What's New > Poster Paper program is set for the NATS National Conference

Poster Paper program is set for the NATS National Conference

posted on 11:30 AM, February 21, 2020
Attendees can visit each table and chat with paper presenters. Sessions will take place on June 27, 28, and 29.

We are pleased to announce the Poster Paper presenters who have been selected for the 56th NATS National Conference in Knoxville. Listed in the schedule below are 55 presenters, representing a total of 36 presentations. The judging of submissions was completed in February and we thank all who offered their knowledge and expertise.

Poster Paper Sessions will take place during the lunch break (noon to 2:00 p.m.) on Saturday, June 27, Sunday, June 28, and Monday, June 29. Attendees have the opportunity to visit each table and chat with paper presenters. Posters will be judged by a panel and a winner will be chosen at the end of the Conference.

Program Information and Schedule

Poster Paper Session I • Saturday, June 27 • 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Poster Paper Session II • Sunday, June 28 • 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Poster Paper Session III • Monday, June 29 • 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 27

Voice Health

Singing for Two: The Experience of Pregnancy for the Classical Singer
Presenter: Catherine Gardner
This poster presentation shares my findings after surveying 444 classical singers from around the world on the emotional, physical and social aspects of pregnancy as it relates to singing. Find out what percentage of women felt their fach changed during and after pregnancy and why the women I surveyed felt that pregnancy brought about changes in vocal technique. I'll share the shift in perspective that over 70% of classical singers I surveyed experienced during pregnancy, why the majority of participants felt that pregnancy made them better singers, and how pregnancy impacted my survey participants' pre-performance anxiety.


The Legacy of Alberto Nepomuceno: Father of Brazilian Art Song
Presenters: Laura Chipe and Margareth Miguel
The European model of composition was considered the ideal in Brazil in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, the legacy of Alberto Beriot Nepomuceno (1864-1920) was to champion the use of popular rhythms, melodies, dance forms and the Portuguese language in his compositions of Romantic art songs. Although he was often considered controversial as an abolitionist, he led the way for other nationalist composers, including his highly acclaimed protégé Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959).

The Kassia Database: A Singers Guide to Finding Art Song by Women Composers
Presenter: Logan Contreras
The Kassia Database is a database celebrating the art song by women composers. This resource is geared towards aiding instructors of voice, performers, and researchers of vocal music in discovering vocal works by female composers, with the hopes to increase performance and advocation of each woman's often overlooked works.

Exploring Twenty-first Century North American Art Songs by Women Composers for the Young Singer
Presenter: Dorea Cook
As an educator and performer, I am always hunting for approachable art songs by women composers. However, many excellent twenty-first century art songs are too difficult for the young singer age 16-20 due to vocal and dramatic demands, rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic complexities, collaborative challenges, and more. This presentation on current North American women composers will review some of the changing trends in North American art song, overview the rubric used to filter songs, and provide NATS attendees a non-exhaustive list of accessible and enjoyable songs for both young and professional musicians.

Appropriate Song Repertoire for the Young Bass
Presenter: Christopher A. Mitchell
This project identifies the English language repertoire in the most common song anthologies that is best suited for the lowest male voices. Additionally, the project has identified a large number of songs in English that are not in these anthologies that are well-suited for this voice type and curated them for a freely accessible database.

Understanding the Repertoire, Understanding Ourselves
Presenter: Paul Patinka
2018 was the first year that the entire NATS community used the online registration system for chapter and regional auditions and provides the first collective data pool with a representative sample of what is being taught in the broader voice community. This poster seeks to understand the data and broader implications about the inclusivity of the repertoire by comparing demographic information of the composers from the NSA auditions with NASM and US Census Bureau data. This level of data analysis serves to ask questions of generally assumed trends in repertoire selection, as well as to fundamentally understand what we, as a community of voice teachers, are selecting as the best repertoire for our students’ voices.

Voice Science

Acoustic Registration Events and Proposed Training Strategies for Transgender Singers on Testosterone
Presenter: Julia Austenfeld
This poster paper introduces the unique nexus of laryngeal and acoustic registration events experienced by transgender men and non-binary transgender people pursuing testosterone (T) therapy. Topics covered include analysis of the first-ever formant profiles of transgender singers on T and practical teaching strategies for these singers. This research is conducted and presented by a non-binary singer who trains transgender voices in both choral and solo settings.

Listening to the Past: Understanding the Effects of Historical Recording Technology
Presenters: Joshua Glasner and Aaron M. Johnson
This poster paper presents the results from a multi-faceted study of professional opera singers—based in New York City—recorded on both modern and historical audio recording equipment (a flat-response microphone and a period wax cylinder phonograph). It shows voice teachers how historical audio technology distorts the voice output signal and suggests how singers can listen to historical recordings despite such distortions. The presentation will include online interactive media which will allow the viewer to listen to modern singers on two distinct recording technologies and to compare those recordings with historical singers from the turn-of-the-century.

Physiologic Variables as Correlates to Tone Color in Classically Trained Undergraduate Sopranos: A Pilot Study
Presenters: Matthew Hoch, Mary J. Sandage, Grace M. Cutchin, and Kenneth W. Bozeman
In this pilot study, the investigators asked the following research question: “Do well-established objective measures of size, body mass and respiratory volume correlate with vocal function and perceived vocal tone color?” To answer this question, three undergraduate sopranos under the age of twenty-four were asked to record an aria or song of their choice that they felt best represented their classical singing voice, as well as a standardized vocalise that represented the flexibility of their singing voice. These recordings were then rated for voice tone color characteristics and flexibility by an internationally regarded tone color expert who was blinded to any visual images of the singers or other data gathered until after data collection and analyses were completed. The singers completed the remaining physiologic and vocal function measures during a single data collection visit.

Effects of a Straw Phonation Protocol on Acoustic and Perceptual Changes in Choirs
Presenters: Jeremy Manternach and Chad Clark
Many voice instructors, speech-language pathologists, choral teacher-conductors, and other voice professionals use semi-occluded vocal tract (SOVT) exercises in their classrooms clinics or studios. This purpose of this line of inquiry was to determine whether one SOVT exercise (straw phonation) might elicit consistent changes in choral sound and perceptions of vocal effort.

Exploring the Resonance Effect of the Zygomatic Lift: Emotional Affect OR Direct Physiology?
Presenter: Heidi Moss
Neuroscience hints that some phenomena, once thought to be purely physically generated, could actually be rooted in a higher-order mental intention. Conversely, physical actions like smiling can have a positive effect on our mood. In singing one example deserving exploration is the often-cited effect of the zygomatic musculature on higher frequencies of the voice. Preliminary controlled experiments using both brass players and singers showed promise in the uncoupling the physical action of the zygomatic lift from the emotional intention: it seems that the higher resonances are indeed a mental intention and not due to a physical action in those musicians.

Predictive Timbres based on Formant Analysis of Singers
Presenters: Brianna Smith and Kevin Hanrahan
This research examines the effect of texts on vocal production by analyzing vowel formants and determining the effect of the vowel-pitch relationship on the perception of vocal timbres. We sought to further describe the timbres whoop, yell, close, and open based on Bozeman’s definitions given in “Practical Vocal Acoustics: Pedagogic Applications for Teachers and Singers” (2013) by recording male and female participants singing an excerpt in two different keys and then surveying an expert panel of singers and voice teachers who listened to the recordings and completed a survey describing their perceptions and defining timbral qualities.

Sunday, June 28

Contemporary Topics

A Survey of Basic Vocal Technique, Vocal Knowledge, and Vocal Health Awareness in African-American Gospel Singers and Worship Leaders
Presenter: Jaron M. LeGrair
This research helps to provide insight on the current state of African-American Gospel singers and worship leaders who use their voice on a daily or weekly basis and to aid the plight of ensuring that this population of singers can continue to gain tools and knowledge for optimal voice use.

