Great Lakes Region — Fall 2015 Newsletter

Click to view the original Fall 2015 newsletter in your browser


1) 2016 Regional NATS
Deadline: January 21, 2016

The 2016 Regional NATS auditions will be held on the campus of the Western University (formerly the University of Western Ontario) in London, Ontario on Saturday, February 27. Barbara Dunn-Prosser will serve as the site host.

Rather than using printed forms and mailing them in as we have done in the past, we will use to register. I hesitated to ask another change of you, but I am told by the chapter officers for Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario that you’re all using this for your chapter auditions anyway. Hopefully, there won’t be too many frustrations caused by moving to this for registration. I anticipate that registration will open up on December 21 and will close on January 21.

1. Login to
2. You will see the following message:
Welcome to the Ontario NATS Chapter Audition Scheduling Website

What would you like to do?


  1. Select REGISTER STUDENTS FOR GREAT LAKES REGION4. Fill in forms the same way you did as for Chapter Auditions.

    5. Questions?  Email Brian Horne

As you probably know already, the national board of NATS voted to require all chapters and regions to conform to guidelines which will enable a smooth process for everyone who chooses to participate in the National Student Auditions.

Information about this new system has been distributed throughout the fall, but you can review it all here:

We will use this new system in February. I will write with more detail about this when the time comes, but for now please make certain – absolutely certain – that your travel plans enable you to arrive in time for the teachers’ meeting on Saturday morning the 27th at 9:00am.

Please note that teachers will be permitted to enroll students in a classical category AND a musical theater category OR the Hall Johnson Spiritual Category (explained below), but not all three.

2) Hall Johnson Spiritual Category

For the first time, there will be a Hall Johnson Spiritual Category included in Regional NATS. Entrants may enter their applicable “classical category” (sophomore women, junior men, etc.) AND the Hall Johnson Spiritual Category.

More information can be found here:

Please note that the age requirements for this are ages 17-23 only.

3) 2017 Regional NATS

Regional NATS will be held on March 4, 2017 at the University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

4) 2015 NATS Intern program

The Great Lakes region was well-represented at the 2015 NATS Intern program held at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas. Mary Ann Hart of Indiana University was one of the four master teachers. Four of the 12 interns – chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants – were from the Great Lakes region:

Maribeth Crawford – Walsh University in Canton, OH
Peter C. Keates – Wright State University in Dayton, OH
Linda McAlister – Miami University in Oxford, OH
Angela Young Smucker – Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, IN

5) 2015 NSA participants

The Great Lakes Region participants in the 2015 National Student Auditions were:

Shannon Barry of DePauw University, Greencastle, IN (student of Pamela Coburn) Blake Beckemeyer of DePauw University, Greencastle, IN (student of Caroline Smith) Ashlee Bickley (student of Keith Brautigam)
Logan Dell’Acqua of DePauw University (student of Caroline Smith)

Desiree Johnson of Bowling Green State University (student of Myra Merritt) Samuel Witmer of Ohio University (student of Debra Rentz)

6) 2016 NATSAA

As you know, the national board of NATS voted to incorporate changes to NATSAA beginning with the 2016 auditions. The primary change at this point is that the chapter round has been eliminated. The first round will now be at the regional level. This presents some benefits and some difficulties.

The benefits are that the costs to mount the auditions for the each of the chapters have been eliminated. There were costs to arrange for judges, venues, pianists, etc., and there will now no longer be a need for that. Unfortunately, for our region, this means that to enter and compete in even the first round means that someone from the region will have to have a passport. Either Canadians will have to cross the border (and, therefore, must have a passport) to compete, or Americans will have to cross the border, depending on the venue of the competition. There will be a more significant outlay of cash just to enter the first round.

Traditionally, the NATSAA regional finals have been held the night before the regional NATS auditions wherever they were to be held. I believe the hope was that this would become part of the event, but nearly no one attended because it meant having to arrive early, and most people don’t have that luxury.

