National Student Auditions

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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!

Dates: June 25-28
Held in conjunction with the NATS 56th National Conference (June 26-30, 2020)
Location: Knoxville Convention Center, Knoxville, TN

New Application Deadline: April 17, 2020 11:59pm EST

Click Here for Application Instructions

*Due to the unprecedented nature of the times in which we find ourselves, with growing travel restrictions, school closings (and/or transitions to online instruction), and wide-spread health concerns, we know it will be nearly impossible for many to meet and record videos with live accompanists during this time.  Therefore, during this crisis NATS will allow students to record audition videos using pre-recorded tracks such as found on Appcompanist, Hal Leonard’s Virtual Library, or other similar sources that offer piano-only accompaniments.  YouTube Karaoke Tracks are also acceptable, as long as they are piano only.  NO orchestrated tracks or tracks with other instruments or voices will be acceptable, and would result in disqualification.  It will also be acceptable to use tracks that are recorded by your teacher or your pianist (who know you and your interpretation).  Additionally, in this extreme circumstance, should student and teacher be in the same location, a teacher may accompany a singer in the recording, but the teacher should not be visible in the recording directly or on any reflected surface (mirror, piano surface, etc.).  Please note that this will not be an accepted precedent for future auditions, but is rather an isolated exception necessitated by a highly unusual global crisis.  Because of this, videos will not be required to show the pianist.  All other guidelines outlined in the video submission guidelines at https://www.nats.org/NSA_-_You_Tube_Round_Video_Submissions.html will apply and must be followed.

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

History

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

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