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NATS Artist Awards (NATSAA)

NATSAA_logo_2022.jpgThe NATS Artist Awards (NATSAA) competition is designed to assist singers prepared to launch a professional career and, to that end, substantial monetary and performance prizes are offered.

The NATSAA semifinal and final rounds are held in New York City, in proximity to a wide audience of artist managers and industry professionals. The competition takes place every other year. Preliminary competitions are held regionally and national semifinals/finals take place in conjunction with the NATS National Workshop in New York.

The 2022 NATSAA semifinal and final rounds will take place in early January 2022 (Dates and location TBA).

"Throughout its history, the purpose of this [NATSAA] competition has been to select, through a series of elimination rounds on the district, 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

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Prizes -  A total of over $50,000 in cash and other prizes is awarded! 

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

  • $5,000 Cash
  • A New York Solo Debut in a major choral work with orchestra and chorus sponsored by DCINY
  • $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 57th NATS National Conference, July 2 - July 6, 2022, in Chicago, IL

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 to all remaining semifinalists

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant must be at least 21 but not more than 35 years of age on the deadline entry date: September 13, 2021
  • Membership status of teacher or applicant:
    • 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 13, 2021
  • First-place winners in prior NATSAA national auditions are ineligible. 
  • The final decision on all matters of eligibility rests with the Vice President of Auditions. 

Note: Performers in NATS-sponsored auditions, competitions, recitals, and other activities such as workshops, shall perform from lawful editions and shall support and obey the law relative to copyright and the NATS Copyright Policy.

Application Process


If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the NATS Executive Office at 904-992-9101 or . (See below for repertoire questions.) The completed application, including payment of the fee of $75 U.S. by credit card must be submitted online through the NATS website no later than September 13, 2021. Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered.

1. Online applications must include: 

a. Payment of the non-refundable entry fee of $75.00 in U.S. funds via credit card (Visa or MasterCard). No refunds will be given.

b. Applicants MUST provide proof of legal age at the regional audition site. This proof must be provided in the form of an original, government-issued document such as a valid driver’s license, and the applicant must provide a copy of this documentation that will be retained by the Association until the completion of the NATSAA competition. Failure to bring both the original and the copy of this documentation will result in disqualification. (COPY CANNOT BE RETURNED) 

c. The NATS member number AND Email address of the applicant or the sponsoring NATS teacher

d. Complete entries for all repertoire, including: 

1) TITLE and LANGUAGE of each selection 

2) COMPOSER of each selection 

3) KEY of each selection 

4) ACCURATE TIMING (duration) of each selection 

5) SONG IN/AFTER 1975: you must indicate which selection meets this requirement. (see c. below)

6) You must enter your audition repertoire in the online application IN THE ORDER LISTED BELOW. 

2. Completion and submission of the application is followed by Region Preliminary Auditions (dates and locations TBA). 

  • Applicants must compete in the regional audition (dates and locations TBA) of their legal residence or where they are currently studying singing.
  • Applicants must agree to be available for appearance and not be booked during the dates of the NATS 75th National Conference July 2 - July 6, 2022, in Chicago, should they be selected as a NATSAA Semifinalist.

Have repertoire or copyright questions?
All questions specific to the rules and regulations, copyright, or about repertoire and requirements, should be directed to the NATS .

Repertoire Requirements

The repertoire list need not be thought of as comprising a complete recital program. The Applicants and their teachers might want to consider, however, that national finalists will, in fact, present a fifteen minute program of their choosing from the submitted repertoire. 

  • Applicants must be prepared to sing at each audition level all of the songs and arias specified in Sections a, b, and c below: 

a. An aria from an opera to be sung in the original language and key. 

b. An aria from a major oratorio, mass, requiem, or cantata to be sung in the original key. 

c. Twelve (12) additional recital selections divided into four groups. The number of pieces in each group may vary. Each group, except the IV. English set (3 selection required), must have at least 2 selections. At least 1 art song in Groups II, III, or IV must be composed in 1975 or after. The song written in 1975 or after MUST BE IDENTIFIED and the date of composition given after the title.

