Handbook - South Carolina National Association of Teachers of

SCNATS Handbook
Table of Contents
Officers ............................................................................................................................ 1
Membership Roster ........................................................................................................ 2
Bylaws ............................................................................................................................. 3
Rules and Regulations for Student Auditions .............................................................. 5
Repertoire Requirements ............................................................................................. 11
Music Theater Category ............................................................................................... 13
Sample Adjudication Form .......................................................................................... 16
Teacher’s Checklist for SCNATS Student Auditions ................................................. 17
Student’s Checklist for SCNATS Student Auditions ................................................. 19
Using the SCNATS Website ........................................................................................ 20
© Copyright 2008 Grant A. Lewis. All rights reserved.
SCNATS Handbook
In order to protect the officers’ privacy, their contact information has been abbreviated for the web
version of this document. To securely access complete contact information, use the log in button on
the SCNATS website.
Regional Governor
Robert Wells
Regional Treasurer
Alissa Deeter
SCNATS State Governor
Deedy Francis
SCNATS President
Cheryl Greene
SCNATS Vice-President
Jill Terhaar Lewis
SCNATS Secretary
Lisa Odom
SCNATS Treasurer
Loretta Haskell
SCNATS Website Administrator
Grant A. Lewis
SCNATS Handbook
SCNATS Membership Roster
In order to protect members/ privacy, this information has been removed from publicly-accessible
areas of the Internet. To securely access members/ contact information, use the log in button on the
SCNATS website.
SCNATS Handbook
Article I: Name
The name of the organization shall be the South Carolina Chapter of the National Association of
Teachers of Singing. The Chapter shall be subject to the By-Laws of the National Association.
Article II: Purposes and Codes of Ethics
The South Carolina Chapter adopts fully the stated purposes of the National Association, which are:
1. To establish and maintain the highest possible standards of ethical principles and practices
in the profession of teaching singing and vocal art.
2. To establish the highest possible standards of competence in said teaching profession, to
encourage, conduct and stimulate effective cooperation among vocal teachers for this mutual
welfare and advancement.
The South Carolina Chapter, as an organization, subscribes without reservation to the “Code of
Ethics,” adherence to which is one of the conditions of individual membership in the National
Article III: Membership
All NATS members resident in the area of South Carolina are eligible for membership in the
chapter. All membership fees must be paid in full by January 15. Chapter membership shall be
terminated when a member resigns from, or is dropped from membership in the National
Article IV: Officers
Chapter officers shall consist of President, Vice-president, Secretary, and Treasurer. The term of
office shall be two years. The Duties of the officers shall be those commonly associated with the
offices named, with the special responsibilities of the fall workshop assigned to the President and the
spring students audition chairman assigned to the Vice-president. At the end of each biennial term
of office the secretary will submit, in written form, a report of the chapter’s activities, and the
treasurer will also submit in written form a report of the chapter’s finances. Special officers,
committees, or chairmen may be appointed by the President to service in such temporary capacities
as occasions may demand. Any administrative officer, whether elected or appointed, shall cease to
hold office upon termination of his membership in the National Association. Neither the President
nor Vice-president shall serve consecutively for more than two terms, though they may properly
succeed others in these offices. Any elected officer may be removed from office upon due cause by a
two-thirds (2/3) vote of the South Carolina state active membership.
Article V: Board of Directors
The Board of Directors shall consist of the officers, past President, and four (4) persons appointed by
the President. The duties of the directors shall be to assist the officers in conducting the business of
the chapter.
Article VI: Meetings
There shall be two (2) meetings of the chapter each year, in the fall and the spring. Announcements
of meetings with proposed agenda and program will be mailed to chapter members at least twentyone (21) days prior to the date of each meeting. Chapter meetings will be held at the place
determined at the discretion of the officers. Chapter meetings may be called by the President or by
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any petitioned officer of the membership, provided the chapter officer and the remainder of the
chapter membership are notified at least twenty-one (21) days in advance of such a meeting.
Article VII: Elections and Quorum
Elections will be held at the spring meeting. A nominating committee, appointed by the President at
the fall meeting will provide a slate of nominees for the four offices. Additional nominations may be
made from the floor. Officers elected will take office at once, serving until the spring meeting two
years hence.
A quorum will consist of one-third of the active membership. At any regular meeting, each member
in good standing shall be entitled to vote upon any motion or question properly brought before the
chapter either in person, or by written proxy.
Article VIII: Dues and Assessments
The annual chapter dues of $15.00 are to be paid to the National Office and are due by January 15 of
each year. The amount of dues may be changed by vote of the chapter. Notices of non-payment of
dues shall be sent to delinquent members after January 15 of each year. If any remain unpaid by
January 15, said membership shall automatically cease. Resignation shall not be accepted from
delinquent members. Assessments over and above the annual dues may be made for special events
necessitating unusual expenditures only where such a motion is entertained at a meeting where a
quorum is present and said motion is passed by a majority vote.
