The National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) is pleased to announce a new opportunity for composers which intersects with the work of several national programs and committees. Recent work between the new NATS Art Song Coalition, the Art Song Composition Award committee, and the NATS Advocacy Committee, and intense interest from a group of celebrated art song composers has resulted in creation of a unique opportunity for emerging and early career art song composers to be mentored by this group to promote and encourage the composition and performance of new works. For the first year, this program will be reserved for composers from underrepresented groups, with a special emphasis on Black composers. This specific program is being supervised by celebrated composers of art song and opera Tom Cipullo and Lori Laitman. "During a series of discussions recently, Tom brought forth this idea which was enthusiastically embraced by several of our committees as a way NATS can meet multiple goals to increase representation and the voices of diverse populations within the art song community," says Allen Henderson, executive director of NATS. "Tom and Lori put out the call among their colleagues and recruited a distinguished group of mentors: H. Leslie Adams, Michael Ching, Andrea Clearfield, Anthony Davis, Juliana Hall, Jake Heggie, Roy Jennings, and Evan Mack, in addition to Cipullo and Laitman."
Composers of vocal music (especially art song but also opera) are encouraged to apply for this new mentoring program in which 10 selected composers will be paired with a mentor for a period of roughly 8 months, from October 15 – June 1. The mentoring is projected to involve one-to-one online contact approximately once a month. Depending on the schedule of the mentors, the needs of the mentees, and the interests of both parties, the mentors might critique short works, give general counsel about writing for voice, offer advice about resources, point the mentees toward appropriate performers and presenters, give information about recording and publishing opportunities, and just generally be a sounding board for any questions the mentees might have.
At the end of each cycle, it is hoped that the mentees might have some of their works presented by NATS, either online or as part of regional or national NATS events. There is no cost for this program and no application fee and there are no age or stylistic limitations.
As a special feature of the program this year, the Cincinnati Song Initiative will commission a song from each of the composer mentees in the inaugural year. These songs will be produced in a video recording and premiered as CSI’s season finale concert titled 'Let it Be New' on May 16, 2021. "Now, more than ever, we must amplify diverse voices that have always been among us but stifled by deeply rooted systems and biases. CSI is honored to provide this group of commissions, creating tangible opportunities that will contribute to a growing body of American song repertoire reflective of this country’s true strength - its diversity, says Samuel Martin of CSI.
Applications are being accepted now and will be received through September 7th with selected mentees being notified of their selection by the end of September. For more information visit HERE