The Gwendolyn Roberts Young Artists Auditions

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MASTERCLASS for winners is
3PM, April 7, 2018 at Pasadena City College

Master class clinician will be Ken Cazan, stage director and chair of Vocal Arts Dept, University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music.

For a list of all YAA past winners, click here!


The Gwendolyn Roberts Young Artist Auditions are sponsored by the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS-LA).  The purpose of this competition is to select those singers whose vocal and expressive ability indicate they are ready to begin a professional career.

The winner will be chosen as a result of their exceptional artistry and vocal ability.  They will be awarded a cash scholarship prize and provided with the opportunity to perform an Art song recital of various musical styles and languages that will showcase those abilities.


1. The Gwendolyn Roberts YAA is open to singers who are prepared to enter the professional world of singing. It is suggested that they be master’s students and/or post-graduate students, although this is not mandatory.

(Teachers making this determination are acting in good faith that the singer is capable of presenting a professional level full art song recital. The winners often go on to compete in the NATSAA and Metropolitan Opera Auditions.)

2. The age limit is 22-35. Singers must be no younger than 22 nor older than 35 on the audition date.

3. Singers must be studying with a member in good standing of NATS-LA Chapter for not less than nine (9) months preceding the recital.

4. Singers must be a resident of the area covered by the NATS-LA Chapter.

5. The singer must provide their own accompanist at their own expense.

6. The 1st place winner will be committed to perform on the Winner's Recital in September 2018.  Date to be determined.

7. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners are also committed to perform on the Master Class at Pasadena City College, 3pm, Saturday, on April 7, 2018.


1st Place

  • $1,500 Scholarship Award

  • "Young Artist of the Year" public showcase recital sponsored by NATS-LA Chapter. (September 2018 – Location and time To Be Announced)

  • Master Class shared with the other winners, open to the public. (Pasadena City College, 3pm, Saturday, April 7, 2018).

2nd Place

  • $500 Scholarship Award

  • Master Class shared with the other winners, open to the public.(Pasadena City College, 3pm, Saturday, April 7, 2018).

3rd Place

  • $300 Scholarship Award

  • Master Class shared with the other winners, open to the public.(Pasadena City College, 3pm, Saturday, April 7, 2018).

How to Apply:

1. Obtain an application from your NATS-LA Teacher or the YAA Chair.
In order for the student to be eligible, the teacher must be considered "in good standing" and must be a current paid member of the National and Los Angeles Chapter of NATS

2. The application must be postmarked or emailed by March 15, 2018.

3. Mail to: Richard Zeller
Chair, Young Artist Auditions
11928 Valley View Ave #4
Whittier, CA 90604 or Email:

4. Enclose the following:

  • A non-refundable check, cash, or money order for $35 made payable to NATS-LA. Payment can also be made on the NATS LA website above.

  • A copy of your recital program proposal, clearly specifying which songs have been selected for audition purposes, should be submitted in the following format:
    1. Title 2. Work from which song is taken (if applicable) 3. Composer 4. Performance time.

  • The contestant's name must not appear on the recital program proposal; the judges will not have knowledge of your name until after the competition.

  • Contestant must include a copy of translations for each of the songs they have selected for the audition.

YAA Repertoire/Program Requirements: (Failure to include the correct information may disqualify you from these auditions.)

1. Contestant shall submit a recital program proposal of at least four songs from each category below (16-25 songs overall). The recital should be 50-60 minutes of music (which may necessitate more than four songs from any one category, grouped in more than 4 sets if desired).

2. Contestant shall select 30 minutes of music from the above recital program proposal to be offered at the contest, with at least one song from each category to be offered at the audition. The selected songs to be used for the audition should be clearly marked on the recital program proposal.

3. Contestant must be prepared to sing their selected songs from memory.

4. Contestant should retain a copy of recital program proposal and selected audition songs.

Adjudication: (please read the following carefully)

1. Three to five judges will be provided. Written comments will be sent to the teacher.

2. Judges may not have students participating in the auditions, i.e., they may not judge their own students.

3. Contestants will open with a song of their own choice. Judges will request further selections – total singing time will not be longer than fifteen (15) minutes.

4. Contestants will be known only by a designated number or letter, not by name or teacher affiliation.

5. Teachers may not be accompanists for their own students.

6. Winners will be announced at the conclusion of the auditions.

7. It is the decision of the judges to determine which awards will be given. If the singers are not deemed accomplished enough, the prize(s) may not be awarded.  All decisions of the judges are final.

8. 2nd & 3rd Place awards will be presented at the Winner's Master Class and the 1st Place award will be presented at the Winner's Recital in September.

Proposed Recital program must include at least four songs from each of the following categories:

  • Music from the Baroque period (1600-1750) and Classical period (1750-1820): Bach, Byrd, Cavalli, Cesti, Dowland, Glück, Handel, Haydn, Lully, Monteverdi, Mozart, Paisiello, Pergolesi, Purcell, Rameau, Scarlatti, etc… This category can include arias from early operas or oratorios from the Baroque period but the Classical period will be represented by Song literature. One of the songs from this category must be in Italian.

  • Lieder (in German): Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Cornelius, Hindemith, Loewe, Mahler, Schönberg, Schubert, Schumann, Strauss, Webern, Wolf, etc…

  • French or other National Art Songs (in original language): Bartok, Bizet, Caplet, Chabrier, Chausson, Chopin, Dallapiccola, Debussy, Duparc, Dvorak, Falla, Fauré, Ginastera, Gounod, Granados, Gretchaninoff, Hahn, Honegger, Malipiero, Martin, Messiaen, Milhaud, Mompou, Mussorgsky, Petrassi, Poulenc, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Respighi, Rousse, Saint-Saens, Satie, Szymanowski, Tchaikowsky, Turina, Villa-Lobos, etc…

  • English and American Art Songs: (at least one American song required) Barber, Britten, Carter, Copland, Diamond, Holst, Ives, Rorem, Thomson, Tippett, Bolcom, Heggie, Musto, Larson, etc… These choices should be taken from the Art song tradition and not Music Theater; they should not come from the Broadway musical genre.

  • Songs should be sung in at least 4 languages: Italian, German, French or National School language, and English.

The main focus of this competition is art song and oratorio repertoire and therefore no operatic literature or Music Theater is acceptable (except for arias from the Baroque period). The winner’s recital need not consist solely of the audition requirements, and NATS-LA would like the winner to have artistic freedom in presenting a program of creative interest for the artist as well as the audience. Although operatic literature can occasionally be interwoven into a recital, we instead ask that the YAA recital focus solely on art song and oratorio.

Important - Lawful Editions
Accompanists may use photo copies of music, but the lawful editions (hard copy) of each song must be AT HAND at the piano. Music may also be lawfully purchased online but if so, it must have the singer’s name showing ownership on the cover page or at the bottom of page showing legal purchase.  Please contact the YAA Chair if you have questions.