National Student Auditions


The exciting experience of NATS Student Auditions, where singers perform and receive written feedback, continues in 2019 with a national round of competition and prizes.

Total prizes: More than $35,000!

Dates: June 27-28, 2019
Location: St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN
Held in conjunction with the NATS 2019 Summer Workshop (June 27-29, 2019)


Announcing the 2019 NSA Semifinalists!

Award Levels

High School, Music Theater, Lower College Categories*
$1,200 - 1st place in each category
$600 - 2nd place in each category
$450 - 3rd place in each category
Upper College and Graduate Categories*
$1,600 - 1st place in each category
$900 - 2nd place in each category
$500 - 3rd place in each category

*Should there be a tie, an award will be pooled and divided evenly between the singers. Both winners will be named Place winners. Not all prizes must be awarded in all categories, depending on enrollment and/or adjudication.

Make a donation to support the NSA Awards

We invite you to share in the pride that we as NATS teachers take in our talented voice students. READ MORE


In 1952, the Southwest District Convention featured a student competition, the first of what would later be known as NATS Student Auditions. As NATS grew, so did student auditions, and now thousands of students participate in chapter, district, and region auditions each year, providing students with constructive feedback on their progress and deemed by members as one of the most important activities NATS organizes.

Originally for classical repertoire only, auditions now encompass music theater, spirituals and other contemporary musical styles and genres as well. NATS members provide thousands of hours of volunteer service to organize, execute, and judge auditions each year – providing a valuable service to singers of all ages. Previously, student auditions ended at the region level in many parts of the country.

In 2013, the NATS Board of Directors approved the launch of NATIONAL level student auditions for the first time in NATS history, which began in 2014. National semifinal and final rounds are held every summer, alternating in conjunction with the NATS National Conference and NATS National Workshop. The 2019 semifinal and final rounds will be held at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, during the NATS 2019 Summer Workshop (June 27-29, 2019).

NSA Updates

  • (2016) The College/Independent Studio Music Theater categories have been divided into both Lower (First and Second Year) and Upper (Third and Fourth/Fifth year).
  • (2016) The Hall Johnson Spiritual Category has been made available through a very generous donation to NATS from the Hall Johnson Estate. The best performance of a Hall Johnson spiritual will earn a $2000 prize. Held every other year, the next Hall Johnson award will take place in 2020.

National Round Audition Eligibility and Application Process

Student singers may only advance to the National Student Auditions (NSA) through their respective regional Student Auditions (SA).

  • Each NATS Region holds a regional audition (live or online).
  • Each Region advances the top five singers in each eligible category (1-14) to the National Preliminary Round. The National Preliminary Round will be conducted via YouTube.
    • In the event of ties, all singers with top five outcomes may advance.
    • In Regions where audition categories are subdivided according to the National Student Audition Regulations, the top five singers from each eligible regional category will advance to the National Preliminary Round (i.e., five each from regional Freshman Women, five each from regional Sophomore Women, for a total of ten to compete in Lower College Women at the National Preliminary Round).
  • Each Region sends a list of qualifying students to the NATS National Office.
  • The NATS National Office will send an e-mail letter of invitation and complete instructions to the qualifying students. 
    • If you know you have qualified for NSA, you should begin working on your YouTube videos using the NSA Video Submission Guidelines linked below.
    • Each NSA application has a $75 fee. If a singer enters a classical and a music theater category, there are two $75 fees, one for each category.
    • Singers must sing the same repertoire at the national level as they sang at the regional level.

2019 Semifinal & Final Audition Dates, Location, and Events

April 12, 2019 - DEADLINE for completing application and submitting payment.
May 13, 2019 - Notification of semifinalists
May 19, 2019 - Deadline for semifinalists to accept invitation to live auditions at St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN


Wednesday, June 26, 2019
All singers are required to check-in at St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, by 9 pm Wednesday June 26th. Please plan your travel arrangements accordingly.

  • 12 pm–9 pm: Singer registration and St. Olaf campus housing check-in in HOM Lobby. 

Thursday, June 27, 2019

  • 10 am–9 pm: Rehearsals with staff accompanists - CLICK HERE for schedule.
  • 12:30 pm–5:15 pm: NSA Workshop Sessions for Students (See schedule and session topics below.)
  • 9 am–7 pm: NATS National Summer Workshop Sessions
    (NSA participant and NATS Summer workshop - COMBINED SCHEDULE)
  • 7 pm–9:30 pm: Semi-final Round for Categories 1-6 - CLICK HERE for schedule.

Friday, June 28, 2019

  • 8:30 am–12:45 pm: Semi-final Round for Categories 7-14 - CLICK HERE for schedule.
  • 10 am–1 pm: Continuation of NSA Workshop Sessions for Students (See schedule and session topics below.
  • 1:30 pm: Announcement of NSA Finalists for all semi-finalists - Room CMH 138
    Finalists will fill out W9 Forms
  • 1:30 pm–5 pm NATS National Summer Workshop Sessions
    (NSA participant and NATS Summer workshop - COMBINED SCHEDULE)
  • 3 pm–5 pm: Rehearsals with staff accompanists for the Finals
  • 6:30 pm: NSA Finals CMH 100 Urness Recital Hall Singers should report to the Hall 30 minutes prior to
    singing time
  • 10 pm: Announcement of Winners, Award Ceremony, and Photo Session

Saturday, June 29, 2019

  • 9 am–4:30 pm: NATS National Summer Workshop Sessions
    (NSA participant and NATS Summer workshop - COMBINED SCHEDULE)

NSA WORKSHOP SESSIONS - Special sessions for students have been planned during the NSA competition at St. Olaf. This educational component of the NSA event features presenters who are experts in their topic areas and have donated their time to inspire and encourage singers and they learn and grow as young professionals. We encourage all NSA Student participants to take advantage of these learning and developmental experiences. 

If parents want to attend sessions with their singers, they will need to pay a special parent registration fee of $75 when they arrive on-site at St. Olaf.  This will grant them access to all NSA and Summer workshop sessions.  If parents do not wish to pay to register for the event, they will still be able to attend the one NSA Session, “My Child Wants to Be a Professional Musician – I Have Questions – HELP!”, scheduled on Thursday at 3:30 pm.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

12:30 pm-1:15 pm 
Diane Foust: Alexander Technique for Singers

2:30 pm-3:15 pm
Matt Campbell: The Business of Music Theater - Audition Techniques and Tips

2:30 pm-3:15 pm
Albert Lee: The Prepared Artist: From Undergrad to the Professional World

3:30 pm-4:15 pm
Jennifer D’Agostino: Practice Technique and Auditioning

3:30 pm-4:15 pm (Open to Parents)
Allen Henderson: My Child Wants to Be a Professional Musician – I Have Questions – HELP!

4:30 pm-5:15 pm 
Sangeetha Rayapati: Vital Vocalises for Singing your Best

4:30 pm-5:15 pm
Karen Brunssen: Your Evolving Voice: What to Expect in the Years Ahead

Friday, June 28, 2019

10:00 am-10:45 am
Amanda Johnston: How to Practice Diction

11:00 am-11:45 am
Tesfa Wondemagegnehu: Music and Social Justice

11:00 am-11:45 am
Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk: Mindfulness for Peak Performance

12:00 pm-1:00 pm
Albert Lee, Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, Juanita Ulloa, Carol Perry, Laura Krider: Careers in Music Panel Discussion

Additional Resources

Make sure to check out the resources below for more information!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) l Video Submission Guidelines l National Student Auditions Resource Center