New NATS members and those transferring their memberships from other NATS districts must
complete all national and district membership requirements by January 15 in order to submit
applications for the annual Student Auditions. Those members satisfying these requirements after
the January 15 deadline will not be eligible to submit applications until the following year.
Article IX: Programs and Procedures
The program of this chapter properly may include social, promotional, professional, and educational
activities at the discretion of its officers and members, so long as such activities are consistent with
the purposes and code of ethics state in Article II, above. Business meetings shall be conducted in
accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order.
Article X: Amendments
The by-laws of this chapter may be repealed or amended, or new by-laws adopted by a majority of
the chapter membership voting in person, by written proxy, or by mail, provided that such
amendments have been announced to the membership at least twenty-one (21) days in advance of
the voting date.
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SCNATS Annual Student Auditions: Rules and Regulations
Introductory Statement
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Board met on April 1, 2005 at which time some minor modifications to
our “Rules and Regulations for Student Auditions” were enacted. The guidelines, first formulated in
1977, were designed to be modified to suit the needs of the membership. Our goal was to strengthen
the Student Auditions at all levels and to make the Auditions as inclusive as possible. In time, these
rules will also be subject to review and revision. The philosophical statements of the national
committee have been largely quoted verbatim—your state officers have copies of that document
should you wish to read it.
Underlying Philosophy
NATS Student Auditions are unique in the following ways:
1. The Auditions are planned for students at all stages of vocal study.
2. Each student performs in a clearly defined “classification” or division with other students of
similar age and/or length of study.
3. They are intended not only for the most talented vocalists, but for all students who are
willing to prepare appropriate repertoire and who might benefit from the audition
4. The Mid-Atlantic Student Auditions encourage and promote the performance of American
vocal music.
5. The Auditions are open, space permitting, giving students the opportunity to hear other
singers and teachers the opportunity to hear each other’s students.
6. Emphasis is not upon selecting a “winner,” but rather on constructive criticisms give to each
7. Superior performances may be recognized by presenting students in an Honors Recital at the
close of the Auditions or at a later chapter or regional event, as well as by monetary and
other rewards.
8. Student Auditions generally are held within the framework of a chapter or regional
conference, which should include the exchange of ideas, performance, and other activities of
interest to other students and teachers.
At some point in our lives, we have all embraced the extraordinary power of words and music with
our voices. NATS members are dedicated to nurturing the process of discovery within their students,
and there is no doubt that the Auditions are an important step in that process. One has only to
experience a Student Auditions where singers encounter such power for themselves to feel inspired
by our work and to sense the inspiration for our students.
The Auditions are structured to give each student equal opportunity to achieve a personal goal and
to receive impartial appraisal from competent adjudicators. Singers are encouraged through
constructive criticism, which almost always corroborates points made in the studio and thus
supports our teaching. They begin to realize a capacity for self-expression and a growing awareness
of the voice and its potential, as they discover themselves as musicians and human beings.
SCNATS Handbook
A vital program of Student Auditions that maintains a commitment to inspirational and educational
opportunities for members and their students is a professional imperative. The motivating spirit
must be a mutual seeking of, and a cooperative effort towards, the highest standard in vocal artistry
and technique.
With minor changes from Guidelines of National Committee, Judith Nicosia Civitano, Chair
Section I: Purpose
A. To offer students of member teachers of NATS:
1. A specific goal, stimulating the desire for vocal and musical self-improvement, and
encouragement toward more diligent study in the preparation of appropriate repertoire.
2. An opportunity to perform under conditions designed to provide the most complete and
total consideration for the student and one which will ideally combine the best elements
of non-competitive and competitive performance.
3. An opportunity to sing before qualified and impartial judges and receive careful,
constructive criticism.
4. Opportunities for public appearance by outstanding students and recognition of
achievement and talent by appropriate awards.
5. Experience in hearing, meeting, and performing with one’s peers at a professional
B. To provide opportunities for professional growth for NATS members through sharing ideas,
encountering new repertoire, hearing other teachers’ students on an annual basis, and
participating in carefully considered evaluations.
Section II: Organization
A. Student Auditions are an annual activity sponsored by NATS members in the Mid-Atlantic
Region, which includes Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, and South
Carolina. Chapter Auditions will be held at locations most favorable to wide participation by
the membership.
B. Student Auditions are held under the direct supervision of the Regional Governor at the
regional level and the State President at the state/chapter level. The Vice President serves as
the Auditions Coordinator for the chapter.
C. The annual announcement of auditions and conferences in the Mid-Atlantic Region will be
made available in the fall. Details of Regional Student Auditions will be sent to the
membership at least two months prior to the events. Student Auditions will customarily be
held in the spring.
D. For the purposes of the Mid-Atlantic NATS Student Auditions, thirty-three categories are
established. The categories and repertoire requirements are in chart form found elsewhere in
this document.
