We are pleased to announce the recent appointments of three members to the National Association of Teachers of Singing staff. Amandia Carnahan joins us as membership services coordinator. Long-dedicated NATS member Mark McQuade is taking on the new part-time role of auditions and competitions coordinator and Heather Carraway is serving as part-time receptionist/administrative assistant.
“I am pleased to welcome these new staff members to our team as we work to serve NATS members and the greater voice community with resources, programming, and professional development for our profession,” said NATS Executive director Allen Henderson. “We look forward to the unique contributions these individuals will bring to our association.”
Amandia Carnahan comes to NATS with more than 14 years’ experience in the nonprofit world, and has held positions from public relations to program management. Organizations she has worked for have ranged from those serving children and veterans, to those serving nuclear medicine specialists.
Most recently, Carnahan worked as the community outreach and volunteer coordinator for a national veterans’ service organization where she worked to strengthen the chapters and increase awareness of the organization. Amandia began working for NATS in November 2018. As membership services coordinator, her role is to listen to the membership and ensure that NATS is meeting the needs of its members.
Originally from Mississippi, Carnahan has lived in Louisiana, Georgia and Washington, D.C. She has lived in Florida for ten years with her husband. They have two children and are foster parents to many more. When not at the baseball field watching their kids play little league, the family enjoys going to Mickler’s Beach and watching SpaceX rockets launch. (Despite the unusual spelling, Amandia pronounces her name as “Amanda.”)
"When seeking to fill the newly created part-time position of competitions and auditions coordinator I was pleased to find incredible interest from our membership with over 40 applications received representing all facets of our membership," says Henderson. "Narrowing this field and conversing with some of our members reminded me once again what a talented and impressive membership we have in NATS. Mark has had experience in NATS in three different regions and chapters of varying sizes. Mark's wife Jennifer, also a NATS member, owns and operates a thriving private studio and so he is reminded daily of the unique rewards and challenges our independent studio members face daily."
Dr. Mark McQuade has been incredibly active in NATS throughout the country having served as Texoma region governor, Oklahoma district governor, North Dakota district governor and auditions chair, and Georgia chapter webmaster. His research has also been published in Journal of Singing. McQuade began his role as NATS auditions and competitions coordinator in November 2018.
He serves as assistant professor of music at Valdosta State University, teaching private voice and vocal pedagogy. His voice students have been featured in principal and supporting roles with university, community, and professional opera and musical theater companies, and they are regular winners, finalists, and semi-finalists at state, regional, and national voice competitions. As a performer, McQuade has appeared in opera, musical theater, concert, and recitals throughout the United States and Canada. Prior to joining the VSU faculty McQuade served as associate professor of music at Minot State University (2015-2017) and assistant professor of music at Oklahoma Baptist University (2006-2015). Along with his deep-rooted passion for teaching and the art of singing, he brings nearly 20 years of experience as a performer and director of opera. McQuade served as the general director of the Western Plains Opera Company from 2015 to 2017. He holds degrees in vocal performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Oklahoma, and a doctorate in vocal pedagogy from the University of Mississippi.
Heather Carraway joined the NATS Executive Office in March of 2018 as a part-time Receptionist/Administrative Assistant. She has a background in customer service, retail management, office clerical work, and sales. Carraway is originally from Tennessee, and moved to Jacksonville in 2000. She is married with two children. Her elder is currently singing with The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus.