Saturday, March 31, 2018
Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa

Registration extended to Thursday, March 15

This hugely successful event has become a wonderful opportunity for college students to perform before qualified NATS adjudicators and to meet and hear singers from other colleges and universities. It also provides NATS teachers a venue for their students to perform, and a place for camaraderie. Here are a few important points:

  • Only matriculated college students currently enrolled in Studio Voice/Applied Voice Lessons through the college or university program (studying classical voice with a NATS-LA teacher who is on a college/university faculty) may participate.  
  • All teachers sending students will adjudicate, assist, or pay a fee for their replacement for that day.
  • There will be winners in all categories.  
  • Please plan to attend the teachers’ luncheon.  This informal luncheon is a great time to meet other college teachers in a congenial atmosphere. The luncheon is included in the teacher registration fee.  Unfortunately, we cannot rebate the luncheon portion of the fee for those not attending.  If you would like to host a guest at the luncheon, please indicate on your teacher registration form and include $12 per person.


Please complete the registration form and send it via email to or send it through regular mail. You will still need to mail the check to Susan Ali (see registration form).

If you know a member of national NATS who wants to participate, they may join NATS-LA on or before March 1st and their students may participate. Please feel free to email me with any questions at

Take note that NATS National now requires we follow standardized NATS Auditions Regulations. Changes you notice in title of the event, age limits for categories, repertoire requirements, etc. are a result of these requirements. We are required to use standardized adjudication rules and forms.  Participants will receive more information about the adjudication process.  Pianists are not permitted to play from copies of music or from electronic devices.  They must play from the original source. You may refer to the link below if you wish to peruse the NATS Auditions Regulations Document form the NATS National website:

Please look over the more detailed audition regulations below and let us know how we can be of help as you prepare to bring your students to the auditions. 

One final item  This year we are asking you to sign the registration form to indicate your understanding of all rules stated on this document, on the NATS websites, and on the NATS National Auditions Regulations document (link above).  This will be asked in an effort to avoid any confusion over our following of the National Regulations as required.


Here is the TENTATIVE schedule for the day.  This will likely be adjusted as the event nears.

Saturday, March 31, 2018 ORANGE COAST COLLEGE, Costa Mesa

8:00 AM-10:00 AM - Student rehearsal with staff accompanists 

8:30 AM- 9:30 AM - Teacher/Adjudicators meeting

9:30 AM- 1:00 PM - Preliminary Auditions  

12:00 PM-2:00 PM - Young Artist Auditions open to observers

12:00 PM Student “Meet & Greet” with light refreshments in outdoor quad

12:00-2:00 PM - Faculty Luncheon in Conference Room.

***** Preliminary audition results will be posted as soon as possible as adjudication is completed for each category. Finalists will then practice with staff pianists.

2:30 PM  - Final Auditions will begin.  

NATS teachers all vote at the Final Auditions.

Notice of New Category

The Hall Johnson Spirituals Competition is currently underway as part of annual student auditions in NATS chapters and regions across the country. Those who place in their respective regions will advance to the national level, which will be held in conjunction with the NATS National Student Auditions on June 22 and 24, 2018 during the 55th NATS National Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.


This competition will only take place in years leading up to a national conference in the summer of even years. Region auditions occur throughout the year with some regions holding the regional auditions in the Fall of the preceding year. 

Category: Hall Johnson Spiritual Competition

Length of Study: No limit 

Age Limit: 17-23 (college undergraduate)

Time: 10 minutes

Repertoire: Memorized: Three contrasting selections from Hall Johnson spiritual repertoire. 

All interested performers will apply for this category as part of regional student auditions with the top five regional singers advancing to the NSA rounds as with all other categories.  For regions without regional auditions an at-large online category will be made available.  Chapters are also eligible and encouraged to add this competition to chapter auditions. Where applicable Chapter auditions serve as qualifying rounds for advancement into region auditions.

Here's the link on National's website:

See the link to find the list of required repertoire.