E. Student Auditions are not a part of the NATS Artist Awards (NATSAA) or of the Regional
Young Artist Competitions, even though such activities may take place under the same
sponsorship or at the same conference. Care will be taken that this distinction is made in
releases to the media.
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Section III: Eligibility and Procedures
A. Any student currently studying with an active member in good standing at the national and
chapter levels of the National Association of Teachers of Singing is eligible.
B. If the student has been studying with the sponsoring teacher for less than eight (8) months,
acknowledgement must be made of the student’s former vocal study on both the application
and in any public announcements. The NATS Code of Ethics provides that “it is unethical to
claim as a pupil one having studied less than eight months with a teacher—except where
there has been no previous training.”
C. Student applications must be filled out completely and submitted to the appropriate chapter
Auditions Coordinator before the stated deadline. A fee of $16.00 must accompany each
application. Checks should be made out to “NATS Student Auditions.” Moneys received from
student applications will be used for the administration of the student auditions. Moneys
received from application fees will be divided according to a predetermined and mutually
agreed-upon formula between chapter and regional activities. At present, the Chapter
Treasurer sends a check made payable to “NATS Mid-Atlantic Region” to the Regional
Treasurer in the amount of three dollars per student auditioned in the chapter. All student
registration materials, with the appropriate fees, should be submitted by the teacher to the
Auditions Coordinator at the chapter level. For the Regional Auditions, notification must be
made to the Regional Governor within one week of the state audition, affirming the student’s
intention to attend and restating the repertoire and accompanist’s name.
D. The auditioning student (and/or his/her teacher) is responsible for securing and bringing
his/her own accompanist; such an arrangement is to the decided advantage of the singer.
Scheduling makes it impractical for one accompanist to play for more than ten auditions per
day. A list of experienced accompanists may be made available to those students who wish to
use an accompanist from the host institution or area. At the regional level, arrangements for
this service should be made at least two weeks prior to the auditions; states may set their
own time limits. Teachers may not accompany their own students. It is not the Audition
Coordinator’s responsibility to make these arrangements.
E. Teachers who enter their students in the auditions are required to assist in adjudication.
Teachers who find it impossible to attend the auditions will arrange personally for a
substitute judge, who is a NATS member in good standing, and who has no students of
his/her own auditioning. Those not in attendance at the Regional Auditions will be required
to pay a non-attendance fee of $50.00 to the Mid-Atlantic Region in advance of the auditions.
The non-attendance fee covers the registration of the substitute judge. At the regional level,
the host state will provide a list of substitute judges on request, but the teacher must make
the arrangements, and the name of the substitute judge must be submitted to the Regional
Governor at the time of the regional application submission. At the state level this
responsibility lies solely with the teacher, and each chapter will follow its own nonattendance policy. The student will be disqualified if his/her teacher fails to meet these
requirements. When extraordinary circumstances warrant, the Auditions Coordinator may
waive those regulations which are intended to facilitate the scheduling of auditions, e.g.,
accompanists’ limits. This does not include any regulation which affects a student’s eligibility
to compete in a specific category. (Teachers who are absent for two consecutive years may be
contacted by the Chapter Vice President or Regional Governor to discuss their students’
participation in the next Student Auditions.)
F. NATS members may only enter their own students in the Auditions. Entering another
teacher’s students, for whatever reason, is unethical and should result in disqualification of
all concerned.
SCNATS Handbook
G. A list of the student’s repertoire must be included at the time of application. It is the
teacher’s responsibility to ensure that all application information—including category
numbers and repertoire—is correct when the application is submitted. The Auditions
Coordinator does not vet all repertoire prior to the audition. If any questions arise concerning
any of the repertoire listed, the Auditions Coordinator will communicate directly with the
applicant or his/her teacher. All repertoire categories listed must be represented (unless
optional). It will NOT be necessary for the student to have music available for the judges at
the time of audition. Any changes in audition repertoire from the state auditions to the
regional auditions must be submitted to the regional auditions chair when the regional
audition application is completed.
H. Illegally reproduced music will not be permitted in performance. Hal Leonard will allow a
maximum of 2 copied pages per selection for difficult page turns and these pages must be
destroyed immediately after performance. Appropriate documentation of copied music must
be on file in the tally room prior to the audition should any questions arise. If copies are used
in the absence of this documentation, the head judge in that category must verify the
legitimacy. Copies used without written approval of the publisher will result in
disqualification. Transposition of art songs is permitted for works in the public domain,
generated by any mechanical means. The publisher’s permission is required for all other
transpositions. Written permission to transpose must be obtained from the copyright holder
and must accompany the entry form to the District Vice-President/Regional Governor in
order to be accepted. The District Vice-President/ Regional Governor will indicate this
permission on the adjudication form for clarification to the judges.
No teacher may enter more than a total of 25 students in all categories. Students may
participate in more than one category as determined by audition guidelines.
J. Categories containing more than 20 students or 200 minutes of listening time may be split
into two or more categories of approximately equal numbers. There will be no runoffs. A
winner will be declared from each group (e.g., 4A, 4B, etc.) and winners from each category
will sing in the recital. In categories 25 – 26, the number of years of vocal study may be used
as the basis for grouping the students in 25A, 25B, etc.
K. Application fee refunds to students must be requested in writing to the Auditions
Coordinator postmarked one week prior to the first day of auditions. Banquet refunds
usually cannot be granted less than one week before the auditions.
L. Students may enter a neighboring chapter’s auditions at the discretion of the Regional
Section IV: Adjudication
The principal purpose of the Auditions is to give each student a full hearing before qualified and
impartial judges, as well as the opportunity to receive careful and constructive criticism. Evaluative
comments and ideas are of great importance to both students and teachers. Each judge should make
as comprehensive a critique as time allows, acknowledging achievement and encouraging
improvement. Comments that would be embarrassing to the teacher or discouraging to the student
must be avoided; no one should be criticized to the point of humiliation or defeat. Since the auditions
are important to the participating students who have made a significant investment in time, energy
and money, the experience should be positive and rewarding.
SCNATS Handbook
It is altogether appropriate within the spirit of the Auditions to recognize excellence by selecting
outstanding singers for awards and for performance on an Honors Recital at the close of the
Auditions or at some later NATS event. The word “audition” rather than “competition” or “contest”
must be used, so that all students, whether they expect to be chosen as Honors Recital performers or
not, will want to participate. The real competition is between the student and his/her own self-image
or self-imposed goals. The preparation for the Auditions and the written constructive criticisms are
far more valuable than any award or honor given to the student.
A. Only teachers experienced with the age and level of advancement of a particular category
will be asked to judge that category; however, teachers may not judge their own students.
Whenever possible, teachers should not have to judge students from their own schools. A
teacher may indicate a preference for judging a specific category, and while it may not be
possible to honor that, every effort will be made to assign a neighboring category. In the
Musical Theatre categories, it is possible to draw adjudicators from the Music Theater
community outside of NATS membership. Judges will not confer during the Student
Auditions; however, after three students have been auditioned in a category, the judges have
an option to total the scores given and compare with their colleagues to help establish a
standard for scoring in that category.
B. Whenever possible there will be a minimum of three judges per category.
C. Since adjudication at Student Auditions is regarded as a professional duty for NATS
members, no fees will be paid for judging.
D. Standard Mid-Atlantic Regions NATS adjudication forms will be provided. The judges’
written comments and constructive criticisms will be presented to each student’s teacher as
soon as possible after the judging is completed. Scoring should be done against a standard for
the classification being judged on a predetermined scale. Scores should be rounded to the
nearest whole number.
E. If, in the opinion of the judges, no one in a given category merits an award, no honors
students need be declared. An uninfluenced opinion from each judge should be submitted to
the Auditions Coordinator at the closed of each classification. Ties are permissible at any
level and no arbitrary restrictions will be place on the number of honor students or
certificates awarded.
Section V: Awards
Certificates may be presented to all students designated for special recognition. So that teachers and
students may hear the students selected as most outstanding, the singers who receive a “first place”
in each classification may be invited to perform in an Honors Recital at the close of the auditions or
at some later chapter or regional event. First, second, and third-place students may receive
monetary awards. Awards are important to the students, both as an incentive and as a way to defray
expenses of participation in the Auditions.
A. Certificates of Merit, signed by the Auditions Coordinator and at least one other NATS
official, will be awarded to all honor students.
B. Any monetary award may be presented at the discretion of the NATS chapters. Additional
funds may be applied for by chapter or regional officers from the NATS discretionary fund to
assist, if necessary, with programs or administration of auditions and/or conferences.
SCNATS Handbook
C. An Honors Recital will be a featured part of all Student Auditions in the Mid-Atlantic Region
of NATS.
Section VI—Fees and Finances
A. The fees paid by each student and teacher support the Student Auditions. No registration
fees should be charged to accompanists.
B. Separate Conference expenses may be raised by: (1) charging conference registration fees for
teachers, visitors, and non-auditioning students (students advancing to the Regional Student
Auditions do not have to pay registration); (2) chapter dues, in the case of chapter
conferences; and (3) applying for a grant to the Vice President in charge of the NATS
Discretionary Fund. The income from Student Auditions fees would not be listed in any
applications for program assistance from the Discretionary Fund.
SCNATS Handbook
Annual Student Auditions: Repertoire Requirements
Students in All Categories Must Prepare At Least One Selection in English.
Students in Categories 11–18 and Categories 29–32 must prepare one selection by an American
All selections must be performed from memory except those from chamber music and oratorio, which
are traditionally performed with music.
Xerox copies will be permitted only with written approval of the publisher.
Repertoire Requirements are as follows:
A. One English or foreign language selection from 1800 or earlier.
B. One or two additional selections from C, D, or E.
C. Art songs composed in 1900 or earlier performed whenever possible in the original language.
D. Art songs composed in 1901 or later.
E. An aria from an opera, operetta, or oratorio sung in the original language, or in an English
translation, in a published key.*
F. Arias from opera, operetta, or oratorio sung in the original key in the original or traditional
language, in a published key.*
G. One Music Theater legit (Head Register Dominant – cricothyroid [CT] muscle dominant)
selection premiered in 1967 or before, sung in the original or published key (representative
composers: Loewe, Rodgers, Gershwin, Berlin, Kern).
H. One Music Theater non-legit (Chest Register Dominant – thyroarytenoid [TA] muscle
dominant) from any time period, sung in the original or published key.
One Music Theater non-legit (Chest Register Dominant – thyroarytenoid [TA] muscle
dominant] selection premiered in 1967 or before, sung in the original or published key
(representative composers: Lerner, Rodgers, Gershwin, Youmans, Berlin, Kern).
J. One Music Theater work premiered from 1968-1995 sung in the original or published key
(representative composers: Lerner & Loewe, Sondheim, R. Adler, Schonberg, Lloyd Webber).
K. One Music Theater work premiered from 1996 to present sung in the original or published
key (representative composers: Sondheim, R. Adler, Schonberg, Lloyd Webber, Brown).
Category and Description
Length of Study
Freshman/Sophomore Beginning High
School–Women (1)
Freshman/Sophomore Beginning High
School–Men (1)
Freshman/Sophomore Advanced High
School–Women (1)
Freshman/Sophomore Advanced High
School–Men (1)
Junior/Senior Beginning High School–
Women (1)
Age Audition
Limit Length
Number of
One year or less of vocal study
More than one year of vocal study
8 minutes
2–3 selections
from A and B (2)
One year or less of vocal study
Junior/Senior Beginning High School–Men (1)
Junior/Senior Advanced High School–
Women (1)
More than one year of vocal study
Junior/Senior Advanced High School–Men (1)
College Freshman–Women
First year of college study
College Freshman–Men
College Sophomore–Women
College Sophomore–Men
College Junior–Women
3 selections from C, D, and,
optionally, E (one language
other than English) (3, 4)
10 minutes
College Junior–Men
College Senior–Women
College Senior–Men
Advanced College–Women
Advanced College–Men
Freshman/Sophomore Music Theater High
Freshman/Sophomore Music Theater High
Junior/Senior Music Theater High School–
Junior/Senior Music Theater High School–
Freshman/Sophomore Music Theater
Freshman/Sophomore Music Theater
Junior/Senior Music Theater College–
Second year of college study
Third year of college study
Fourth year of college study
Four or more years of study
beyond high school
21 and
4 selections from C, D, and,
optionally, E (one language
other than English and one
American composer) (3, 4)
12 minutes
5 selections from C, D, and
F (two languages other
than English and one
American composer)
15 minutes
5 or 6 selections from C, D,
and F (three languages
other than English and one
American composer)
8 minutes
2 or 3 selections. 1 from G;
1 from H, and optionally a
third selection from G, I, J
or K (4)
10 minutes
4 selections, 1 selection
from each G, I, J, K (4)
Music Theater: Categories 19–28
Junior/Senior Music Theater College–Men
Graduate/Continuing Education Music
Graduate/Continuing Education Music
Continuing Education/Evaluation Only: Categories 29–33
Avocational Continuing Education–Women
Avocational Continuing Education–Men
Vocational Continuing Education–Women
Voice students not enrolled in a
graduate music degree program
22 and
12 minutes
4 selections from C, D, and
E (two languages other
than English and one
American composer)
8 minutes
No special number
Vocational Continuing Education–Men
General (Evaluation Only)
For our purposes “High School” includes grades 9 through 12.
Students in the High School Categories (1–8) are strongly discouraged from the preparation of vocally demanding or overly
dramatic arias.
(3) Students in Categories 9–12 may choose all songs from C and D.
(4) Students in Categories 19–28 may enter one other category by submitting a second application and paying another application fee.
© Copyright 2008 Grant A. Lewis. All rights reserved.
SCNATS Handbook
Music Theater Category
Students earning a Music Theater degree or intending to pursue a career in Music Theater need to
learn a healthy Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) technique to audition for roles in their
chosen field. Many professional Theater auditions require the singer to demonstrate vocal registers
and musical styles; thus, it is important from a learning standpoint to require the same of the NATS
MT Category.
The Classical Categories require different periods and styles of music be represented by the singer.
For example, the classical singer does not perform an art song the same way he performs an aria.
Nor does the MT singer sing a torch song or ballad the same way she sings an up-tempo selection.
