What's New > NATS Announces Participants in 2019 Intern Program

NATS Announces Participants in 2019 Intern Program

posted on 12:23 PM, February 12, 2019
15 early-career voice teachers and collaborative pianists will gather for an intensive training experience at New England Conservatory of Music, June 3-13, 2019.

The executive office of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) announced that 15 members have been selected to participate in the 2019 NATS Intern Program, a 10-day forum that pairs experienced and recognized master teachers with talented early career members of NATS. The Class of 2019 NATS Interns includes 12 voice teachers and three collaborative pianists.

“As NATS celebrates its 75th Anniversary, the 2019 Intern Program continues as our highest level ‘immersion’ offering in our association's long tradition of mentorship and goals of providing professional development opportunities for its members,” said Linda Snyder, director of the 2019 NATS Intern Program and immediate past president of NATS.

This year’s class includes teachers who teach in university settings as well as those who operate independent studios. "Members of the 2019 Class have also taught in diverse locations such as community music schools, churches and summer workshop programs, and with a varied repertoire ranging from opera/music theatre to gospel and pop,” said Snyder. Applicants were chosen following an extensive international search. Snyder noted, "The selection committee was highly impressed as it carefully considered the second highest number of applications in the 28-year history of this prestigious program. The future of our profession is in good hands!"

This year's voice interns will work with master teachers Lynn Helding (University of Southern California), Mary Henderson-Stucky (independent studio, and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music), Dan Johnson-Wilmot (Viterbo University), and Kevin Wilson (Boston Conservatory at Berklee). The collaborative piano interns will work with master teacher J.J. Penna (Westminster Choir College of Rider University/The Juilliard School).
The program will be held at the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) in Boston, MA, June 3-13. Serving as on-site coordinator is Ian Howell, a member of the voice faculty at the New England Conservatory since 2014. Tana Field (Murray State University) serves as vocal literature liaison. "We are looking forward to experiencing NEC and its new residence hall, centered in the city's most wonderful arts neighborhood," said Snyder.

Over the years, NATS Interns have maintained close professional bonds. At the biennial NATS National Conference, all those who have participated in past Intern Programs gather for a reunion and catch up with one another. Since its inception in 1991, the NATS Intern Program alumni network has grown to more than 300 voice teaching professionals.

NATS Intern Program – Class of 2019


Allan Armstrong – Bloomington, IN
J. Bradley Baker – Hillsboro, KS
Michael Womack – Magnolia, AR


Allan Armstrong


J. Bradley Baker


Michael Womack


Marquese Carter – Statesboro, GA
Jean Bernard Cerin – Lincoln University, PA
Bryan DeSilva – East Boston, MA
Andrew Garland – Boulder, CO
Kerry A. Ginger – Durango, CO
Suna Gunther – Albany, NY
Errik M. Hood – Logan, UT
Seth Keeton – Salt Lake City, UT
David Kirkwood – Houston, TX
Rhea Olivaccé – Portage, MI
Christopher Reames – Cookeville, TN
Melissa Treinkman – Venice, CA


Marquese Carter


Jean Bernard Cerin 


Bryan DeSilva


Andrew Garland


Kerry A. Ginger


Suna Gunther


Errik M. Hood


Seth Keeton


David Kirkwood


Rhea Olivaccé


Christopher Reames


Melissa Treinkman

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 2020 Program will be available in late summer 2019. 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 2018 Interns

“Our team environment was so inspiring. We would discuss voice teaching, voice science, and various pedagogical approaches almost nonstop throughout the day - there was just so much laughter, storytelling, and incredibly interesting material to get through! All of the master teachers were incredibly generous with their free time, whether it was giving one-on-lessons, hosting extra info sessions, or chatting through mealtimes.”
– Catherine Compton, Brownsville, TX

“I am eternally grateful and extremely proud of having had the opportunity to participate in the NATS Intern Program. I am continually amazed by the wonderful opportunities the NATS organization provides for all teachers to continue to grow and develop, but especially for early career teachers. The Intern Program was informative and affirming, thanks to the fantastic group of master teachers.”
– Mark Kano, Louisville, KY

“The literature/publication was very interesting – I enjoyed seeing the new materials available. I LOVED all of the teacher’s sessions. Seeing what each master teacher brings to their craft was very valuable.”
– Todd Wedge, Atlanta, GA

“There is no doubt about this experience being one of the most eye-opening experiences as an educator for me…. The relationship we were able to build with the master teachers and other interns was most valuable. As a young educator, it might be overwhelming when you jump into the teaching field. It was great to have mentors to ask questions and have other interns to share their experiences on particular issues.”
– Angela Yoon, Waco, TX


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