round.

Announcment of the National Student Auditions Winners of the will take place at 4:30 p.m.

Student Workshops

Saturday, June 23 - 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

"Oh, God I'm Next" the Auditionee Prepares: Coping with Audition Stress and Anxiety
Presenter: Abby Burke, M.Ed., D.Div
Time: 8:00 am - 8:45 am
Location: Partagas 123

Abby_Burke_-_web_cr_2x3.jpgPerformers experience a different stress before, during and sometimes after an audition, than the type of stress experienced before a live audience. By using holistic approaches to the issue, I have found that it is through cooperative and self examination coupled with varied coping strategies, that the auditionee is better prepared to handle the stress that comes before, during and after the audition.


Best Practices for Practicing 
Presenter: Jennifer D'Agostino 
Time: 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Location: Partagas 123

JenniferDAgostino_cr5x4.jpgIn this session, I will demonstrate a self-assessment worksheet for voice students to use in the private lesson and during practice sessions. Use of this worksheet allows students to document procedures used in the private lesson, establish goals for practice time throughout the week, monitor and record practice habits, and assess their success in achieving a learning outcome. With this worksheet, students self-assess how practicing helped them achieve their learning objective and initiate a dialogue on how their own efforts can help them succeed. We will explore aspects of creating a worksheet template in one’s own studio, particularly the documentation practice that allows teachers to create artifacts and provide formative assessment.

STAYING ON TRACK: Voice Tracker, a Voice-Budgeting Tool
Presenter: Theresa Brancaccio
Time: 1:15 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Location: Partagas 123

Theresa_Brancaccio_Head_Shot_2011_cr_2x3web.jpgVoice students and young professional singers face unique challenges in managing the many and varied demands placed upon their voices. The impact of speaking too much and/or improperly can be easily overlooked as well as the accumulated vocal loads resulting from rehearsals, work, and socializing. Inspired by weight-control programs, which assign point values to each food as a way to tally daily nutritional intake, I designed a simple voice-budgeting tool, the VOICE TRACKER. By keeping track of how often and under what circumstances they use their voices, singers can make connections between their behaviors and level of vocal fatigue. Self-awareness is the first step toward making positive change.

Karen's Favorite Quick Vocal Fixes, Including the Straw
Presenter: Karen Brunssen
Time: 4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Location: Cohiba 8-9

Karen-Brunssen-headshot_195px.jpgKaren Brunssen will share concepts and exercises, based on SOVT (semi-occlusive vocal tract) that work for singers. Some encourage support, some encourage more optimal acoustics, some encourage the soft palate to go up, some facilitate a relaxed jaw without thinking about the jaw, and some add to the dexterity of the tongue with acoustic intentions in consonant articulation. A win-win for singers all the way around.


Parents Session: So Your Child Wants to be a Musician
Presenter: Allen Henderson
Time: 4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Location: Trinidad 4

Allen Henderson - hi-qualityBeing the parent of an aspiring musician can be, let’s face it, EXHAUSTING! It can also be one of the most joyful, enjoyable, and fulfilling experiences within the parenting journey. Although not a trained therapist, Henderson has: as chair of two music departments managed the recruitment process, counseled parents of highly talented students at all levels about the realities of parenting an artist, been through the process as the parent of a flutist who started her college career as a flute major, advised his nephew who performed on Broadway at age nine through the process of auditioning at the top tier music theater programs and is currently a freshman at Carnegie Mellon, and continues to counsel his 78 year old mother that, although she was terribly worried when he chose to change his major from engineering to music during college, he has turned out ok. Inhale! Exhale! Repeat!

Sunday, June 24 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Marketing Yourself as a Singer
Presenter: Alex Stoddard (Classical Singer magazine)
Time: 10:00 - 10:45 am
Location: Partagas 123

An Introduction to the Alexander Technique
Presenter: Caroline Holden
Time: 10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Location: Partagas 123

Caroline_Holden_cr_2x3.jpgIt’s been said that 95% of communication is non-verbal. Does holding your shoulders up to your ears convey anxiety? Are clenched fists a show of anger? Can we change our mood or influence others by adjusting how we stand? The Alexander Technique is a psycho-physical postural technique developed by a young actor in the late nineteenth century – a technique that has proven strikingly effective, transcending fashion and staying current for well over a hundred years. This workshop introduces participants to the basics of the Alexander Technique. We’ll focus on the fundamentals of the technique, and how they directly relate to practice and performance. The Alexander Technique is an important tool for heightening kinesthetic awareness, addressing postural issues, and allowing the release of tensions. We’ll examine physical habits that interfere with easy movement, and how to work through them to allow for greater freedom when singing.