The Mid-Atlantic NATS continues to encourage teachers and their students to choose healthy MT
repertoire for the auditions. The revisions address this by implementing a requirement for all entries
to sing a “legit” and a “non-legit” piece premiered in 1960 or before. The revisions also protect our
younger High School singers by keeping them out of potentially unhealthy belt literature written
post-1960. Most “non-legit” MT repertoire written prior to 1960 does not push chest register past an
octave above middle C with only a few pieces up to a D. As always, the goal is to sing this style in a
healthy way; therefore, full-out “belt” throughout a song is not recommended.
Technique and Style Considerations
Excerpt from Johann Sundberg’s article “Comparison of Pharynx, Source, Formant, and Pressure
Characteristics in Operatic and Music Theater Singing,” Sundberg, Gramming, Lovetri, Journal of
Voice, vol. 7, no. 4, 1993:
Scientific descriptions of each style:
Moderate subglottic pressure and glottal adduction, moderate jaw opening,
lowered larynx, peak glottal permittance, short closed phase, good visibility
of folds, strong fundamental, strong singer’s formant.
Moderate subglottal pressure, moderate glottal adduction, wider jaw opening,
slightly raised larynx, second formant highest (but first was present,) side walls
of pharynx slightly advanced, folds less visible, singer’s formant present.
10 decibels louder, high subglottic pressure, high glottal adduction, widest jaw
opening, raised larynx, side walls very advanced, sinus piriform small, no
fundamental, long closed phase, folds almost hidden, low singer’s formant.
Moderate breath pressure and folds touching loosely, mouth open small amount,
throat relaxed and open, larynx low, “ring” in sound.
Moderate breath pressure, folds pressed together some, mouth moderately open,
throat slightly constricted, larynx slightly raised, “ring” present but less than in
High breath pressure and volume, folds pressed tightly together, mouth wide
open, larynx raised, throat very constricted, no amplification of pitch being
sung, no “ring”.
Technical Elements Of Singing
The vocal folds determine the airflow.
The vocal folds vibrate differently in different registers.
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Our posture largely determines how much air we get.
Singers have 20% more vital lung capacity, not because they take in more air, but because
they squeeze out more air. We empty the lungs more completely than non-singers.
The larynx itself can change shape.
A register is a unified group of sounds with one tonal texture and acoustical behavior.
1st and 2nd formants determine the vowel; 3rd, 4th, and 5th formants determine the
resonance and timbre (vowel color), and are often grouped together as the “singer’s formant”.
The side walls of the pharynx are the constrictors (the swallowing muscles).
More than 50 sets of muscles are involved in making sound; the tongue alone is 35.
(Dr. Johann Sundberg)
The definition of, teaching of, and “safety” of belting is controversial
Most agree the muscle energy to produce belt exceeds that needed for other tone qualities
Frontal resonance is an undisputed characteristic
Most agree that a “mix” of head and chest voice is necessary for vocal health
Most agree that belt requires a higher laryngeal position than classical singing
(Edrie Means Weekly, VANATS)
“Legit” and “Non-Legit” within Music Theater Singing
In the professional music Theater world, the terms “legit” (short for “legitimate”) and “non-legit” are
used to differentiate between the more classical singing style required for songs such as “Out of My
Dreams” (Oklahoma) and the “belt” singing style required for songs such as “Adelaide’s Lament”
(Guys and Dolls).
If you look at the characteristics of “classical” singing below, you will find that only slight
modifications will create the legit Broadway singing style. Also, the words must be as clear as
possible and high-quality acting is prioritized. Legit songs are often sung by the ingénue and/or her
romantic partner such as Julie and Billy Bigelow in Carousel.
Non-legit Broadway women’s singing style encompasses a range of possibilities, from a mix needed
for “I Get A Kick Out of You” (Anything Goes) to the powerful belt required for Mama Rose’s anthem
“Rose’s Turn” at the end of Gypsy to the rock-style belt used in “Defying Gravity” from Wicked. Nonlegit songs are usually sung by character actors such as Ado Annie and Will Parker in Oklahoma.
Men sing in both styles as well; however, the difference between their legit style and non-legit style
is not as obvious, since their singing tone more closely resembles their speaking tone. It becomes
more obvious in the rock musicals.