I. Songs or arias composed before 1800. No more than two arias may be included in this group. 

II. German Lieder or French Mélodies. 

III. A second group of National Art Songs consisting of any languages that are not presented in Sections II and IV. If you choose Slavic/Russian song, please list title in English, but indicate the language you will sing. DO NOT submit the title in Cyrillic.

IV. American, Canadian, or British Art Songs. Art songs with English as the original language. A minimum of three songs must be included in this group. 

  • Note that the arias in Sections a. and b. are in addition to and not part of the 12-song recital requirement of Section c. 
  • Contestants are strongly encouraged to consider inclusion of composers from underrepresented communities in the overall program.
  • Memorization: All repertoire must be memorized with the exception of the oratorio selection (Section b). 
  • A contestant entering the auditions for a second or third time will be expected to present a reasonable amount of new repertoire. 
  • Any questions concerning the stated repertoire requirements should be addressed to the Vice President of NATSAA. 
  • Repertoire changes are NOT allowed at the district, or regional levels. Only regional winners may change repertoire.


Applicants - List of regional audition dates and locations TBA.  

  • Regional Winners. Each region will select a winner from the regional auditions to be sent to the national semifinal auditions, which will be held in New York City, early January 2022 (dates TBA). Regional winners must be certified by their regional governor as to their availability to participate in the national semifinals. 
  • Expense Stipends. Semifinalists will each receive a stipend of $200 from the NATS executive office to assist in covering travel costs. Regions usually contribute additional funds. Contestants are expected, however, to be responsible for the remainder of their own additional expenses, as well as for making their own travel arrangements and hotel reservations. 
  • Finalists. No fewer than four and no more than eight finalists will be chosen at the semifinals to sing in the final auditions during the NATS Winter Workshop to be held in New York City, early January 2022. Finalists and semifinalists will earn prizes of not less than $750. 
  • Accompanists. Applicants are urged to provide their own pianists. REGION AUDITIONS: A list of qualified pianists can be provided to you by the Region Governor. You will be responsible to pay for their services and, in most cases, arranging rehearsal times. NATIONAL SEMI-FINAL AND FINAL AUDITIONS: The NATS Executive Office will provide a travel stipend of $200 for your pianist. However, if so desired, professional pianists will be available in New York City without expense to you (audition & one rehearsal). Notification of the need for a pianist must be given to the Vice President of Auditions. NATS TEACHERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ACCOMPANY THEIR OWN STUDENTS.
    ***NATS is hopeful that many regions will be able to host live Fall 2021 NATSAA auditions.  However, in the event that a Region NATSAA audition is held remotely, NATS will allow singers 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 found at the following link will apply and must be followed.

NATS Artist Awards Application


Adjudication Procedures & Policies

  • Qualified adjudication will be provided for all competitions. There will be at least three judges but no more than five at each audition. Teachers having students in auditions will not be eligible to adjudicate that audition. 
  • Applicants will remain anonymous until the audition is completed. 
  • Applicants will be heard for 12-15 minutes. 
  • Applicants will sing one selection of their choice at each audition. The balance of the numbers to be heard will be requested by the judges from the repertoire submitted. 
  • National finalists will present a fifteen-minute program of their own choosing, selected from the submitted repertoire. 
  • NATS will publicize the availability of award winners for professional engagements.

NATS Copyright Policy 

NATS encourages its members, their students, accompanists 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.

NATS requires students, teachers and other participants in NATS affiliated events, auditions and competitions to affirm compliance with the NATS Copyright Policy, and to use only authorized reproductions of copyrighted works.

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

47th NATSAA Competition for Singers Sponsor of the Winner's New York Solo Recital Debut


NATS also appreciates the efforts of Hal Leonard, AIMS, and the NATS Foundation for award sponsorship and support of the NATS Artist Awards Competition.

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