Welcome to the 56th NATS National VIRTUAL Conference!!
by Karen Brunssen, President
We are excited to gather virtually and share our collective love for all that singing offers our world! Its power has, does, and will always enrich, reflect, and express the times we live in along with the history we access through songs and singing from lives and times before our own. Each one of us is part of a wondrous journey as lovers of singing and song through our various ways and for our various purposes. That is indeed something we celebrate throughout the conference!
We kicked off NATS’ 75th Anniversary Celebration in Las Vegas in 2018. Since then NATS has made great strides to honor our past and plan for our future by crafting the NATS Strategic Plan 2020-2025: Framing Our Future. We have a new mission statement, and our first vision, values, and diversity and inclusion statements. This conference reflects the association we have become and offers a vision for where we go from this point on.
Our musical lives were transformed due to COVID-19. NATS sprang into action to help our colleagues affected by the seemingly sudden silencing of voices as we each sought to understand what this means for us. Our members were quick to respond through NATS-Chats and NATS social media to share expertise and move most of us to “on-line” ways that have kept singing going safely with consideration of facts about the virus as related to singing. We are fortunate to live during a time of incredible electronic communication possibilities. Over 150,000 viewed the first COVID related webinar on NATSOfficial YouTube.
NATS’ switch to a virtual event has been a monumental task that we are pleased to share with a record-setting 1700+ participants. This comprehensive conference includes the finals round of the National Student Auditions and student workshops, along with breakout sessions and correlating Q & A sessions, plenary sessions, recitals and special events, publisher showcase sessions, and poster paper sessions. You will find events about voice science and pedagogy, collaboration, teaching young singers, independent studios, COVID-19, community, CCM, diversity and inclusion, art song, singing through a lifetime, and health and wellness. Thank you to all our presenters and sponsors for your dedication to our profession and your willingness to contribute to our expanded virtual audience.
The exciting line-up of internationally known guest performers and speakers includes renowned soprano Ana Maria Martinez, research scientist Christian Herbst, the incredible talents and perspectives of Rhianna Giddens, a sing-along with our own Erin Guinup, an exciting musical and collaborative presentation with soprano and composer, Patrice Michaels, titled Notorious RBG in Song , and two “The Ethics of a Profession” panel discussions, one on creating a safe workspace and the other on diversity and inclusion.
Thank you for being a part of 56th NATS National VIRTUAL Conference!