NATS Ontario Vocal Showcase Handbook (updated September 2021)

What is the NATS Ontario Vocal Showcase?

Each year, NATS chapters and regions host Student Adjudications (formerly Student Auditions), where singers perform a set of pieces and receive written feedback from three adjudicators. At these events singers meet and hear other vocalists, NATS teachers network with their colleagues, and everyone has the chance to hear a variety of repertoire. NATS Ontario hosts an annual Vocal Showcase each November.   

The 2021 Vocal Showcase will be a Virtual Showcase to be held throughout November.

All registrations AND videos must be submitted via Auditionware by November 6th, 11:59pm.

Judges/Teachers will be given ample time throughout November to complete their written feedback and rankings.  We hope to announce all placements and have comments accessible by December 1.

Scholarships will be announced and sent via e-transfer to teachers for distribution to the singers.

First-place recipients in each category perform (1 selection) at the Finale Concert for additional scholarships.  Auditionware allows singers to select the piece that they would like included in the Online Concert, should they win their category.  

Traditionally Saturday features the Classical Voice classes and Sunday features the Musical Theatre entrants.  Students may sing on either or both days, in one or both genres.  For the Virtual Showcase, we will have separate Finale Concerts on YouTube for both Classical and Musical Theatre winners.

Results will be emailed and posted on Facebook as soon as we’ve received all the adjudication sheets.  Judges’ comments will be available through Auditionware – simply login to see your sheets.

Who can participate?

Singers must be registered for the Showcase through their teacher/NATS member; as we are all volunteers, this process streamlines the registration, leaving the teacher as the contact point, not the individual singers.  Non-NATS members may register students and there is a $50 surcharge to participate, which may be applied to future membership fees.   NATS categories are divided by age and school-grade and in most classes by voice type. 

Singers may enter both a classical class AND/OR a musical theatre class. 

GENERAL RULES AND REGULATIONS

Please read the rules below carefully, as they pertain to all classes.  See the Categories and Repertoire Rules, Copyright, etc. below for further details regarding each category’s specific requirements.  Failure to adhere to some regulations may result in disqualification from the prize pool, but all singers always receive comments.

**For 2021, a document outlining video submissions follows below**

  • Categories 1-18 and AA-D are exclusively classical repertoire
  • Only categories with “MT”  may include musical theatre repertoire
  • MT repertoire must be from a “staged musical” 
  • Singers must begin their final piece within the given time limit to qualify for scholarships
  • Singers will be stopped if they exceed their time limit (the full piece may not be heard)
  • ALL repertoire selections must be sung from memory (**unless from an oratorio/cantata – NEW)
  • Minimal props and costumes are acceptable, but will not factor into placements
  • Singers must sing the repertoire selections that they declared when they registered; no changes to programming may occur after registration closes
  • Repertoire selections may be sung in any order 
  • Singers need not introduce their repertoire selections  (**2021 videos guidelines differ, please introduce yourself, your category, show copyright, etc. see Video Submissions on pg 14)
  • ONE legal copy of each piece must be present, but pianists may play from photocopies (**Virtual Showcase 2021 COPYRIGHT: Please show a legal copy of your music before you sing, see Copyright Policy below for more information)
  • At Live Showcase, videography is permitted, with direct permission from the singer (ie. family members may film their own singer’s performance, but no others)

CATEGORIES & REPERTOIRE RULES

Singers may enter ONE classical category AND/OR ONE musical theatre category.  For the Virtual Showcase, you may enter both genres by SEPARATE video submission and applications.

**NOTE: Eg) A.2 or 3.2 indicate the 2nd section of this same category – when registering, enter A, A.2, A.3 (all the same)

Fach = voicing; S (soprano), M (mezzo/alto), T (tenor), B (bass)

SIngers should enter the category in which they feel most comfortable ***

CATEGORY NAMESCHOOL GRADEFACHTIME LIMIT (minutes)REPERTOIRE REQUIREMENTS
AA(or AA.2, AA.3)1-2ALL6TWO contrasting art or folk songs:1. One must be in English2. Both may be in English. 
BB3-4ALL6TWO contrasting art or folk songs:1. One must be in English2. Both may be in English. 
A(or A.2, A.3)5-6S/MTWO contrasting art or folk songs:1. One must be in English2. Both may be in English. 
B5-6T/B8TWO contrasting art or folk songs:1. One must be in English2. Both may be in English. 
C7-8S/M8TWO contrasting art or folk songs:1. One must be in English2. Both may be in English. 
D7-8T/B8TWO contrasting art or folk songs:1. One must be in English2. Both may be in English. 
19-10S/M10THREE art songs:1. One must be in English2. One must be in a language other than EnglishNote: An arranged folk song is acceptable.  All 17th and 18th century arias may be considered art song repertoire for one of the songs (ie. Scarlatti, Vivaldi, Handel).
29-10T/B10THREE art songs:1. One must be in English2. One must be in a language other than EnglishNote: An arranged folk song is acceptable.  All 17th and 18th century arias may be considered art song repertoire for one of the songs (ie. Scarlatti, Vivaldi, Handel).
311-12 + gap yearS/M10THREE art songs:1. One must be in English2. One must be in a language other than EnglishNote: An arranged folk song is acceptable.  All 17th and 18th century arias may be considered art song repertoire for one of the songs (ie. Scarlatti, Vivaldi, Handel).
411-12 + gap yearT/B10THREE art songs:1. One must be in English2. One must be in a language other than EnglishNote: An arranged folk song is acceptable.  All 17th and 18th century arias may be considered art song repertoire for one of the songs (ie. Scarlatti, Vivaldi, Handel).
51st year, undergradS/M10THREE art songs: 1. One 20th/21st century composition 2. An operatic or oratorio aria, well-suited to the singer’s ability, may be substituted for one of the songs, (but is not required)  3. Minimum of two languages
61st year, undergradT/B10THREE art songs: 1. One 20th/21st century composition 2. An operatic or oratorio aria, well-suited to the singer’s ability, may be substituted for one of the songs, (but is not required)  3. Minimum of two languages
72nd year, undergradS/M10THREE art songs: 1. One 20th/21st century composition 2. An operatic or oratorio aria, well-suited to the singer’s ability, may be substituted for one of the songs, (but is not required)  3. Minimum of two languages
82nd year, undergradT/B10THREE art songs: 1. One 20th/21st century composition 2. An operatic or oratorio aria, well-suited to the singer’s ability, may be substituted for one of the songs, (but is not required)  3. Minimum of two languages
93rd year, undergradS/M10ONE operatic or oratorio aria AND TWO art songs which must include: 1. One 20th/21st century art song, preferably post-1950 or in a contemporary idiom – Canadian composition strongly recommended2. Minimum of three languages
103rd year, undergradT/B10ONE operatic or oratorio aria AND TWO art songs which must include: 1. One 20th/21st century art song, preferably post-1950 or in a contemporary idiom – Canadian composition strongly recommended2. Minimum of three languages
114th year, undergradS/M10ONE operatic or oratorio aria AND TWO art songs which must include: 1. One 20th/21st century art song, preferably post-1950 or in a contemporary idiom – Canadian composition strongly recommended2. Minimum of three languages
124th year, undergradT/B10ONE operatic or oratorio aria AND TWO art songs which must include: 1. One 20th/21st century art song, preferably post-1950 or in a contemporary idiom – Canadian composition strongly recommended2. Minimum of three languages
13GRAD/Pre- ProfessionalS/M12ONE operatic aria, ONE oratorio aria, AND TWO art songs:1. Minimum of four languages2. One art song must be post-1960 Canadian composition
14GRAD/Pre-ProfessionalT/B12ONE operatic aria, ONE oratorio aria, AND TWO art songs:1. Minimum of four languages2. One art song must be post-1960 Canadian composition
15 Adult Beginner (under 30)ALL10THREE contrasting songs:1. Repertoire selections may be art or folk song2. One selection may be operatic or oratorio aria (including G & S)3. One selection must be in English (or all may be in English)
16Adult Advanced(under 30)ALL10THREE contrasting songs:1. Repertoire selections may be art or folk song 2. One selection may be operatic or oratorio aria (including G and S)3. Minimum of two languages and one  selection must be in English 
17Adult Beginner (30+)ALL10THREE contrasting songs:1. Repertoire selections may be art or folk song2. One selection may be operatic or oratorio aria (including G & S)3. One selection must be in English (or all may be in English)
18AdultAdvanced(30+)ALL10THREE contrasting songs:1. Repertoire selections may be art or folk song 2. One selection may be operatic or oratorio aria (including G and S)3. Minimum of two languages and one  selection must be in English 
MT-AA1-2ALL6TWO contrasting songs: 1. One up tempo and one ballad2. Selections must be from a staged musical
MT-BB3-4ALL6TWO contrasting songs: 1. One up tempo and one ballad2. Selections must be from a staged musical
MT-A5-6S/M8TWO contrasting songs: 1. One up tempo and one ballad2. Selections must be from a staged musical
MT-B5-6T/B8TWO contrasting songs: 1. One up tempo and one ballad2. Selections must be from a staged musical
MT-C7-8S/M8TWO contrasting songs: 1. One up tempo and one ballad2. Selections must be from a staged musical
MT-D7-8T/B8TWO contrasting songs: 1. One up tempo and one ballad2. Selections must be from a staged musical
MT-19-10S/M12TWO or THREE  contrasting songs:1. One up tempo, one ballad, one own choice2. Selections must be from a staged musical3. G&S is acceptable for 1 selection 
MT-29-10T/B12TWO or THREE  contrasting songs:1. One up tempo, one ballad, one own choice2. Selections must be from a staged musical3. G&S is acceptable for 1 selection
MT-311-12 + gapS/M12TWO or THREE  contrasting songs:1. One up tempo, one ballad, one own choice2. Selections must be from a staged musical3. G&S is acceptable for 1 selection
MT-411-12 + gapT/B12TWO or THREE  contrasting songs:1. One up tempo, one ballad, one own choice2. Selections must be from a staged musical3. G&S is acceptable for 1 selection
MT-51st & 2nd year undergradS/M12TWO or THREE  contrasting songs:1. One up tempo, one ballad, one own choice2. Selections must be from a staged musical3. G&S is acceptable for 1 selection
MT-61st & 2nd year undergradT/B12TWO or THREE  contrasting songs:1. One up tempo, one ballad, one own choice2. Selections must be from a staged musical3. G&S is acceptable for 1 selection
MT-93rd & 4th year undergradS/M12TWO or THREE  contrasting songs:1. One up tempo, one ballad, one own choice2. Selections must be from a staged musical3. G&S is acceptable for 1 selection
MT-103rd & 4th year undergradT/B12TWO or THREE  contrasting songs:1. One up tempo, one ballad, one own choice2. Selections must be from a staged musical3. G&S is acceptable for 1 selection
MT-11Adult BeginnerALL12TWO or THREE  contrasting songs:1. One up tempo, one ballad, one own choice2. Selections must be from a staged musical3. G&S is acceptable for 1 selection
MT-12Adult AdvancedALL12TWO or THREE  contrasting songs:1. One up tempo, one ballad, one own choice2. Selections must be from a staged musical3. G&S is acceptable for 1 selection

**Note – there is no MT-7 or MT-8 because 1st AND 2nd year post-secondary classes are combined into MT-5 and MT-6

COPYRIGHT

ONE legal copy of each piece must be present and visible in the performance room (i.e. placed on the piano). Pianists may play from the legal copy/original score or from a photocopy (provided the legal copy is present for inspection). Repertoire considered public domain may be played from copies obtained from IMSLP.  Repertoire from musicnotes.com and/or other sheet music websites require a proof of purchase receipt (not just a title page). Adjudicators do NOT require copies of repertoire, but may request to inspect legal copies. Students who do not bring a legal copy will NOT be eligible for placement or scholarships, but will receive comments.

NOTE: NATS Auditions (such as Regional or National level) have differing copyright policies.

**For Virtual Showcase, legal copies must be shown as part of the singer’s verbal introduction.  Please introduce your piece and hold up the legal copy to the camera**

SHOWCASE FAQs:

How do I register?

NATS Ontario Members must register their students via www.auditionware.com  using the email account that is on file with NATS Ontario Chapter to login.  You must use an email OTHER than the account currently associated with http://www.nats.org.  Nats.org has their own login, therefore using your nats.org associated email takes you to their U.S.A. portal and not Ontario’s.  

Follow prompts to register for the Vocal Showcase.  All previous student data should be saved under your account.  Do NOT pay fees until completely finished ALL entrants, as this completes and closes your registration.  For troubleshooting or login issues, or to set up an account, email auditions@natsontario.org 

Non-NATS members can create an auditionware account via our coordinator – Please email auditions@natsontario.org for a login.

How much does it cost to register a student?

Junior (Grades 1-8) = $25 (2 songs)

Intermediate (Grades 9-12+) = $30 (3 songs)

Senior (University, pre-professionals, adult students) = $35 (3-4 songs)

What is the fee for NATS Ontario Members (or non-NATS members) who send students to the Vocal Showcase but who are unable to adjudicate?

If a member is unable to attend the Vocal Showcase as an Adjudicator but is sending students there is a Absentee Fee as follows: 

1-5 students = $75 6-10 students = $100 

11-15 students = $150 16-20 students = $200

These fees are PER MISSED DAY and should be paid at time of registration.  Add your absentee fee to your registration total before processing through Paypal.  Please email auditions@natsontario.org AND treasurer@natsontario.org so we are aware of your absentia.

Teachers may be excused from these fees if they replace themselves for the day of adjudicating with a colleague. Teachers working as replacement adjudicators need not be NATS members. Teachers who are unable to adjudicate must email the coordinator no later than the registration deadline and must either pay the fee or report a replacement adjudicator.  Withdrawal after the registration deadline requires that the teacher find a suitable replacement and inform the coordinator.  Replacement adjudicators should have substantial teaching experience in classical and/or musical theatre and be a suitable replacement for that judge’s skill level.

How should the registration fee be paid?

Applications are online at www.auditionware.com 

ONLY once your application for ALL students is complete, click “PAY FEES” to be redirected to the payment site through Paypal.  NATS Ontario’s Paypal site may require you to enter your total fees.

Scholarships and other donations can be paid via Paypal on the natsontario.org site or sent by cheque made out to “NATS Ontario” via our treasurer:

NATS Ontario Vocal Showcase 

℅ Mike Fan, 305-208 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON

M5J2Y5

Can students access the registration page and register themselves?

The registration page is a Teachers Only page. Each teacher must input personal information (address/phone #/email) for each of their students in their Member Profile. If a student is given access to their Teacher’s Member Profile, they will also be able to access all other students’ applications and personal information.  Allowing students to use this site is a violation of Privacy Laws and is discouraged.  

**The system saves most student information year to year, and you need not enter student information beyond age/grade/category, ie) you may use your address/email for all applicants if you choose.

Do students need an accompanist?

Each student is required to bring their own accompanist, or pay a $60 fee to use one of the Official Accompanists provided by NATS Ontario. An Official Accompanist (OA) will be chosen for each student – no requests for specific accompanists.  You must indicate that you require an OA and pay the fee with the original registration.  The $60 fee includes a 20 minute scheduled rehearsal time on the day of the Vocal Showcase.  A rehearsal schedule will be sent via email including the contact information of the OA several weeks in advance.  OA’s may request to have copies emailed or mailed to them in advance.

Accompanists may play for a maximum of seven singers per day.  Teachers may NOT accompany their own students.  

**Given the nature of our Virtual Showcase, students may sing to tracks or live accompaniment for their videos.  Teachers may accompany or make tracks for their own students this year.  Please ensure all tracks are piano only (not instrumental).  If you require a pianist or access to tracks please email auditions@natsontario.org – NO OFFICIAL OA’s will be assigned for the Virtual Showcase.

When is the deadline for registration?

Registration opens August 31, 2021

Registration closes NOVEMBER 6th, 11:59pm for VIRTUAL SHOWCASE (including video links)

PLEASE DO REGISTER before the deadline if at all possible.  Early submissions can be organised into groups, etc. if you’re able to submit in advance of the deadline.  

Videos are also due at this time – have all youtube links ready when you submit registration.  You can save your registrations, so you can start them any time after Aug. 31 and add information until November TBA.  Eg.) You can begin and save and update registrations from Aug 31-Nov 6th – adding URL’s to videos last, if you choose

Are original scores required? How many?

Yes. One original score must be present, and visible for each piece presented. (See: Copyright, above) 

What is the schedule overview for the day?

9:00 am Registration opens 

9:00 am Official Accompanist 20 min rehearsals begin 

10:15 am Mandatory judges meeting 

11:00 am Classes begin 

3:30 pm Approximate ending of all classes

4:00 pm Approximate time of the finale Concert

**Not applicable for Virtual Showcase

Where will the Vocal Showcase be held in November 2021?

Virtually!

May singers rehearse with their accompanist?

All available practise rooms may be used by NATS singers. No practise rooms will be designated for a specific singer or accompanist (except Official Accompanists).

Singers who choose to use an Official Accompanist will be given a 20 minute rehearsal time, most likely in the morning, on the day of the Vocal Showcase.

**Not applicable for Virtual Showcase

Are there practise rooms?

Yes. Signage will indicate where practice rooms are and how to access them on the day of the Showcase.  Singers should take no more than 15 minutes in these rooms as a courtesy.  

Can I watch my entire class?  What should students do when they are finished singing?

Students (and parents and guests) are encouraged to attend the totality of their class or other classes.  At the Live Showcase at Western, singers may bring a maximum of 2 guests in 2021.  

Please only enter or exit the classrooms between singers (not during a song).  Schedules of each class are posted outside rooms in use or at the registration desk.

**Not applicable for Virtual Showcase

How will students get their adjudications?

When all participants have sung in a class, Adjudicators take their adjudication forms to the Tabulation Room. After processing, the adjudications will be available on a table close to the Registration Desk. This process may take up to one hour following the final performance in the class. Students are responsible to pick up their adjudications before leaving for the day.

**2021 Virtual Adjudications will be available through auditionware.com.  Teachers may access their students’ comments and placements via the software and/or through natsontario.org as we publish results.  

When will students know if they are singing in the Finale Concert?

The names of students who place first and second in each category will be posted online (www. TBA) one hour following the performance of the final singer in the class.

While only 1st Place Winners sing in the Finale Concert, 2nd Place Winners should attend the finale Concert to collect their scholarships. Students invited to sing in the Finale Concert are responsible to ensure that their accompanist is available to play in the Finale Concert. Students using an Official Accompanist must pay an additional fee of $25 direct to their OA for the Finale Concert performance.

**TBA information regarding a YouTube Virtual Showcase Finale Concert 2021!

What is appropriate attire?

Appropriate audition attire is encouraged.

How will students get their scholarship money? 

Winning students should attend the Finale Concert to receive their scholarship.  1st and 2nd place students will sign for and receive their  *cash* scholarships about 45 minutes before the concert begins, (see registration desk for more details.)  Signs on the Results Board will also direct you.  Teachers may also sign for their students if necessary.

**2021 Virtual Showcase scholarships will be e-transferred to teachers for distribution to singers/winners.  Please ensure that your email will accept e-transfers.

