The National Association of Teachers of Singing, Inc (NATS) was founded in 1944 and is now the largest association of teachers of singing in the world. Today NATS boasts more than 6,500 members in the United States, Canada, and, over twenty-five other countries around the world including Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom, and the number of countries represented is growing every year.
Driven by its mission statement, NATS offers a variety of lifelong learning experiences to its members, such as workshops, intern programs, master classes, and conferences, all beginning at the chapter level and progressing to national events. Students of NATS members have access to one of the organization's most widely recognized activities: Student Auditions. They also have the opportunity, along with members, to compete at a national level through the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards (NATSAA).
NATS also supports the growth and enrichment of its members through the publication of The Journal of Singing, a scholarly journal comprised of articles on all aspects of singing and the teaching of singing, written by distinguished scholars in their fields.
What is known as the Texoma Region today was originally part of the Southwestern Region which initially included Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and UTAH! At some point Utah joined another region. Sources do not agree on when our first regional conference was, but the best educated guess is a one-day conference held November 5, 1948 at the Hotel Texas in Ft. Worth. Successive conferences held without student auditions were at the Hotel Skirvin in Oklahoma City in 1949, and the Hotel Olin held in conjunction with the Colorado State Music Teachers Association in Denver in November of 1950. The Region's student auditions were established by the late Dr. H. Grady Harlan during his term as Regional Governor and were first held in Dallas in 1951 (some sources report 1952) with approximately 80 students. There was no regional conference in 1955, but auditions were held. Conferences and student auditions were held originally held Sunday through Tuesday and most often in November. At this time, students sang by invitation. At the auditions students were ranked, but no registrations were paid, no critiques given, and no prizes awarded. The practice of awarding prizes began at the 1956 conference. As the Southwestern Region, one of our members rose to prominence as national president: Berton Coffin (1968-70). In 1975 our region boundaries were changed and we were renamed Texoma.
The Texoma Region is the fifth largest region in the country by membership. Texoma's geographic territory includes the states of Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. We have five districts--North Texas, Oklahoma, Rio Grande, West Texas, and South Texas with seven chapters within these districts--Dallas/Ft. Worth, East Texas, Great Plains, Panhandle, Rio Grande, Greater Houston, and South Texas. Texoma is proud to have had four of our members rise to prominence as president of the national organization--as mentioned above, Berton Coffin (1968-70), Bruce Lunkley (1976-79), Edward Baird (1985-88), and James McKinney (1997-98). Two of our members presently sit on the Board of Directors of the NATS Foundation and many more of our members have been nominated and/or have held national office.