Your regional leadership has been considering the impacts of COVID-19 on our members, students, and the institutions of our region, and how those dynamics will affect our upcoming conference. Texoma has successfully delivered an in-person conference for 69 years, and student auditions in 68 of those years. Because of the uncertainty around our ability to safely travel or gather in large groups this fall, compounded by the financial impacts the pandemic has brought on our members and the institutions that support their work, your region’s leadership developed a proposal to safely deliver this year’s conference. We presented this plan to the Texoma Board of Control on Sunday evening, and the board voted unanimously to adopt this proposal. As a result of this decision, we intend to move this year’s 70th region conference entirely online.
- The conference will be 100% online and will take place during expanded conference dates of November 2-7, 2020.
- Conference registration will still be online, and registration will open on September 1, 2020. The registration deadline will be October 1, 2020.
- We intend to offer all of the standard elements of the conference:
- The Edward Baird Singer of the Year competition
- Summer Program Auditions
- American Negro Spirituals Competition
- Texoma Artist Series
- Texoma Student Auditions
- A new, generally reduced fee structure will apply for this year’s conference:
- Conference registration: $40
- Student Audition Entry fee: $20
- Summer Program Audition: $10
- American Negro Spirituals Competition Entry Fee: $20 ($10 if entered in addition to Student Auditions)
- SOTY Entry Fee: $50
- We are working with our host institution (Texas Tech University) to provide a livestreamed guest recital and opera performance for all teachers and students who register for the conference (or enter the student auditions).
- We will explore online options that will allow teachers to connect with one another during the conference.
- While we wish we could present this conference at no cost to members and students, the expenses to the region and the host institution even with a virtual conference are still significant. We hope that the elimination of travel time and cost will also help members find these costs reasonable.
While we deeply regret losing the ability to gather together this fall, we will spend these next 5 months working to offer perhaps the most significant conference in our region’s history. Virtual presentations provide the possibility for much broader access within our membership and for our students. While nothing can take the place of face to face contact, we intend to make this conference meaningful and memorable for you and your students. As with our teaching in recent months, we may even discover improvements we wish to retain when life returns to something a little more normal.
Additional details will be forthcoming over the next few weeks and months, and we will provide these details as soon as possible. Thank you for your continued support of NATS and the art of singing.