SCNATS Handbook
The following table provides guidelines for judging MT and has been adopted by the Mid-Atlantic
Region. The guidelines are provided to each MT judge at the state and regional auditions:
A Comparison Of Classical And Music Theater Singing
Of primary importance and takes
precedence at times over clarity of
Chiaroscuro is the ideal – both
brilliance and richness desired
Low larynx, high soft palate,
consistent pharyngeal space
Breathiness and nasality are not
CT-dominant (cricothyroid muscle)
in middle range as well as high
“Tall” – strong resonance in
fundamental and higher harmonics
Formant tracked to permit
projection over orchestra
Sometimes articulated softly or
ignored for the sake of vocal beauty
Crescendos often result in
increased vibrato and opening of
Initiated at onset of phonation
Continuous throughout
Always even
Between 4 and 7 cycles per second
Approximately ½ step excursion
above and below the given pitch
Performer stays within his/her
Only pitches which can be produced
freely and beautifully are
performed in public
Secondary to beauty of sound,
although of increasing importance,
particularly in the opera world
Beauty of tone secondary to clarity of text
Brighter, brassy sound
Laryngeal height and oral/pharyngeal
shape are variable
Breathiness and nasality may be used for
vocal color or expression
TA-dominant (thyroarytenoid muscle) in
low and middle range
“Wide” – stronger resonance in higher
Speech-like, w/out formant tracking
which is unnecessary because of
Stronger consonants for word definition
Crescendos call for maintenance of
straight tone until the end, when vibrato
is added (in “belt” and jazz styles)
Speech-like vowel quality is maintained
Usually initiated toward the end of a
sustained tone
Only used for expressive purposes on
sustained tones
Less excursion above and below given
Faster or slower cycles than in classical
singing are acceptable
Extreme ranges of pitch and loudness are
sometimes called for
More important than sound quality
Projecting the meaning of the text
through facial expression and body
language required
*Some music Theater singing more closely resembles classical singing, such as in The Music Man or
Phantom of the Opera, but still requires clarity of text and strong acting ability.
(Sharyn J. Mapes, SCNATS)
PURPOSE: To provide constructive criticism and evaluation for the student, teacher and accompanist.
Score will be based on the criteria below as appropriate to the level of the student.
Eligible to advance to the Regional Auditions
49 and Below
Special attention needed as indicated below
TONE QUALITY (Resonance, Clarity, Consistency, Vocal Color - Appropriate to Style and Character)
VOCAL TECHNIQUE (Intonation, Breath Management, Phrasing, Register Facility and Negotiation Appropriate to Each Style)
BODY ALIGNMENT (Balance, Freedom from Excess Tension )
EFFECTIVENESS OF COMMUNICATION (Diction, Languages, Clarity and Enunciation of Text)
MUSICIANSHIP (Accuracy of Rhythm, Accuracy of Pitch, Dynamics, Tempo)
ARTISTRY/EXPRESSION (Style, Interpretation, Acting, Stage Presence)
(out of 10)
SCNATS Handbook
Teacher’s Checklist for SCNATS Student Auditions
1. Applications for the Student Auditions must be completed online using the SCNATS website.
Your applications will be checked for accuracy as you complete them, information being
supplied automatically where applicable. To begin, browse to
After all applications have been completed, make a single payment for your studio. You may
pay online using the SCNATS website or by mailing your check made out to NATS Student
Auditions to the SCNATS vice-president. Be sure all applications and fees have been
submitted by the application deadline on Thursday, February 05, 2015. More information is
available both online and on page 20 of this Handbook.
3. Since auditions are scheduled by accompanist, an accurate first and last name must be
included on the application or your singers will not be scheduled! One accompanist can play a
maximum of ten auditions (see Rules Section III, Item D). Only if the accompanist is playing
for students in just one category can exceptions be made. Please let the Vice President know
if your accompanist would like to be available (for pay) on an emergency basis.
4. It is the responsibility of the teacher to validate each application of his or her own student for
correct category and repertoire requirements. Judges will not assess repertoire until the day
of the auditions. Contact the Auditions Coordinator with repertoire questions.
5. Both teacher and student should double-check their availability for the State and Regional
Auditions. Teachers are expected to attend and serve as judges at the State auditions.
Students may be disqualified if their teacher is not present at the judges’ meeting at 9:00
A.M. on the day of the auditions. If you cannot attend the State auditions, arrange for a
substitute and notify the vice-president. Should your student qualify for the Regional
Auditions (March 27-28, 2015 at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD), you are
required to attend. If you cannot attend, a $50.00 non-attendance fee is required in addition
to arranging for a substitute. The Regional Governor will supply a list of substitute judges
from the Host State on request.
6. Regional rules state that a teacher may send no more than 25 students. Students may enter
more than one category (paying a separate fee for each entry). An exception to the 25-student
maximum may be made ONLY if the teacher secures an additional judge (a NATS member
who is not sending students to the auditions). Please notify the vice-president if you will be
sending more than 25 students.
7. If you will not be sending students and would be willing to serve as a judge, please let the
Vice President know as soon as possible. We need you!
8. Photocopied music will not be permitted without the consent of the publisher (see Rules
Section III, Item H). Those making legal use of reproduced copyrighted material should
provide the Vice President (or the Regional Governor in the case of Regional Auditions) a
note of explanation.
SCNATS Handbook
9. Students with a qualifying average score will advance to the Regional Auditions.
Applications will be forwarded to the Regional Governor on behalf of those advancing
students who have indicated their intent to attend the Regional auditions. You must notify
the Regional Governor regarding changes in accompanists or repertoire. Teachers must
register for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Auditions. Performing students do not pay additional
10. Repertoire/Adjudication Sheets will be printed on the adjudication form and will be placed in
the appropriate judges’ packets for you.