Implicit Timbral Biases of Classical Voices Based on Race/Ethnicity
Presenters: Paul Patinka and James Rodriguez
There is an anecdotal perception among individuals and communities within singing-voice related professions that people of different races/ethnicities have distinct timbral qualities when singing in the classical style. While there is little evidence to suggest that classical singers of different ethnicities sing with unique mechanisms or timbral colors, implicit biases play a part in listeners evaluation of tone quality and professional readiness.

Voice as Identity: Implementing Assistive Technology in Vocal Performance
Presenter: Katherine Skovira
This paper follows the evolution of a collaborative work between the Boston-based AI company VocaliD and the Philadelphia-based contemporary music ensemble SoundLAB, in a partnership with advocacy institutions across three US cities, to stretch the artistic possibilities of assistive technology in live performance, highlight themes of "voice as identity," and promote awareness of disability as a natural part of the human experience. This emerging and explorative research allows for new partnering between VocaliD’s exciting technology, performing and research organizations, medical institutions, and advocacy groups at a nexus of science, art, and social justice.

Voice Health

Modules for Nodules: Patient-driven strategies for vocal budgeting
Presenter: Lisa Barksdale
A compilation from case studies gathered by a Speech and Language Pathologist who is also a university voice instructor. Through brainstorming in therapy sessions and voice lessons, patients and students have implemented innovative ways to reduce voice use without sacrificing quality of work. Reports from these persistent patients and determined students with new patterns of voice use, illustrate reduced loss of voice and reduced fatigue, along with increased clarity and endurance.

Singing with Style: Cross-Genre Training for Classical Singers
Presenter: Shelli Hulcombe
Cross training is a concept traditionally associated with sports science, used by athletes as a means of promoting overall balance and mitigating against injury. For some time now, there has been increasing advocacy for its adoption in the vocal studio, through the use of multi-genre singing training. This paper examines the current literature available on vocal cross training, and reports on the preliminary findings of a mixed-methods study aimed at examining the effects of cross training on the classical singer.

Vocal Health in the Rehearsal Process for Opera and Musical Theatre: A Pilot Study
Presenter: James Rodriguez
This presentation explores the vocal health practices of students cast in university productions (both opera and musical theatre). Analysis using descriptive language from surveys and spectrograms of recorded data noted changes in formant frequencies and signs of vocal fatigue throughout the span of the rehearsal process.

Voice Pedagogy

Three’s Company! Fostering Collaborative Learning through Partner Lessons
Presenter: Daniel Hunter-Holly
Who says voice lessons have to be one-on-one? This poster will cover the benefits, challenges, and mechanics of a partner-lesson system in which collaborative learning, peer mentoring, and reflective observation provide an alternative context to the traditional master-apprentice model of voice teaching.

The Vocal Artist’s Playground: Implementing Play and Improvisation as a Tool to Enhance Creativity and Technical Efficiency in the Vocal Studio
Presenter: Ingrid Kammin
Play based learning and improvisation are widely recognized tools that enhance and nurture creativity. This poster paper explores the benefits of play and improvisation in the vocal studio. It will display a variety of concepts and exercises teachers and students can implement in their regular practice to nurture and empower one’s authentic creative-self. What's on your playground?

The How and Why of an Ideal Performing State Absent Anxiety
Presenter: Karen Leigh-Post
An exploration of the role of the vestibular system in the regulation of autonomic balance will both explicate why an ideal, anxiety free, performing state is characterized by the seemingly contradictory states of heightened awareness and calm and, more importantly, how to achieve this sense of well-being in performance.

Creating Singers Without Borders: How to Design a Globally Inclusive Vocal Pedagogy
Presenter: Sherri Weiler
The aim of this poster is to educate voice teachers in specific best practices to reach singing students whose cultural vocabulary is non-Western by providing a distillation of basic vocal techniques and tools which have been shown to inculcate excellent singing principles across various multicultural vocal styles. This goal is accomplished through refining and restating the essential cultural ideals that we all share through music; keeping the student’s world at the core of the teaching-learning process; and choosing repertoire within the student’s cultural context that will assist in skills acquisition and have a positive cultural impact. The specifics of teaching indispensable technical skills within the experience of culture is included with practical instructions regarding body alignment, inhalation, onset/release, resonance/vowels, and articulation.


