Letter from the President

Virginia NATS


February 5, 2018

Hello everyone,


Thank you all so much for participating in another really wonderful event this past weekend. Again, I find myself in awe of the wonderful training that is happening in our state, so on behalf of the students, their parents, and the audiences who get to enjoy all the hard work that we all do, thank you.


Lucy Hoyt and Carrie Stevens shared the responsibilities for the on-site coordination of our event at James Madison University this weekend, and along with the tremendous work of Susan Braden, I believe we had a tremendously smooth weekend. We had to find some substitute judges for those who fell ill with the flu, or had other health issues, but several of you stepped up and did a great deal of judging, and for that, we all thank you.


Susan Braden has stepped down a year early to be, among other things, a patient advocate for those who have cancer, and to work with the pharmaceutical companies as they develop their drug protocol. I am grateful to Susan for all of the hard work she has done over the past three years and how she has brought great professionalism, ideas, solutions, enthusiasm, collaboration, and joy to the board and the process. I have gained a tremendous amount of respect for Susan, both professionally and personally.


Kathleen Bell, who was our Technology Advisor was voted in as our new Vice President, which opened a spot for the Technology Advisor, so Anne Wick, who was a member at large, was voted in as our new Technology Advisor. I am grateful to these wonderful members of our community for stepping up into new, and challenging, positions, and saw first-hand this weekend that they are both well equipped to take their new positions and do a superb job.


Many thanks to Kate Hearden and Greg Parker for their service to the board. Both of these wonderful people have stepped down, and we voted this weekend to fill the open positions of at-large members of the board. Along with a third position, vacated when Anne Wick moved to our Technology advisor, we had the opportunity to vote in three new members to the board.


On Saturday, we had a ballot of eight individuals who were eager to serve on the board, and I’m happy to share with you all that the following members were voted in by those in attendance at the Saturday morning meeting. My thanks and congratulations to: Melissa Chavez, Jessica Spafford, and Sarah Hamilton.


Every year, we attempt to learn from our previous experiences and we keep a running list of ideas or situations that need our attention. I have already heard from a couple of teachers about a category that had fourteen students, and none of them were scored high enough to be eligible for the Mid-Atlantic Conference and Student Auditions. I share this with you because your board works for you, and it is our job to listen and try to rectify any situations that need our attention, or come to a conclusion which we will then share with you.


For those of you who will be receiving checks from Alison Rizutto in the very near future, please encourage your students who received checks to please cash them in a timely manner. Any check not cashed after sixty (60) days will become void.


For clarity sake going on to the Regional level and for the future.


  • You have to register your students for the Mid-Atlantic Conference, and as a reminder, once the repertoire is submitted, there is no changing it. Information about the next conference can be found on the main page of: http://midatlanticnats.org/


  • There are no photocopies allowed, not even one for a tough page turn, even if you are playing from, or have the actual score on the piano. Photocopying of music is simply not allowed. However, if you have legally purchased the sheet music from an online site, then this is not an issue. Music from imslp.org must be from “public domain” and, as I wrote to the membership in an earlier email, you need to take a screenshot of the page, proving that it’s not under copyright protection. Best practice is to have, and play from, the actual score.


  • I just received a link from Barbara Peters, our regional governor, regarding the copyright issue. This resource will inform us as to whether or not a classical piece is in the public domain, i.e., that it was published before 1923. The link is: https://jscholarship.library.jhu.edu/handle/1774.2/2085


With my thanks each and every teacher and collaborative artist,



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