I have decided to decouple these two events, so regional NATS will be held on February 27 in London, ON, and the regional NATSAA competition (now the first round) will be held on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, MI in metro Detroit on April 2, 2016. Drake Dantzler, president of the Michigan chapter will act as the local coordinator. The deadline to apply is January 13, 2016. More information about repertoire and other requirements can be found here:

7) 2018 NATSAA

The NATS Board voted on and approved significant changes to NATSAA for the next round in 2018. Norman Spivey and Allen Henderson both advocated for a change of date for this, feeling that holding the competition in the summer limited the participation of high-level singers who have summer commitments with young artist programs. There was a great deal of conversation about this, but in the end the Board voted to move the NATSAA finals to a date in the winter. The exact details of this are yet to be set, but it is quite likely that the NATSAA finals and the finals of the National Musical Theater Competition will be held in New York in January, 2018. This, of course, means that the entire timeline will have to be moved up – for applications, regional competitions, etc.

Since I represent you on the national Board, I feel compelled to tell you that I was adamantly opposed to this change for a variety of reasons. I voted against this, but the motion passed with about 60% support nevertheless. I would be happy to speak with you about this if you should like to contact me (; 812-855-2380), but for now this is the plan.

8) Upcoming opportunities

There are many opportunities for which the applications are due in December, January, or February. You can read more details about these here:

But, here is a listing of the deadlines:

NATS Intern Program: December 15, 2015
Emerging Leaders Awards: January 24, 2016
Joan Frey Boytim Awards for Independent Teachers: February 1, 2016 NATS Foundation Voice Pedagogy Award: February 15, 2016


NATS Ontario 2015 Auditions – Winners List

Congratulations to our winners and to all who participated in the this year’s NATS Ontario auditions!

Please click here to download the winners list and the most promising singers list for the NATS Ontario 2015 Chapter Auditions.

The scholarships provided to winning singers were funded by our generous donors, listed on the winners list. All remaining scholarships were funded by membership fees from the NATS Ontario Chapter.

Fall Auditions – Registration Now Open

Registration for the 2015 Student Auditions scheduled for Saturday, November 21 at Wilfrid Laurier University is NOW OPEN!  Click HERE to access the auditions scheduler.

NEW THIS YEAR:  Note some fee increases: $25 per student entrant, $60 for Official Accompanist.   Unable to adjudicate?  You can replace yourself for the day instead of paying for exemption.


Auditions will be held at the Faculty of Music at  Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, ON.

For those coming from out of town, you can book a room at the Waterloo Inn – just ask for the NATS rate when you make your reservation!



To make yours and your students’ audition experience easier, NATS Ontario has created a new Frequently Asked Questions document that answers ALL your questions including, who can participate, what the repertoire requirements are, a general schedule of events ,and more!

You can view it HERE or check out the AUDITIONS page of our website.

Registration deadline is:  FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16

Email Bethany Horst:


NATS Ontario 2014 Student Auditions

Registration for the 2014 Fall Student Auditions scheduled for Saturday, November 15th at York University is NOW OPEN!  Click HERE to access the auditions scheduler.

New Categories:  Musical Theatre Categories for both University and High School aged singers!


To make your and your students’ audition experience easier, NATS Ontario has created a new Frequently Asked Questions document that answers ALL your questions including who can participate, what the repertoire requirements are, a general schedule of events and more!  Click to download the NATS Auditions Handbook.

Questions should be addressed to Michelyn Wright by email at


Friday, November 14 – Canadian Music Centre (Toronto, Ontario)

  • 6:00 pm – Meet and Greet Cocktail Time
  • 6:30 – 7:15 pm – General Meeting
  • 7:15 pm – Casual Buffet
  • 7:30 pm – SNATS performance
  • 7:45 pm – Amy Moodie performance
  • 8:00 pm – Alex Samaras performance
  • 8:30 pm – Coffee and Dessert
  • 8:30 pm – SNATS performance
  • Click here for more information about the Fall Meeting & Banquet


Saturday, November 15th – York University (Toronto, Ontario)

  • 8:30 am Registration opens in the foyer of the Music Building
  • 9:00 am Official Accompanist 20 min rehearsals begin (if you are bringing your own accompanist, you do not need to be there for this)
  • 10:00 am Adjudicators Meeting
  • 11:00 am Classes begin
  • 5:00 pm Approximate ending of all classes
  • 5:30 pm Approximate time of the Final Concert

Recruitment Day – Who is going to be there?

