Dear Texoma NATS members,
It is my distinct privilege and honor to begin my work in earnest as your region governor. I would first like to publicly thank Jason Lester for his assistance during this time of transition, as well as San-ky Kim, Melinda Brou, Greg Brookes, and our entire board as they have assisted through this transition. There were several projects underway when I took office on July 1, and I will report to you on each item in this message. I also write to convey important information regarding our upcoming region conference.
First, I report that in the first two days of the NATS fundraiser to assist Texoma members impacted by Hurricane Harvey, NATS received over $2400 in gifts. I will continue to share periodic updates on these efforts, but thank you for your generosity during this difficult period for many of our members. You can donate to the cause here: https://www.nats.org/nsaaf.html.
We hope to open registration for the 67th Texoma NATS Regional Conference and Student Auditions at Texas A&M Commerce on September 10, and registration will close on October 10 at 6pm. The conference begins on Wednesday, November 8 and concludes on Saturday, November 11. Jennifer Glidden, site coordinator, and her faculty colleagues have all been excellent partners. Their campus has stunning facilities for our conference, and I look forward to seeing you all there. Hotel information is currently posted on our website, www.texmoanats.org, under the “Region Conference” tab. Conference registration is $50, and each student audition entry is $20. Parking will be free, with details on location to be communicated closer to the conference.
TAMU-Commerce will present soprano Elizabeth Baldwin in recital on Thursday evening, November 9, and they will present Handel’s Xerxes, trimmed to about 2’30” on Friday evening, November 10. Recital tickets are $20, and opera tickets are $15, all purchasable with your conference registration.
Registration will again occur through Auditionware. However, this year National NATS has standardized the registration process throughout our organization. There should be several advantages in this process. First, although you will begin the process at www.texomasnats.org, your payment will be processed through the NATS website. This process will allow a detailed receipt to be stored in your member account for you to reference at any time for tax or reimbursement purposes. Second, it will save our region from paying PayPal fees on each transaction. Third, singers who advance to later rounds of NSA will automatically be imported to the system for the next round so when you go in to register them all their information should already be available to you. I offer these positives because, at the same time, anything new is bound to have its complications. Please extend your graciousness as we all grow into this new system together.
The Texoma NATS Board of Control approved a new rule for any teachers interested in bringing only high school students to the auditions in November. Per the new rule, Texoma NATS will allow teachers only entering high school students the option of attending the Saturday events of the Conference at a reduced registration fee of $20. At this time, our registration system will still require you to pay $50 for conference registration when you register. We will refund to you the $30 balance at the time you check in on Saturday morning for the secondary judges meeting for all teachers who have selected ‘Saturday only’ attendance. Teachers entering only high school students are, of course, also welcome to attend the entire conference beginning on Thursday, for the full conference fee of $50. This change has been implemented in hopes of increasing the numbers of high school students that are able to participate in the competition.
There are a few distinctive characteristics to this year’s conference: First, because NATS has moved the NATSAA competition from the summer to coincide with the January Winter Workshop, we have moved our NATSAA prelims and regional finals to take place in the stead of the Edward Baird Singer of the Year (EBSOTY) competition in odd-numbered years, such as this one. Despite this change in name, we will still award the same prize money for our regional finals as we do for EBSOTY, $1000 for First Place, $500 for Second Place, and $250 for Third Place. Singers can register for NATSAA: NATS Artist Awards. Singers may not apply through the Texoma website. The deadline for this application has been extended to Tuesday, September 12.
NATS Hall Johnson Spiritual Competition
The Texoma Region will hold a regional round of the NATS Hall Johnson Spiritual Competition on Wednesday, November 8. Teachers, you will be able to register singers for this competition through you conference registration, and a singer in this category will not count against your 6 entries. The registration fee will be the same as with other categories: $20 per entry. For more information on the Hall Johnson Competition, visit here: Hall Johnson Spirituals Competition.
Summer Program Auditions
The Texoma NATS Board of Control has also voted to expand our Summer Program Auditions to programs outside of Texoma and without any Texoma association, with space priority offered to summer programs with Texoma affiliations. The Board’s hope is that expanding the offerings will make the Summer Program Auditions even more attractive to our students. Our program has been so successful that we were contacted over the summer by another region that had heard of our program and wanted to duplicate it for their area.
Finally, I want to orient you toward your important points of contact as we move closer to our conference. Please note the following:
For questions regarding Hall Johnson Spirituals Competition
For questions regarding Summer Program Auditions
For questions regarding the Conference Artist Series
For questions regarding NATSAA
For questions regarding the website
For questions regarding Registration
For questions regarding Repertoire/Student Auditions
For questions regarding our conference venue
We ask for your patience as we prepare for the coming conference. Our student auditions chair, Melinda Brou, has been involved in cleanup after her parents’ home was destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. I know of other members who were evacuated, and many have suffered varying levels of damage to their homes, their livelihoods, and their memories. We will do our best to meet the September 10 start of auditions, but between issues in our region and the unveiling of a new registration process, please bear with us as we navigate this time together.
Texoma Region Governor