Exciting changes are coming for the National Association of Teachers Artist Awards (NATSAA) in 2016, including restructuring the preliminary rounds and extending the application deadline for singers to January 2016.
The changes were approved by the NATS Board of Directors in July 2014, and are in effect for the 2016 NATSAA competition, the semifinals and finals of which will be held in Chicago in July as part of the 54th NATS National Conference.
NATSAA auditions will now originate at the regional level, eliminating the many chapter and district rounds that were held in recent years. The regional level will include both a live preliminary round and a final round held either on two consecutive days or on the same day. NATS has 14 regions, and each region selects one singer to participate in the NATSAA semifinals.
According to Carole Blankenship, NATS vice president for NATSAA, the two-round regional auditions for NATSAA decreases the number of dates and venues needed to advance singers to the national NATSAA rounds. Singers and pianists travel to one venue instead of making two trips since both rounds take place at the same place and time.
All regional competitions will take place in March or April. The applications deadline has also been moved to January 13, 2016. In previous years, the deadline was in mid-November.
“We believe that this will help ensure that the very best singers apply and advance in the competition,” Blankenship said. “It will be a big change for some, but we believe it is an important, positive change for NATSAA.”