Looking back on 2018 … looking forward to 2019.

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Summer Program Audition Opportunity

AIMS [American Institute for Musical Studies] announces auditions for the 2019 summer program in Graz, Austria. To be held at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA — Feb. 2, 2019.


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Are You Considering Becoming a NATS Member?

Here is a link to more info. Sign up now for 2019 and get the rest of 2018 for free!


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NATS Membership Renewal for 2019 is open Oct. 1 – Jan 1.


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NATS Adopts New Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics

These ethical guidelines are established by the Association to outline Members’ ethical duties and obligations to students, colleagues and the general public, and to promote professional cooperation and productive relationships among its Members.

Antitrust Compliance Information

I. Personal Ethical Standards

The Association expects its Members to behave professionally and ethically in the representation of their abilities and in their promotional materials and outreach, and to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects positively on the Association.

  1. Members shall present themselves honestly, in a dignified and professional manner, and with documented qualifications. These may include appropriate academic degrees, awards, professional affiliations, and teaching and performing experience.
  2. Members shall strive to teach with competence by demonstrating knowledge of voice pedagogy, musicianship, familiarity with a variety of vocal repertoire, as well as performance skills.
  3. Members should strive for continued growth in professional competencies.
  4. Members shall faithfully support the Association and are encouraged to participate in and contribute to its activities and mission.
  5. Members should abide by copyright laws and guard against encouraging or allowing infringement thereof.
  6. Members shall exhibit responsible and ethical behavior when using print, digital and social media associated with the profession and the studio.
  7. Members should be artistic resources for their communities.

II. Ethical Standards Relating to Students

The Association is committed to Member/Student relationships which foster excellence and learning in a dignified and professional environment, and which do not involve discrimination, sexuality, innuendo, or favoritism.

  1. Members should avoid all types of discriminatory practices. Appropriate guidelines are set forth in statutes such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Canadian Human Rights Act.
  2. Members should maintain appropriate boundaries in psychological, emotional, and personal contact with students, including insinuations that could be construed as sexual advances, even when a student may encourage or request such interaction.
  3. Members should respect the privacy and personal integrity of students, not disclosing confidential information except to the extent that a particular legal or academic system requires disclosure.
  4. Members should clearly communicate and comply with their studio policies and expectations in a timely and concrete manner.
  5. The relationship between teacher and student shall be established, maintained and terminated in a respectful, professional manner.
  6. Members should respect a student’s prerogative to obtain instruction from any teacher(s) of their choice, including concurrent study with another teacher(s). Transparency should be maintained among all parties.
  7. Members should offer their best instruction and career advice to every student under their supervision, and should treat each student in a respectful and impartial manner while taking into account individual differences in ability, learning styles and motivation.
  8. Members should refrain from making exaggerated claims or misleading statements concerning a student’s prospects for a professional career in music. They should not guarantee performances, professional positions or favorable contacts unless they can fulfill those promises.

III. Ethical Standards Relating to Colleagues

The Association encourages a mutually supportive atmosphere among its Members, and in their interactions with other related professionals.

  1. Members shall refrain from making defamatory or untrue negative public statements or judgments about colleagues or their students, either verbally or in writing.
  2. Members shall render honest and unbiased adjudication at auditions and competitions. If they are unable to do so, then they should recuse themselves.
  3. In cases where a Member determines that involving other professionals in a student’s instruction may be of benefit (for medical, technical, artistic, musical, pedagogical, or other reasons), Members shall strive to work collegially with these professionals.
  4. Rules and regulations of accredited academic institutions may at times take precedence over the Association’s Code of Ethics, should there be a conflict.
  5. Should ethical conflicts arise between Members and/or a NATS Entity, direct communication should be used to resolve problems among the involved parties. If the conflict cannot be resolved, the Association has a specific, detailed process for dealing with concerns.

This version of the Code of Ethics approved by the NATS Board of Directors in June 2018.

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2018 National Conference workshop presentations by VANATS members

We would like to acknowledge and celebrate our VANATS teachers for their presentation of the following workshops at the National NATS conference in Las Vegas.
Matt Edwards with Alisa Belflower
Music Theater & Pop/Rock Teaching and Adjudicating Style in Traditional Legit, Tin Pan Alley, Contemporary Legit, Contemporary Pop, and Pop/Rock Music Theater Repertoire
Edrie Means Weekly
Legit Singing In Musical Theatre & Bringing the Song to Life: It’s a Matter of Style
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Virginia students place at NATS National Conference Auditions

Congratulations to our Students and Teachers – We are very proud of your diligent work and accomplishments!

Category 2 – High School Music Theater Men

  • 2nd Place: Parker Waters, Mid-Atlantic Region, Student of Nancy MacArthur Smith

Category 4 – High School Men

  • 1st Place: Parker Waters, Mid-Atlantic Region, Student of Nancy MacArthur Smith

Category 13 – Graduate/Advanced Women

  • 1st Place: Crystal Golden, Mid-Atlantic Region, Student of Patricia Miller
  • 3rd Place: Yvette Rodriguez, Mid-Atlantic Region, Student of Dorothy Maddison
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Announcing the 2018 National Student Auditions Winners

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The final round of the NATS 2018 National Student Auditions (NSA) was held on Sunday, June 24, at the Tropicana Las Vegas during the 55th National Conference of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

More than $35,000 in prizes were awarded to our winners, who were officially announced to a standing room audience of teachers, collaborative pianists, parents, friends and family members.

VIRGINIA was well-represented.   

Congratulations to Crystal Golden!

First Place at NATS National Vocal Competition

The George Mason University School of Music [Fairfax County VIRGINIA] is proud to announce CRYSTAL GOLDEN (MM ’19), soprano, is the First Place winner in the Graduate / Advanced College Women category of the 2018 National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) NSA Vocal Competition. The final competition round of the NATS 2018 National Student Auditions (NSA) was held at the Tropicana in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 24, 2018 as part of the 55th National Conference of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Crystal Golden is a student of University Professor Patricia Miller, director of Vocal Studies in the School of Music at George Mason. This is the first time a George Mason University School of Music student has won First Place in this prestigious National NATS Vocal Competition.

As national First Place winner of the NATS Graduate / Advanced College Women category, in addition to receiving a monetary prize, Crystal was awarded a special invitation and scholarship to attend the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria. For a detailed listing of winners and photos, please see the NATS website for full article:  Read more.
Crystal and Prof. Patricia Miller


More information on other VIRGINIA participants and photos will be added soon!


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2019 Convention Dates

To each and every wonderful member of Virginia NATS,

Please put the following dates on your calendar:

The VA NATS Convention & Student Auditions will be March 1st and 2nd at Shenandoah University.

The Mid Atlantic Convention & Student Auditions will be March 22nd and 23rd at Towson University.

Thank you,


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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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