11. If repertoire changes are made after a student’s application is submitted, you will need to
complete the Repertoire Change Form. The form requires the signature of both the student
and the teacher. This form should be filled out four times: one copy (with the teacher’s name)
should be left on file at time of Registration. The student should take the other three copies
(without the teacher’s name) to the audition room and give them to the judges. It is the
teacher’s responsibility to ensure that the changed repertoire meets the requirements for
that category. Failure to meet the requirements will result in the student’s disqualification.
SCNATS Handbook
Student’s Checklist for SCNATS Student Auditions
1. Students may assist their teachers with the application process until midnight on Friday,
January 30, 2015 (6 days before the regular application deadline). Visit scnats.org for more
2. Decide on your repertoire with your teacher.
3. Compile all of the information necessary to complete your application, and give it to your
teacher in typewritten form (email may be the most convenient). Be sure to include:
each song or aria’s title; if applicable, the larger work from which it is taken (opera,
operetta, musical); the composer’s name; and the timing. For music theater selections,
include the date of the musical.
your name and address, your intention for regional auditions (that you would or would
not attend if you qualify), and, if using a paper form, your signature.
your accompanist’s name.
4. Deliver the appropriate fees to your teacher, checks made payable as instructed (to your
teacher or to your school). Fees will be mailed to the Chapter Vice President as a single check
for all students from your studio.
5. Arrange for rehearsals with your accompanist. Don’t forget to pay your accompanist and
thank them for their valuable professional collaboration.
6. Make sure that you have the correct music books, not copies, for your accompanist. Past
students have been disqualified because their accompanists did not have published music.
Don’t let this happen to you! Judges will not need music. It is your responsibility at the
Student Auditions to carry your music with you.
7. If repertoire changes are made after your application is submitted, you will need to complete
the Repertoire Change Form. The form requires the signature of both the student and the
teacher. This form should be filled out four times: one copy (with your teacher’s name) should
be left on file at time of Registration. Take the other three copies (without your teacher’s
name) to your audition room and give them to the judges. Changed repertoire must still meet
the repertoire requirements for your category. A failure in this regard will result in
8. Mark your calendar with the date of the regional auditions so that you can attend (if you
qualify). Notify your teacher immediately if some unforeseen conflict arises.
9. If you will be attending the regional auditions and wish to change your accompanist or
repertoire, remind your teacher to notify the Regional Governor.
10. Enjoy the Student Auditions and thank your teacher for devoting time and energy for your
11. Make your own arrangements for travel for yourself and your accompanist, and help any
other students who may need transportation. Do not rely on your teacher to provide taxi
service at the audition venue.
SCNATS Handbook
Using the SCNATS Website: www.scnats.org
The SCNATS website allows each member to submit and manage their students’ audition
applications entirely online. All of the necessary information for each application is collected one step
at a time, checked for correctness, and saved automatically as you progress. If for whatever reason
you cannot complete a particular student’s application in one sitting, you can easily return at a later
date to pick up where you left off. When all applications have been submitted, you will mail a single
payment (check or PayPal) for your entire studio to the SCNATS Vice President, the total dollar
amount due from your studio computed for you by the website. Both your completed applications and
those “in progress” will be safely stored online—protected with your individual username and
password—for you to review, edit, delete, or reprint up to the application deadline. In addition,
repertoire sheets for those applications submitted online will be placed in the appropriate judges’
packets for you.
The SCNATS website also allows students to assist their teachers with application submissions:
Visit the SCNATS website to create a Student Registration Code. The website will send an
email message to the teacher with instructions that may then be forwarded to his or her
students on how to use the code.
Students will visit the website and will enter the provided code. The student will be
prompted to enter information for only those portions of the application that pertain directly
to them (address, telephone number, email address, repertoire, regionals intention, etc.).
All entries will be safely stored on the website, accessible only to the appropriate teacher.
When the student finishes entering the information for his or her application, email
messages will be generated to both the student and to the teacher informing them that the
preliminary submission has been received.
Upon login, the teacher will be alerted that one or more preliminary applications are
awaiting approval. The teacher will then click through each preliminary application,
approving the student's initial work, filling in any missing information, and making any
necessary corrections.
In order to give SCNATS members sufficient time to log in and finalize any preliminary
applications, all student-initiated submissions must be completed 10 days before the
application deadline. (Note that the student registration code cannot be created on the
website once the date for student-initiated submissions has past.)
To use the SCNATS website, you must have an email address (which will serve as your username for
the website), an up-to-date web browser, and the free Adobe Acrobat Reader (available at
Are you an SCNATS member visiting the website for the first time? Simply log in with your email
address and the word scnats as your password. After logging in for the first time, you’ll be able to
update your contact information (including a new email address if applicable), and you’ll be required
to choose a new password. If you forget your password at any time, you can request that a reminder
email be sent.