The National Association of Teachers of Singing celebrates the art of singing through a series of competitions and programs that are designed to showcase the talented singers and performers who are soon to be rising stars in the profession. Events are held annually or biennially, some in conjunction with the NATS National Conference and others in conjunction with the NATS Summer or Winter Workshops. Click the links below for complete information about each competition or to begin the application process.
"Throughout its history, the purpose of [NATSAA] has been to select, through a series of elimination rounds on the district, regional, and national levels, singers whose artistry indicates that they are ready for a professional career and to encourage them toward that goal with a cash prize and the opportunity for performance engagements."
- Edward Baird, NATS President, 1985-1987
How It Works: The NATSAA competition takes place every other year in conjunction with the NATS Winter Workshop and is open only to NATS members and students of NATS members. Preliminary competitions are held at the regional level, with one winner emerging from each of the 14 NATS regions. The 14 semifinalists then gather at the site of the NATS Winter Workshop in New York City, January 2022 for the final two rounds of the competition. The winner will then perform at the 57th NATS National Conference to be held in Chicago, July 2-6, 2022.
Entry Fee: $75
Prizes: Over $50,000 in cash and other prizes! The winner is awarded more than $13,000 in cash and prizes; the runner-up is awarded more than $6,000 in cash and prizes. Various other prizes and awards are given to participants in the competition.
Competition Dates: Preliminary regional rounds of the competition are scheduled for Fall 2021, with the national semifinals and finals scheduled as part of the 2022 NATS Winter Workshop in New York City, January, 2022 (dates TBD).
Deadline to Apply: Sept. 13, 2021
Application, Repertoire Requirements, and Complete Rules Region Audition Preliminary Dates/Locations (TBD)
The National Music Theater Competition is the first national competition for the music theater soloist.
How It Works: The National Music Theater Competition is seeking the best emerging music theater soloists, those who just need that one break to move their careers forward. To be eligible, applicants must be between ages 20-28 as of the application deadline date. Preliminary rounds of the competition are scheduled to take place in Fall 2021. Approximately 24 singers advance to the semifinal and final rounds – to be held during the NATS 2022 Winter Workshop - January, 2022 (dates TBD) in New York City. The winner will then perform at the 57th NATS National Conference to be held in Chicago, July 2-6, 2022.
Entry Fee: $90 (or $75 for students of NATS members).
Prizes: The winner is awarded more than $5,000 in prizes in addition to a concert at the next NATS National Conference; second prize is awarded more than $2,500; third prize is $1,000.
Live Auditions - Dates and location(s) TBD
Online Auditions - Video submission deadline is October 15, 2021.
SEMIFINAL AND FINAL ROUNDS
January, 2022 (dates TBD) in New York City as part of the 2022 NATS Winter Workshop. Approximately 24 singers will advance to the semifinal round in New York City.
Deadline to Apply: September 15, 2021
How It Works: The long-standing tradition of regional NATS Student Auditions now offers the opportunity for the top performers in each region to compete with other top artists from across the continent. Students of NATS members will begin by performing during their regional auditions. Five singers from each regional category will advance to a national online screening round, where entrants will submit a video of their performances for adjudication by a panel of national judges. Fourteen singers from each of the 14 categories (plus the Hall Johnson Spirituals Competition during conference years) will advance to the semifinal round where three singers from each category will be selected to compete in the final round. The national semifinal and final rounds will be held June 2020, in conjunction with the NATS 56th National Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee (June 26-30, 2020).
Entry Fee: $75 per category
Prizes: Prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will total at least $35,000.
Competition Dates: Online national screening begins in April 2020, with the national semifinals and finals scheduled June 2020, in conjunction with the NATS 56th National Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Deadline to Apply: April 10, 2020 (applications by emailed invitation-only, following regional auditions)
How It Works: The competition is open to any composer whose submitted work meets the prescribed requirements and who pays the competition entry fee. The composer of the winning song cycle, group of songs, or extended song cycle will receive a cash award and a performance of the winning composition at the next scheduled NATS National Conference.
Entry Fee: Each entry is $30 for professionals; $15 for full-time students
Prizes: The winner is awarded $2,000 plus expenses to the NATS 57th National Conference in Chicago, July 2-6, 2022; the runner-up is awarded $1,000. Cash prizes are generously sponsored by American composer Lori Laitman.
Competition Dates: Submission deadline for online applications is Dec. 1, 2020, with judging to take place in early 2021.
Deadline to Apply: Dec. 1, 2020