The “Here, Bullet” Consortium: A Guide to Creating, Promoting, and Performing a New 21st Century Song Cycle
Presenters: André Chiang and Kurt Erickson
The “Here, Bullet” Consortium represents a fresh and unique way to disseminate new compositions. The exposure and promise of further projects make the consortium method viable for composers and performers. The songs in “Here, Bullet” are analyzed with performance recommendations, and the researcher and composer of the pieces will be available for discussion.

Voice Science

Flowball Phonatory Interventions in Collegiate Aged Singers
Presenters: Drake Dantzler, Caroline Roberts, Juliana Codino, and Adam Rubin
This poster presents an overview of a scientific study completed by collegiate-aged voice students utilizing a Flowball device intervention. The method and results are explained, including statistically significant changes in Sound Pressure Level, Closed Quotient and Mean Ball Height Standard Deviation. The results are analyzed from the point of view of the studio teacher and conclusions are drawn for studio applications.

Peering Inside the Period: Wavelet Decomposition as an Alternative to the Fourier Transform
Presenters: Kayla Gautereaux, Ian Howell, and Jason Trees
Discrete wavelet decomposition is an analysis that balances the resolution in the frequency and time domains continuously, in contrast to the traditional windowed approach of the Fast Fourier Transform. Wavelet analysis reveals that the power of harmonic frequencies, within the time-frame of one fundamental period of a voiced signal, is not static; a consistent pattern of fluctuating power is evident. This approach unveils a novel view into the emergent micro-patterns of vocal acoustics and warrants further exploration to deepen the understanding of voice production and perception.

Monday, June 29

Collaborative Piano

The Voice Teacher’s Responsibility to Share Their Knowledge in Training Collaborative
Presenters: Jamie Reimer and Stacie Haneline
The role of the voice teacher in the training of collaborative pianists is a necessary, but infrequently discussed, relationship in the voice studio. This poster outlines the explicit and implicit skills needed by a collaborative pianist, as well as the opportunities and responsibilities of the voice teacher in training aspiring collaborative pianists.

Contemporary Topics

NATS Advocacy Initiatives
Presenter: Gregory Brookes
This poster presentation will look at the advocacy initiatives being developed and implemented by the NATS Advocacy Committee regarding inclusion and diversity. As a member of the committee, the presenter will provide information to the attendees about the work of the committee and ask audience members to consider questions of diversity in terms of student/teacher population, repertoire, performance practice and genre. This presentation will also provide members and attendees the opportunity to express their views of advocacy and diversity through discussions with the presenter.


IPA Braille for Lyric Diction
Presenter: Cheri Anne Montgomery
Lyric diction resources with IPA braille are non-existent. IPA Braille for Lyric Diction is a new phonetic system that is mutually accessible by both the sighted and the blind. This presentation introduces instructors to an intuitive system of phonetics for the blind, education in that system, and texts transcribed according to the system.

Voice Health

A Survey of Speech Pathologists Regarding Laryngeal Massage on Singers
Presenter: Charles Dugan
A visual display of a nationwide survey of speech pathologists who use laryngeal massage on singers. Methods, practices, and professional recommendations included. This survey was initiated at the American Speech-Language Hearing Association's 2019 National Conference.

It Doesn't Have to be the Fat Lady Singing (But It Can Be): What We Know about Body Weight & the Classical Singer
Presenter: Rebekah Staley
The discussion of body weight and the classical singer is not new, but recent events, such as HD broadcasts of opera productions, along with rising obesity rates across the general populace, have led to increased debate surrounding the stereotype of the overweight opera singer. Come learn about the available research regarding body weight and nutritional issues and their relationship to vocal function, as well as an introduction to areas where further research is needed.

Voice Pedagogy

How They Sing: Dynamic Facial Expressions and Audience Impressions in Vocal Performances
Presenters: Zachary Carr, Mark G. Frank, and Kimberly Potfora
The current study examines how the use of dynamic facial expressions influences audience impressions of performers throughout a vocal performance. Further, the authors examined if the use of 'authentic' facial expressions altered audience judgement of perceived vocal talent and overall execution of a given piece.

