A Message from Jason

Dear NATS Colleagues,

I hope this email finds you well as school winds down and the holiday season kicks in.  For those of you who attended the Texoma Conference at Oklahoma City University in November, I trust you found the experience both productive and enjoyable.  Our Artist Series presentations were delivered with aplomb.  The varied presentations were informative, entertaining, and practical.  Nathan Gunn inspired us with his artistry at his recital, and Stanford Olsen demonstrated great passion and candor in his master class.  Exceptional singing was heard throughout the Student Auditions process and our guest judges were supremely impressed with the level of singing and teaching within our Region.  The Edward Baird Singer of the Year and Young Artist Program auditions were highly successful once again.  I would like to extend a very special thank you to Deborah Williamson and Diana Allan for their organization of those two significant programs offered through Texoma NATS.  I would also like to recognize Oklahoma City University for hosting our Regional Conference this year, as well as producing a wonderful production of Don Pasquale.  Frank Ragsdale, site coordinator, and the music faculty were exceptionally hospitable and prepared throughout the conference.  For those of you not in attendance, Randy Umstead and Frank Ragsdale have rotated off from their positions of Treasurer/Registrar and Auditions Chair respectively after serving our Region for seven years.  Their service and dedication to our Region are unsurpassed and am I grateful to have worked alongside them during this conference.

Next year’s conference will take place November 2-5, 2016 at West Texas A&M in Canyon, Texas.  Robert Hansen and his team have already begun extensive planning for what promises to be a wonderful conference.  Please reserve these dates on your calendar.

In addition to updating you on our Region’s events, there are several impending deadlines for National programs and auditions that I would like to bring to your attention.

NATS Intern Program

The deadline for submission for the Intern program is tomorrow, December 15, 2015.  Texoma has a distinguished history of Interns and master teachers participating in this valuable program that pairs experienced and recognized master teachers of voice with talented young members of NATS in order to improve their studio teaching skills.  Prospective Interns must be a member of NATS in good standing with no more than five years of full-time teaching or the part-time equivalent.  Additional details can be found here:

NATS Artist Awards (NATSAA)

This competition takes place every other year in conjunction with the National Conference.  Preliminary rounds of the competition are held at the Regional level, with one winner emerging from each of the regions to compete at the National Conference.  This year’s Texoma Region preliminary and final round auditions will take place March 11-12, 2016 at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.  The deadline for submission is January 13, 2016.  More information can be found at:

Joan Frey Boytim Awards for Independent Teachers

This new opportunity awards $1,000 to one NATS member from each Region to attend the 2016 National Conference in Chicago.  It is designed to recognize and support independent teachers who do not hold full or part-time teaching positions in a college or university.  The deadline for submission is February 1, 2016.  Please review details here:

There are several additional National programs to peruse including the Van Lawrence Fellowship, Voice Pedagogy Award, Hall Johnson Spirituals Competition, and information about the National Conference July 8-12, 2016 in Chicago.  Please reference this link for more details:

Thank you for your commitment to NATS and its mission statement to “encourage the highest standards of the vocal art and of ethical principles in the teaching of singing; and to promote vocal education and research at all levels, both for the enrichment of the general public and for the professional advancement of the talented.”

Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday Season,

Jason Lester
Governor – Texoma Region