Semifinalists have been selected for the 43rd National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards competition. One representative from each NATS region will travel to Boston July 4-5 to compete in this year's event in buildup to the 53rd NATS National Conference, which begins on July 5.
The semifinal round will take place on Friday, July 4, with the finals scheduled for Saturday, July 5. The winner is awarded $5,000 cash, $2,500 for a winner’s recital at the 2016 NATS National Conference in Chicago, $2,500 towards personal expenses for a New York solo recital debut sponsored by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY), and a studio recording package from Futura Productions. The winner will also receive a full-tuition scholarship to attend the American Institue of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria, and a $1,000 gift certificate for music from Hal Leonard Corporation.
Second prize includes a $2,500 scholarship to attend AIMS in Graz and a $500 gift certificate for music from Hal Leonard Corporation.
The first NATS Singer of the Year Competition was held at the 1955 NATS Convention in Chicago with Richard Rivers declared the winner. He received a prize of $500 and auditions with the Metopolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera, and the Chicago Lyric Opera.
Throughout its history, the purpose of this competition has been to select, through a series of elimination rounds on the district, regional, and national levels, singers whose artistry indicates that they are ready for a professional career and to encourage them towards that goal with a cash prize and the opportunity for performance engagements.
Sponsors of this year's event include Hal Leonard Corporation, Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY), Futura Productions, the Franco-American Vocal Academy (FAVA), and AIMS in Graz.
Below is a complete list of national semifinalists, by NATS Region:
At-Large: Christina Bristow - Glendale, California
Cal-Western: Clara Hurtado Lee - Sandy, Utah
Central: Stephen Lancaster - South Bend, Indiana
Eastern: Kelly Ann Bixby - Lawrence, New Jersey
Great Lakes: Linda McAlister - Cincinnati, Ohio
Intermountain: Rachel Goldenberg - Calgary, Alberta
Mid-Atlantic: Melissa Wimbish - Baltimore, Maryland
Mid-South: Karen Crow - Nashville, Tennessee
New England: Emily Jaworski - Concord, New Hampshire
North Central: Jennifer Olson - Falcon Heights, Minnesota
Northwestern: Arwen Myers - Portland, Oregon
Southeastern: Kelly Balmaceda - Savannah, Georgia
Southern: Kristen Paige Johnson - Clinton, Mississippi
Texoma: Kelly Holst - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
West Central: Kayla Wilkens - Lincoln, Nebraska