Should I Stay or Should I Go: Retrospective Perceptions of Challenges to Persistence in the Undergraduate Applied Voice Studio
Presenter: Phyllis Pancella
Research has demonstrated the impact of the teacher-student relationship on student achievement in the classroom, but little has been done to study the impact of the teacher-student relationship in the often powerful one-to-one instructional setting. This qualitative study examines interview data from former undergraduate applied voice students who struggled with a variety of factors which led them to consider changing studios. Topics range from the emotional environment and communication of expectations to the degree of autonomy support and intra-departmental competition.


Songs from Winning Works of the ASCA Competition Appropriate for College Age Students
Presenter: Carol Mikkelsen
As an outgrowth of my work as Coordinator of the NATS Art Song Composition Award Program for 20 years, I have worked to disseminate to the singing world the wonderful, newly composed music in various ways. I have recently discovered/rediscovered that a good way to reach adult singers, most especially NATS members, is through their students. I have also rediscovered that students very often like the vocal music of their generation, and have a penchant for singing. During the past two years, I have made it a point to assign a song from the ASCA winning compositions to each of my students, always with careful attention to appropriateness of each song to each student singer. It has been a very successful experiment. At last Spring’s Southeastern Regional Student Auditions’ new Artist Presenter Series, I did a session on the topic, with student performances of songs from the 1st-place winning compositions of 2008 through 2018. It was a terrific session which generated tremendous enthusiasm amongst the attendees. I would like to further expand this initiative through a poster paper at the 2020 National Conference. The topic, “Songs from Winning Works of the ASCA Competition Appropriate for College-Age Students,” would serve to further the goal of the NATS Art Song Composition Program, which is to stimulate the writing of new works of high quality for the solo voice, through the cooperation of singers and composers. Additionally, the poster paper will reveal to singing teachers a new body of songs which can be successfully sung and enjoyed by their/our students. The design of the poster paper would be written information about each work from which the songs were chosen, along with brief information about the composers, the song texts, musical and singing requirements of each song, for what voice category and voice type each song is appropriate, if and by whom works have been published, as well as other pertinent details. Each chosen song will have a recording sung by a college-age student singer, by either undergraduate or graduate students, along with equipment for listening purposes.

More than Tessitura—Quantifying the Contour of a Melody
Presenter: Deborah Lynn Popham
The order in which the pitches are arranged in a song, i.e., the melody, has immediate implications on the ease or difficulty of a song for beginning singers. Three songs, “Vittoria, mio core,” “Danza, danza fanciulla gentile,” and “Caro mio ben” will be plotted on a "song" range profile to aid in determining melodic difficulty and singer fatigue.

The Art Song of Black Female Composers in the Applied Studio
Presenter: James Rodriguez
This presentation explores the works of a number of black female composers and their applicability in the applied voice studio. Songs range from beginner to advanced and focus on art song, rather than spirituals.

Voice Science

Effect of Tongue Position Training on Second Formant Tuning in Young Adult Female Singers
Presenters: Margaret Kennedy-Dygas and Laurie E. Lashbrook
This study (OU IRB 19-X-180) examines the effect of a 30-minute tongue position training session on the resonance of young female singers. The investigators are comparing strengths of harmonics in pre- and post-training recordings on target pitches and vowels in a common Stephen Foster song. A panel of expert voice teachers will rate each pair of pre- and post-training recordings for improvement in resonance, and these perceptual ratings will be compared with the training protocols used to discover correlation between perceived improvement and training approach.

A comparison of three semi-occluded vocal tract postures
Presenter: John Nix
The author’s research concerns three SOVTs: the ‘standing wave’ exercise developed by Berton Coffin, also known as a Manually Occluded Vocal Tract; singing through a straw; and singing into a Styrofoam cup with a small opening at one end. The author’s poster will display sample spectra, graphs of resonance shifts during and after the semi-occlusions, and statistical analyses of the significance of any changes pre/post in vocal tract resonances and vibrato. The results will be discussed in light of providing practical recommendations for studio teachers.