From the sponsor: The purpose of this competition is to restore authenticity to the performance of the classically-arranged Spiritual, one of America’s unique contributions to world culture. Characteristics of Gospel and Jazz, styles that developed later but are far more popular and ubiquitous, have so corrupted Spiritual performance that authentic practice is in danger of being lost. The competition seeks further to promote the truth that Spirituals, like Art Songs, can be successfully performed by all people, not only by the African Americans who created them, and require only the same study that one devotes to any art song or aria. The competition wishes to encourage high excellence in the performance of this genre, and to this end, the Hall Johnson Collection at Rowan University will provide a cash award of $2,000 for the best performance of a Hall Johnson Spiritual at the biennial national convention from 2016–2036.

Hall Johnson (1888-1970) American conductor, composer and arranger

Collegiate Division Regulations

  1. There are two functional leaders at the Collegiate Auditions. The Site Host is the person who arranges for physical space, logistical matters, and food service.  The Auditions Chair coordinates all publicity and correspondence, including registration, judging assignments and volunteer help.  (The NATS-LA President has the authority to enforce all the regulations governing the auditions, to see that scores are tabulated accurately and to resolve any problems arising from infringements of length of study and repertoire requirements.)
  2. EACH INDIVIDUAL NATS TEACHER BEARS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF SEEING THAT HIS/HER PARTICIPATING STUDENTS CONFORM TO THE REGULATIONS BELOW.  Regardless of teacher or student error in following regulations, NATS member teachers will yield to the rules if an issue concerning rules should arise.
  3. Divisions: All students participating must have voice as their major concentration at a community college, college, or university program. It is ultimately at the discretion of the individual teacher into which division a student is placed.  Please make your decision carefully. Contact the Chair if you have questions. Please note the age limitations have changed due to the standardized regulations. Please contact me if your student does not fit one of these categories. They have granted us some options here.

    For the Hall Johnson Spirituals Competition age limitation and song repertoire requirements, please see the link above

