William "Bill" Vessels
The National Association of Teachers of Singing has established the William “Bill” Vessels Endowment honoring the former NATS executive director who served in the role from 1990 to 2005. The endowment will provide a dedicated and permanent source of funding for the NATS Intern Program and honors Vessel’s years of distinguished service to the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
“Bill advanced our organization in countless ways,” said Allen Henderson, current NATS Executive Director. “It seems fitting that his legacy will be honored by an endowment to provide funding for a program he championed.”
NATS has received a generous matching gift challenge of $12,500 to launch the Vessels Endowment. It is now seeking supporters who can contribute to the match resulting in a $25,000 endowment fund. Those who wish to contribute may do so at the link below, or by calling the NATS office at 904-992-9101.
Vessels was first and foremost a voice teacher whose experience informed his leadership of NATS. He was known as a gentle and determined leader who guided NATS through a time when the organization faced challenges that threatened to limit its ability to carry out its mission.
“I believe Bill literally saved NATS during a very difficult time in our history,” said Carole Clifford, one of Vessel’s first students at Jacksonville University and a NATS member. “We went from potential disaster to stability and then growth.”
“I would not be a Professor of Music, teaching a full studio of collegiate singers today, if Bill Vessels had not been in my life,” said Patricia Boehm, NATS member and professor of music at the University of Mount Union. “He set me on this path by providing the best possible model of what a great voice teacher looks and sounds like.”
The NATS Intern Program is a premier training experience, which pairs recognized master teachers with talented early-career members of NATS. The immersive 10-day instruction promotes the dynamic exchange of ideas and techniques, substantially advancing the studio teaching skills of voice interns and the coaching skills of collaborative piano interns. With the establishment of the endowment, there will now be a “William Vessels Master Teacher” named each year.