We’ve got spirit, yes we do. We’ve got spirit, how ‘bout you?
There is a growing spirit of philanthropy within the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and that is translating into more resources to build exciting programming.
When it comes to our students, the NATS cheering section is loud and proud. And National Student Auditions (NSA) is one of the most popular offerings NATS provides each year. Recent work by the Advancement Committee identified student access to the auditions as a top organizational priority.
“From the Giving Tuesday campaign to a number of generous individual gifts, NSA seems to be a favorite place to invest in NATS,” says Kari Ragan, chair of the NATS Advancement Committee. “There are ongoing discussions with several chapters about how we can make sure that there are no financial barriers to participation.”
A recent gift from a donor in New England funded the registration fees for the national NSA for 25 students. NATS will be looking for more gifts like this to make access to the auditions a strength of the program.
Funding for NSA prizes is another growing trend. The American Spiritual Ensemble, whose founder is NATS member Everett McCorvey, recently funded the top prize for the American Negro Spirituals Category. Several chapters and regions have given to support the Spirituals Category as well, including the North Carolina Chapter, the Allegheny Mountain Chapter, the Georgia Chapter, and the Cal-Western Region.
Long-time NATS member and volunteer, Nita Herrick-Colpitts, has established the Dorothy Sawatski Prize for Lower Classical Treble Voice. Professor Sawatski was a charter member of the NATS Southern Region and served as the Region Governor for several years. She founded the University of Arkansas Little Rock programs in voice, opera, and musical theatre. “She was the major influence in my teaching career,” says Professor Herrick-Colpitts.
Every chapter has the opportunity to establish funds or endowments within the NATS Endowment. The proceeds from chapter funds are spent at the discretion of the individual chapter, and the funds have the advantage of being managed for the chapter and pooled with other NATS assets for investment. Talk about a win-win situation!
The Virginia and Inland Northwest Chapters have both recently established funds in the NATS Endowment. Proceeds from the Susan Randolph Braden Memorial Endowment of the Virginia Chapter will be granted to students in the national finals of NSA. Proceeds from the Winnifred Collier Ringhoffer Memorial Fund of the Inland Northwest Chapter will be designated for professional development stipends for members of the chapter.
Big or small, all NATS chapters have the option to create funds today to bring their big dreams to life tomorrow.
Visionary (and generous) cheerleaders paved the road to #TeamNATS success, and NATS is on track to continue this path thanks to ongoing support. Many of the current NATS programs are underwritten by the generosity of past and current donors.
Author, compiler of anthologies, and independent teacher Joan Frey Boytim continues her generous support of independent teachers attending the National Conference. The Boytim Awards have provided grants to 82 NATS members to date.
Gifts from past donors currently underwrite the NATS Artist Awards and National Musical Theatre prizes, honoraria for NATS conferences and workshops, and the Intern Program. Donors also co-sponsor the Van Lawrence Fellowship, underwrite the NATS Emerging Leaders Awards, fund the Voice Pedagogy Award, and provide support for the Dillard Scholar Awards.
Current efforts are also underway to further bolster endowed funds that underwrite the Intern Program in the names of Bill Vessels and Barbara Doscher. Vessels was the long-time executive director of NATS. Doscher was a master teacher at the first Intern Program and author of The Functional Unity of the Singing Voice. Both were beloved, distinguished teachers.
For information on these and other NATS development programs, please contact Bob Bryan, Development Director, email@example.com.