    Division: Length of Study
    Freshmen Women (up to age 20): 1-2 college semesters
    Freshmen Men (up to age 20): 1-2 college semesters
    Sophomore Women (up to age 22): 3-4 college semesters
    Sophomore Men (up to age 22): 3-4 college semesters
    SUPER SOPHOMORES~REINSTATED! (23- 26): 1-4 college semesters
    Junior Women (up to age 23): 5-6 college semesters
    Junior Men (up to age 23): 5-6 college semesters
    Senior Women (up to age 25): 7, 8, 9 or 10 college semesters (undergraduate)
    Senior Men (up to age 25): 7, 8, 9 or 10 college semesters (undergraduate)
    SUPER SENIORS~REINSTATED! (26-30): 5-10 college semesters (undergraduate)
    Advanced College (22-30): Students registered for voice at the graduate level
  4. Repertoire
    Under-Class Divisions: 7 minutes  (Freshmen, Sophomores)
    Three contrasting selections from classical repertoire:
    1. One aria or art song
    2. One art song in English
    3. One foreign language art song
    (The repertoire found in the 24/26/28 Italian Art Songs and Arias collections may be counted as an aria or an art song in the Under-Class Division categories.)
    Upper-Class Divisions: 9 minutes (Juniors, Seniors)
    Four contrasting selections from classical repertoire:
    1. One aria
    2. One art song in English
    3. One foreign language art song
    4. One additional selection
    At least three languages must be represented.
    (In the Upper-Class Division category, the repertoire found in the 24/26/28 Italian Art Songs and Arias collections may only be counted as an art song regardless of origin.  Any repertoire found outside of these collections will be considered only as the composer intended, as an art song OR aria.)
    Graduate Divisions: 10 minutes
    Five contrasting selections from classical repertoire:
    1. One operatic aria
    2. One oratorio/cantata aria
    3. One foreign language art song
    4. One art song in English
    5. One additional selection from the classical repertoire
    At least three languages must be represented.
    (In the Graduate Division, the repertoire found in the 24/26/28 Italian Art Songs and Arias collections may only be counted as an art song regardless of origin.  Any repertoire found outside of these collections will be considered only as the composer intended, as an art song OR aria.)
  5. Time Limits
    A. Preliminary rounds: Under-Class divisions: 7 minutes; Upper-Class divisions: 9 minutes; Graduate: 10 minutes.
    B. Final Round: Each student will sing one song of his/her choice in its entirety. Time limit is 5 minutes, so repertoire chosen should take into consideration such constraints. Cuts are not permitted per the new regulations.
  6. Selection of Finalists
    A. During the preliminary round, adjudicators will write constructive comments and a score between 70 and 100 on their scoring sheets.  In Preliminary Rounds where there are fewer than six participants, the number of finalists chosen will be as follows:
    1-3 preliminary participants = 1 finalist
    4-5 preliminary participants = 2 finalists
    6 or more participants = 3 finalists
    B. Only students who have received 2 scores of 90 or above or an average score of 90 or above in the preliminary round will enter the final round. There will be no consultation between judges. Three students with the highest averaged score will advance to the final round.
  7. Lawful Editions
    Pianists may NOT elect to use photocopies. This has been changed in the New National Standards.  Please see the link for Copyright Information for NATS Student Auditions for detail on the information that was sent to me by the NATS National Student Auditions Coordinator.  Pianists are to use original music only, with no copied pages to facilitate page turns.  No e-devices are permitted (scanned-in copies).
  8. Contestant Numeric Identification
    Contestants will be known only by a number assigned to them by the Site Host. No name should be written on the adjudication sheets. Public postings/mailings should be by contestant number only. A master list including contestant numbers and names must be retained by the Site Host. 
  9. Non-Refund of Fees
    In no case may registration fees of teachers or students be refunded. This is because the amounts of prize money are determined by income from registration fees, and advance planning is necessary so that prize checks may be awarded the day of the competition. 
  10. It is helpful when you fill out the registration form that each division is grouped together (i.e., put all Seniors Women together, all Junior Men together, etc.) Please double check that you have the correct divisions for your students.  It is impossible to make changes after you have sent in your application.  If you are sending students from more than one college, please use separate application forms.

Classical Audition Terminology


An aria is a solo taken from an opera, oratorio, mass, cantata, zarzuela, operetta, or works titled “concert aria”. Oxford Online definitions will be used for the purposes of this audition. For example, Purcell’s selections from the semi-‐ operas and masques are considered songs. 

24/26/28 Italian Art Songs and Arias

The repertoire found in the 24/26/28 Italian Art Songs and Arias collections may be counted as an aria or an art song in the high school and lower college classical categories. For the singers in the upper college categories and beyond, these pieces may count as an art song ONLY, regardless of origin. Any repertoire found outside of these collections will be considered only as the composer intended, as an art song OR aria. 


All repertoire, including oratorio, must be sung from memory. 

Original Languages

Selections should be sung in original language or in translation if warranted by common performance practice. 


All arias from opera, oratorio, mass, cantata, operetta, works titled “concert aria,” or music theater selections must be sung in the original or standard published key. 


The word “classical” in this context refers to art songs and arias from the “classical” genre, not limited to the “Classical” period of Mozart and Haydn. In other words, no music theater, pop, soul, jazz, rhythm and blues, etc. Published arrangements of folk songs, spirituals, and traditional hymn tunes in English are widely accepted as a part of the classical genre. Students in classical categories may present one selection of this type to fulfill the English art song requirement. 

Judicious Cuts

Piano introductions, piano interludes, piano music after the vocal solo is completed, and internal cuts of opera arias and music theater selections are allowed as in common performance practice. Cuts of verse or verses of selections are not allowed. In the case of strophic pieces, all verses should remain that are traditionally included. 

Comment Only

Any student may register to sing for comments only and participate in the preliminary audition round.