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National Student Auditions


JULY 1, 2021 1PM EDT

The exciting experience of NATS Student Auditions, where singers perform and receive written feedback, continues in 2021 with a national round of competition and prizes.

Total prizes: More than $35,000!

Final Round and Announcement of Winners - July 7, 2021 1PM EDT
Held in conjunction with the NATS Virtual Summer Workshop 2021

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Award Levels

High School, Lower Music Theater/Classical Categories*
$1,200 - 1st place in each category
$600 - 2nd place in each category
$450 - 3rd place in each category
Upper Music Theater/Classical 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.


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) Music Theater and Classical categories have been divided into both Lower (First and Second Year) and Upper (Third and Fourth/Fifth year).
  • (2016) The Hall Johnson Spirituals 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 2022.
  • The American Negro Spiritual Categories are being made available through an anonymous donor's challenge grant. The ANSC will offer three categories: 1. High School, 2. First thru Third Year College Age, and 3. Fourth/Fifth year College Age thru Graduate. Held every other year, the first ANSC will take place in 2021.

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