By: Jessica Hartling
Lumen Assistant Editor
Over the next few days the practice rooms will be filled with students preparing for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) auditions. Approximately 40 students will be traveling to UW-Stevens Point during the weekend of Nov. 1.
NATS is an opportunity for students who are pursuing a career in music to practice performing in front of judges. If students place in their category, they have the opportunity to win scholarship money, and move on to further auditions.
According to its mission statement, the Wisconsin State Chapter of NATS “is committed to providing inspirational and educational opportunities for its members and their students.”
This audition “offers all students the chance to reach a personal performance goal in an atmosphere of support and respect.”
The auditions give students a safe place to receive constructive comments and work on building their repertoire and performance abilities.
Two years ago the NATS audition was held at Viterbo University. Last year’s were in UW-Whitewater and 14 out of the 41 students who placed in their division were Viterbo students.
“NATS is a nice opportunity for students to get feedback from outside Viterbo,” Margret Moyer, junior vocal performance and English double major from Pewaukee, Wis., told Lumen. “It provides students with a different way to look at things, with new ideas as to how to improve your sound quality.”
“This is my fourth year participating in NATS,” Moyer said. “I like the experience of being able to perform in front of an audience. As a vocal performance major, auditioning is something you should constantly be doing.”
“This is a great opportunity for students to get feedback from other instructors who are trained in their field,” Brittany Thummel, senior vocal performance and music education double major from Lady Smith, Wis., told Lumen. “The judges hear your voice differently than your voice teacher, and their advice can help your voice grow.”
“Hearing criticism is helpful because sometimes it takes a few times of hearing something before it clicks,” Moyer said.
“It is a good experience for students who can afford it,” Thummel said. The registration fee and accompanist can range from around $60-$75. This does not include travel expenses.
“This experience will not make or break your career, but it is still something that all can benefit from,” Thummel said.
Students have other audition opportunities throughout the year as well which are similar in nature to NATS. One example is the Schubert Club scholarship competition is taking place on March 8 at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn..