National Student Auditions


The exciting experience of NATS Student Auditions, where singers perform and receive written feedback, continues in 2020 with a national round of competition and prizes.

Total prizes: More than $35,000!

Semifinalists Announced for 2020 National Student Auditions

Dates: June 25-28
Held in conjunction with the NATS 56th National Conference (June 24-30, 2020)
Location: Online

Click Here for Application Instructions

Because things continue to change daily, NATS is working to keep up with our constantly evolving reality.  Due to the suspension of all summer events at our host school, the University of Tennessee, we are unable to have the live rounds of the National Student Auditions at our summer conference.  To that end we have decided to move ALL Rounds of the NATS National Student Auditions online. This allows us to extend the application deadline to Friday, MAY 1 at 11:59pm EST.   While we know that this move to an all online format provides a different dynamic, we are excited to offer this opportunity to even more singers who may not have otherwise been able to participate.  If you need assistance with the $75 application fee, please contact your teacher who can ask a NATS Chapter or Region for assistance.

Advantages of an ALL ONLINE Audition:  

We apologize for the multiple deadline changes, however, with the constantly changing COVID-19 crisis, we are simply trying to respond as quickly as possible to the changing circumstances presented us while doing everything we can to provide an opportunity for as many singers as possible to continue doing what they love----PERFORM!  You WILL receive written feedback on your performances, and we are working now on ways for you to have virtual access to the NSA sessions as well.  We will also be sharing the results in a unique format so that we can all share the excitement in announcing the winners.  So, we do hope you will consider taking advantage of this and submit your applications!

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 NATS Advocacy Committee, with the support of the NSA Committee and NATS leadership, is supporting an endeavor to promote diversity in repertoire selection by choosing a different theme biennially. The committee's first initiative is music by women composers. We want to encourage the membership to program music by women during the competition and recital seasonsREAD MORE

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.

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