  • TBA – check this space soon for more information


  • You can still DONATE to the scholarship fund! Online through Paypal or in person to Linda Condy on the day (cheque or cash)

Spring Student Auditions

Dear Great Lakes Region NATS Members!

Happy New Year! It is my pleasure to serve as your Great Lakes Regional Governor. I ask your indulgence as you read through this information. If indeed there are mistakes, please bring them to my attention and I’ll get them corrected.

Plans are in the process for a wonderful day at Ball State University.  Dr. Kathleen Maurer and the voice faculty of Ball State University will be our hosts. In addition to the auditions, Great Lakes Region NATSAA auditions will take place Friday, Feb. 21 and a number of workshops/presentations will be available for teacher and student on Saturday, February 22nd.

I hope all of you are having a wonderful and musically productive year, and I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming Regional Auditions in Michigan.

Please read the following carefully.








AKRON, OH 44325-1002 


DATE:                           SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2014

LOCATION:                BALL STATE UNIVERSITY                                    

AUDITIONS CHAIR: Laurie Lashbrook, Great Lakes Region Governor  

HOST: Dr. Kathleen Maurer and the Voice Faculty at Ball State University


In order to ensure that our Region’s Special Awards (e.g., the Gean Greenwell, Jessye Norman, Jon Vickers, Ralph Appelman, Irma Cooper, Most Promising Musical Theatre awards) can continue at the level we would like to keep in the future, I am inviting each of you to take this particular opportunity to donate special funds toward these awards, or toward any of the top awards at the Regional Auditions.  Donors will be named in the program of the final Concert of Promise.  This is your opportunity to donate toward an award in the name of someone special, or simply to help support NATS Great Lakes Auditions.  If you would like to make such a contribution, please fill out the portion of the Teacher Form concerning contributions toward awards, and enclose a check made out to Great Lakes Region NATS by the deadline.

The final schedule will be sent to those whose students will be performing in these auditions, and to all those who will be judging, and to all those who make a donation toward the awards.

All of the Regional Information for the Student Auditions is below:

1.  General Info re: categories, repertoire requirements, etc.

2.  Forms: Teacher Registration Form, Waiver of Judging Form, Student Registration Form, and Student Audition Form (please duplicate, and submit 3 copies for each student)

3. Hotel Information

Teachers Judging or Waiver:  Teachers whose students register for these auditions are required to participate as adjudicators or in other assigned duties unless officially excused. Each of you is important to the success of this event. Age and infirmity are automatically always excused; other personal issues will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

We realize that many teachers are actively involved in performances or conferences whose dates cannot be changed; we can excuse you for these if you submit this information on the Waiver form.

However, bear in mind that National NATS states that a teacher may be excused from judging for such reasons for up to two consecutive years, but then MUST adjudicate, or pay the extra fee.  This extra fee still will apply and be assessed if a judge cancels at the last minute and the consecutive two-year rule applies. 

Materials to submit, along with fees (etc.) by the postmark date of January 24, 2014:

1.  Teacher Registration Form, one copy, listing all students’ categories, and pianists (no TBA’s will be accepted) and including Teacher Registration Fee as noted; also any special donations.

2.  Student Registration Form, one copy for each student, including Student Registration Fee for each student.

3.  Student Audition Form (the form for judges’ comments), 3 copies for each student.

4.  If requesting a Staff Pianist, one copy of each musical selection, in the correct key.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Students using staff pianists must bring original scores to the auditions at which time staff pianists will use the original scores.

5.   ONE CHECK made payable to NATS Great Lakes Region including ALL the above fees.

Submit all the above to:

Laurie Lashbrook

362 Guzzetta Hall

The University of Akron

Akron, OH 44325-1002

(E-mail:  (Phone: 330.972.2316)

Thank you for your support. It is a pleasure to serve as your regional governor and I look forward to seeing all of you at the Regional Auditions in Muncie, Indiana, USA at Ball State University!



Laurie Lashbrook, Governor

Great Lakes Region

Cell: 330.607.6923

Office: 330.972.2316