What's New > NATS Announces Participants in 2018 Intern Program

NATS Announces Participants in 2018 Intern Program

posted on 11:55 AM, February 13, 2018
15 early-career voice teachers and collaborative pianists will gather for an intensive training experience at the University of Colorado-Boulder, June 4-14.

The executive office of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) announced this week that 15 members have been selected to participate in the 2018 NATS Intern Program, a 10-day forum that pairs experienced and recognized master teachers with talented early career members of NATS. The Class of 2018 Nats Interns includes twelve voice teachers and three collaborative pianists.

This year's voice interns will work with master teachers Margaret Cusack (Westminster Choir College), Matt Edwards (Shenandoah University), Brian Gill (Indiana University), and Jan Prokop (NYC Independent Studio, and Montclair State University). The collaborative piano interns will work with master teacher Arlene Shrut (The Juilliard School, University of North Carolina Greensboro).

The program will be held at the University of Colorado-Boulder, June 4-14. Matthew Chellis, CU-Boulder voice faculty, will serve as the on-site coordinator.

“It’s such an honor to be involved with the Intern Program, and this year looks to be exceptional. We’ll have beautiful mentorship and beautiful music-making—all in a most beautiful setting,” said 2018 NATS Intern Program Director Norman Spivey.

This year’s class includes teachers who teach in university settings as well as those who operate independent studios. Close to 50 applicants were considered for the prestigious program, which has been in existence since 1991. Over the years, NATS Interns have maintained close professional bonds. At every NATS National Conference, all those who have participated in past Intern Programs gather together and catch up with one another.

NATS Intern Program – Class of 2018


Mark Bilyeu – Minneapolis, Minnesota (Source Song Festival, Independent studio)
Wendy Blackwood – Athens, Ohio (Ohio University)
Hye-Seon Choi – Singapore (Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore)


Mark Bilyeu


Wendy Blackwood


Hye-Seon Choi


Alta Boover – Lake Orion, Michigan (Oakland University)
André Chiang – Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Louisiana State University GA, Independent studio)
Keith Colclough – Topanga, California (Pepperdine University)
Catherine Compton – Brownsville, Texas (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)
Mitchell Hutchings – Boca Raton, Florida (Florida Atlantic University, Independent studio)
Emily Jaworski – Plymouth, New Hampshire (Plymouth State University)
Mark Kano – Louisville, Kentucky (Bellarmine University, Independent studio)
Matthew Valverde – Alamosa, Colorado (Adams State University)
Victoria Vargas – Minneapolis, Minnesota (Carleton College, MacPhail Center for Music, Independent studio)
Todd Wedge – Atlanta, Georgia (Kennesaw State University)
Autumn West – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Oklahoma City University)
Angela Yoon – Waco, Texas (Baylor University)


Alta Boover


André Chiang 


Keith Colclough


Catherine Compton


Mitchell Hutchings


Emily Jaworski


Mark Kano


Matthew Valverdre


Victoria Vargas


Todd Wedge


Autumn West


Angela Yoon

With partial funding from the NATS Foundation, the NATS Intern Program is an exceptional training experience. The program environment is structured to improve the teaching skills of the interns as well as promote the interdependent relationships necessary to provide the best instruction for students, who often are independently taught by collaborative pianists and voice teachers. Within an intensive format designed to promote the dynamic exchange of ideas and techniques, the goal is to improve substantially the studio teaching skills of voice interns and the coaching skills of collaborative piano interns.

The NATS Intern Program is held annually. Application materials for the 2019 Program will be available in late summer 2018. If you are interested in contributing to the support of the program, donations can be made to the James McKinney Memorial Fund through the NATS Foundation. If your school or facility would be interested in coordinating/hosting a future NATS Intern Program, please contact pastpresident@nats.org for details and facility requirements.

Testimonials from Class of 2017 Interns

“The perfect storm of teamwork, vulnerability, and high expectations
has encouraged us all to blossom. Coupled with the extensive vocal
literature resources... I know we will all leave energized to continue this important work!”
— Tara Nixon, 2017 NATS Intern

“The new collaborative piano program is equally beneficial to the teaching interns as we continue to learn and address skills that help our students become more artistic collaborators, while the collaborative piano interns gain field experience accompanying
lessons and masterclasses.”
— Bridget Moriarty, 2017 NATS Intern