NATS Artist Awards logo newNATS Artist Awards

NATS Artist Awards (NATSAA) is a biennial competition for early-career, classical vocalists.

"Throughout its history, the purpose of this [NATSAA] competition has been to select, through a series of elimination rounds on the 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, President of NATS, 1985-1987


In total, over $50,000 is awarded in cash and other prizes! 

First Prize - More than $13,000 in cash and prizes

  • $5,000 cash
  • $4,000 scholarship to attend the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria
  • $1,000 gift certificate from Hal Leonard Corporation
  • Solo recital at the NATS 58th National Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee, June 28 - July 2, 2024

Second Prize - More than $6,000 in cash prizes

  • $4,000 cash
  • $2,000 scholarship to attend AIMS in Graz, Austria
  • $500 gift certificate from Hal Leonard Corporation 

Additional cash prizes are awarded to all remaining semifinalists.

NATS will publicize the availability of award winners for professional engagements. 

2023-2024 NATSAA Timeline

9/11/2023 DEADLINE to apply for NATSAA on
10/1/2023 DEADLINE for video submissions of applicants approved to enter the At Large/International (virtual) NATSAA Region. Email: to request approval.
Live Region NATSAA competitions typically held in October or early November
11/11/2023 DEADLINE for regions to submit names of their region's NATSAA winner and any alternate(s)
11/13/2023 NATSAA National Semifinalists announced
12/1/2023 DEADLINE for a NATSAA region winner to request a collaborative pianist for National Semifinals & Finals
1/7/2024 Live National Semifinals & Finals in New York City on Sunday
6/28–7/2/2024   The 58th National NATS Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee, during which the National NATSAA winner will perform a featured recital.

NATSAA Levels of Competition

I. Preliminary Auditions

Preliminary Auditions are typically held in October and early November of odd numbered years in each geographical region of NATS. Dates and locations change biennially and will be announced as soon as available. More details.

II. Semifinal Auditions & Final Auditions

Semifinal and Final Auditions are held in early January in even-numbered years at Manhattan School of Music in New York City in proximity to a wide audience of artist managers and industry professionals. More details.

III. NATSAA Adjudication

NATSAA Adjudication will be provided by at least three and no more than five qualified voice professionals, who will respond to each audition. More details.

Eligibility to Enter NATSAA

  1. Applicant must be at least 21 but not more than 35 years of age on September 11, 2023
  2. Applicant or applicant's sponsoring voice teacher's NATS membership:
    • The applicant’s most recent teacher must be a full or associate member of NATS (in good standing) with whom the applicant must have studied continuously for at least one academic year
      - OR -
    • The applicant must be a full or associate member of NATS in good standing for at least one year prior to September 11, 2023
  3. Applicants must enter in the region audition (see map) of their legal residence or where they are currently studying singing. EXCEPTIONS: approved immuno-compromised applicants, applicants unavailable for their region’s NATSAA, and applicants living and/or currently studying voice outside the continental U.S. When approved, these applicants will participate in the At Large/International (virtual) Region. For approval email:
  4. First-place winners in prior NATSAA national auditions are ineligible. 
  5. A contestant entering the auditions for a second or third time will be expected to present a reasonable amount of new repertoire. 
  6. Applicants must be available to perform at live, national semifinal auditions in early January 2024 in New York City, should they be named a national semifinalist.
  7. Semifinalists must agree to be available for appearance and not be booked during the dates of the NATS 58th National Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee, June 28–July 2, 2024. The national NATSAA winner typically presents a live performance as a feature in each biennial NATS National Conference.
  8. The final decision on all matters of eligibility rests with the Vice President of Auditions contacted via email at

All applications must be completed and submitted online.

NATS Artist Awards Application


Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered.


Preparing Your NATSAA Application

I. Repertoire Requirements

The 14 repertoire selections required need not be thought of as a single recital program; however, the applicants should consider that national finalists will present a fifteen-minute program of their choosing from their submitted repertoire. Applicants are strongly encouraged to include selections by composers from underrepresented communities. At each level of NATSAA, applicants must be prepared to perform all of the repertoire required in Sections A, B, and C below:

  1. ONE aria from an opera to be sung in the original language and key.
  2. ONE aria from a major oratorio, mass, requiem, or cantata to be sung in the original key.
  3. TWELVE additional recital selections divided into four groups as listed below:
    • At least one art song in repertoire groups II, III, or IV must be composed by a composer living at the time of the application’s submission. This selection will be designated by the date of the composition cited at the end of the selection’s title and language.
    • Applicants are strongly encouraged to include selections by composers from underrepresented communities in selecting repertoire to meet the requirements below:

I. Songs or arias composed before 1800
No arias from Sections A or B may be included in this group
A minimum of 1, but no more than 2 arias may be included in this group

II. German Lieder or French Mélodies
A minimum of 2 art songs in this group

III. A second group of National Art Songs performed in original languages not presented in Sections II and IV. If choosing Slavic/Russian song, DO NOT submit the title in Cyrillic, instead cite these titles in English followed parenthetically by the language in which you will perform, i.e. “None but the lonely heart” (Russian). This group may include original texts in multiple languages or a single language. A minimum of 2 art songs in this group

IV. American, Canadian, or British Art Songs
American Negro Spirituals performed as art song may be included in this set
English must be the original language of all texts in this group
A minimum of 3 art songs in this group.

On the application, each repertoire selection must be fully cited in the order of the requirements above including:

  1. TITLE (LANGUAGE) of each selection
  2. COMPOSER of each selection
  3. ACCURATE TIMING (DURATION) of each selection
  4. DESIGNATE THE ART SONG composed by a composer living at the time of the application deadline by citing the year of the composition following the art song’s title and language.

II. Entry Fee

Payment of the non-refundable entry fee of $75 in U.S. funds via credit card (Visa or MasterCard) is required to complete your application. No refunds will be given.

III.  Proof of Eligibility

  1. Applicants MUST provide proof of legal age at the region audition site. This proof must be provided in the form of an original, government-issued document, i.e. a valid driver’s license. The applicant must also provide a photocopy of this documentation that will be retained by the Association until the completion of the NATSAA competition then destroyed. Please note that the copy provided cannot be returned. Failure to bring both the original and the copy of this documentation to the audition will result in disqualification.
  2. Applicants MUST provide The NATS member number AND email address of the applicant or of the sponsoring NATS teacher.

ALL questions specific to NATSAA rules, regulations, copyright, or repertoire required should be emailed to NATS Vice President of Auditions.

NATS Copyright Policy 

NATS encourages its members, their students, collaborative pianists, and the general population to become educated about, and to comply with, all applicable copyright laws. Reproduction of a copyrighted work constitutes copyright infringement unless a license to reproduce such work has been obtained, the use is considered fair use, the work is in the public domain, or a valid exception to copyright infringement exists.

Copyright Resources

NATS has unwavering support for the importance of compliance with copyright laws, and the support of our colleagues whose creative works sustain a vibrant and living art form. Please refer to our Copyright Resources page for more information on copyright laws. This resource page is part of our effort to educate and promote copyright compliance among all constituencies within NATS and the general public.

Other Resources

Past NATSAA Winners

NATS appreciates our generous sponsors of the NATS Artist Awards competition.

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