Whom should students thank for their scholarship money?

Winning students should write thank you notes or emails to the scholarship provider.  NATS Ontario will provide this information in the congratulatory letters accompanying scholarships.

Who can progress to Regional Auditions? 

Any student of a NATS teacher may attend the Regional Auditions if their teacher is also attending. Winning or entering the NATS Ontario Vocal Showcase is not a requirement.  NOTE: Regional rules and categories differ significantly from our Showcase – see www.nats.org for more information.

Virtual Video Submissions and Registration

Registration

Teachers are responsible for registration.  AuditionWare can be used for online video submissions. To register students, teachers need to go to www.auditionware.com and login using an email separate from the one on file with nats.org (see How do I Register in FAQs).  For the 2021 Vocal Showcase, students should create a video for EACH selection and upload each video to YouTube.  The Youtube link/address needs to be submitted in the registration below the repertoire information.

Teachers will be prompted by the system to enter the information required:

Eg)  Student Info: Bethany Horst

(Student info other than their category or perhaps their email is superfluous)

Category – A (Young Singer)

Selection 1:  Little Spanish Town

Composer: Jenkyns

Language: English

URL: www.youtube.com/………..beth

Repeat for Selection 2, 3, 4, depending on category

Video Submissions Guidelines: For Singers

Recording Location and Attire

• Record your video in the spirit of a live audition or recital performance 

• Record in a home or an otherwise appropriate space 

• Find an acoustic that is not too live so your performance is heard “as in person”

• Dress professionally, as you would for a recital or live audition

Recording Instructions 

• Record a separate unedited video for each selection on your repertoire list

• Your camera should record from a fixed position/tripod/steady surface

• Face the camera as you would appear to adjudicators in person

• Recordings must clearly show your face and torso

• Be sure to eliminate all background noise (dishwasher, pets, etc.) before beginning

• Check your lighting so we can see your expressions, posture and gestures

• No mics, splicing, editing, adding reverb or other amplification allowed

Accompaniment

• You may use a track or live accompaniment

• Your teacher can create your tracks or accompany you (this year only)

• All tracks must be piano only (no instrumental tracks)

• Check and test the levels of the track to ensure you can be heard, but that you can also hear the track while singing

Performance 

• Introduce EACH selection at the beginning of EACH video

• Eg)  My name is ______  and I will sing—Title of Composition—by— Composer—(and if appropriate)—from—Title of Work and HOLD UP your SCORE

• DO NOT reveal the identity of your teacher, school and region

• You must perform each of your selections from memory on your recording

Uploading to YouTube

• You must select “public” or “unlisted” in the Privacy settings found under the Broadcasting and Sharing Options section when uploading your video 

• Disable “comments” and also “for kids only”

• Please be advised that “private” and “kids only” videos block adjudicators’ access 

• Singers should create their own YouTube channel 

• Teachers should not upload videos for students from their YouTube channel as anonymity is important

Invalid Videos 

The following video problems would make them invalid and may disqualify singers from scholarships, although they would receive written feedback:

• Videos revealing the teacher’s identity, the region of the singer, or the school they attend. 

• Videos with “private’ sharing options (see above). 

• Videos that pan and zoom during performances. 

• Videos using additional recording equipment, microphones other than the camera. 

• Videos that are altered or enhanced. 

Adjudication Results and Comments

Adjudication sheets will be submitted through www.auditionware.com.  Teachers will be able to view and print comment sheets by November 30th and may distribute them to students as they are available.

Adjudications

Teachers who are adjudicating will be sent more information about how comment sheets will be completed.  Teachers will be assigned a category of singers and will submit their comment sheets via www.auditionware.com  You will have approximately 10 days to complete your adjudications, sometimes between November 6th and 22nd.  More information to come.

A REMINDER THAT THE DEADLINE for the 2021 VIRTUAL VOCAL SHOWCASE is NOVEMBER 6th 🙂

Videos, fees and all other application information is due at this time

HAPPY PREPARATIONS!