FAQ - National Student Auditions

Can a sponsoring teacher be the applicant’s accompanist?

Per NATS policy guidelines on all competitions, teachers are not allowed to accompany their students at any level of national competition.

My chosen repertoire selection is longer than the allotted 12 minute video, but NATS guidelines indicate the video may not be edited in any way. What should I do? 

We understand that four songs may not fit within the 12 minute guideline, but the judges will only be listening to 12 minutes, even if the video that's uploaded is 13-14+ minutes. When choosing your 4th selection and recording your video submission, it's important to remember that the judge's cutoff will be the 12:00 mark.

I placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd when I auditioned at my regional level, where I fit into a specific audition category that does not have an equivalent national category. Can I still audition at the national level?

While we are thrilled that you placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd at your regional level, that is the highest level of competition that you’ll be able to compete in. If you do not fit into a national category, you will be unable to compete in the national rounds. We still encourage you to compete at a local and/or regional level in order to gain the invaluable experience!

I placed in more than one category regionally, so I will be competing in more than one category at the national level. Am I required to pay an entry fee for all categories? 

NO. You will only pay ONE ENTRY FEE, although it is your responsibility to complete ALL applications. The applications without payment will be adjusted manually by the national office.

I’m confused as to which category I would fall into. I have completed 2.5 years of study, but your categories are listed as 1-2 or 3-5. Which category should I choose? 

If you have completed any portion of a year, you will automatically advance to the higher category. Therefore, in this example, 2.5 years of study will put you in the 3-5 years of study category.

I read that "The judges reserve the right to award no winners if there are an insufficient number of entries in any given division."  In such a case, would the participants' entry fees for that division be returned to them? 

The national guidelines state, “Not all prizes must be awarded in all categories, depending on enrollment and/or judging.” If there is only one singer entered in a given category and s/he is considered worthy, according to the standards of the judges, to receive an award, then the award will be granted.  If not, no award will be given. No entry fees will be refunded in either scenario.

When the Repertoire Requirements say, "sung...in English translation when appropriate," what exactly does that mean?  What is "appropriate?" 

For the 2014 National Student Auditions, the aria may be sung in the original language or an English translation. However, this may be revised for future national student audition competitions.

Regarding the statement, "One additional selection sung in the original language and selected from the classical repertoire," does that mean the selection could be an art song, aria, folk song arrangement, or any genre other than musical theater?  Would an aria from a non-classical period be allowed?  In the past, arias were not allowed in all categories, so I want to verify the inclusion of arias (from any period). 

The word “classical” in this context refers to art songs and arias (yes, arias are allowed) from the “classical” genre, not limited to the “Classical” period of Mozart and Haydn.  In other words, no musical theater, pop, soul, jazz, rhythm and blues, etc.  As to the inclusion of folk songs, this will be considered on a case by case basis and the decision of the Auditions Chair will be final.  There are certainly many folk song arrangements (Foster, Britten, Barber) that are widely accepted as a part of the classical genre and would be acceptable and appropriate audition repertoire for students receiving “classical” training.

Regarding the lower college men and women:  2 of the requirements listed are English and foreign language art songs - is it assumed that pieces such as "Amarillia, mia bella" and "O del mio dolce ardor", which are technically arias, are permissible, or should the selections be art songs, with these early arias being counted as arias under requirement #1? 

For the lower college men and women, the repertoire found in the 24/26/28 Italian Art Songs collections may be counted as an aria AND/OR an art song.  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.

In audition categories IX & X, will an operetta aria be accepted? 

An operetta aria would be accepted as the "one additional selection" but for the "aria" requirement, the selection should be from an opera.

What format does the student need to use when announcing themselves, and then each of their selections? For instance, between songs, should they announce the name of the piece, composer, lyricist, etc. 

Each eligible contestant will receive an email with instructions for uploading the YouTube videos.  It will not be necessary to announce the selections and other information.  Thus, the entire 12 minutes will be devoted to the actual performance.

The time starts when the singer begins the first selection, and there are no video edits allowed in the upload, correct? 

Correct.  The judges will stop at the time limit, just as they would in a live audition.

In light of the 12 minute requirement for 4 selections and 10 minutes for 3 selections, may we have permission to make judicious cuts of: piano introductions, piano interludes, piano music after the vocal solo is completed, verse or verses of selections, internal cuts of opera arias as historically and successfully made on many professional recordings?

All of the “judicious cuts” that you have listed below are acceptable, except number 4.  We should attempt to represent the vocal line of each piece in its entirety, except where there are traditional cuts, as you mention in operatic arias.  So, in the case of strophic pieces, all verses that are traditionally included should remain.

Does the repertoire that is performed at the national level have to be the same as the repertoire that was performed at the regional level? 

Singers must meet the national repertoire requirements for the appropriate audition category.  As much as possible, that should include the repertoire that they sang at the regional level.  Here is the exact quote from the national guidelines:  “At the time of application for the National Student Auditions, each singer must certify that the repertoire that s/he is submitting was included in the repertoire that s/he submitted at the regional level. If regional repertoire requirements differ from the national requirements, the singer may only substitute repertoire for the selection(s) that vary from the regional requirements.”

Can any of the pieces found in the 24/26/28 Italian Songs and Arias books be used to fulfill the aria requirement for the lower college division?  Can only those marked aria/arietta? Can none of them? 

If the singer is in one of the High School or Lower College Classical Divisions (III, IV, VII, VIII), ANY repertoire found in the 24/26/28 Italian Songs and Arias books may be considered as art songs AND/OR as operatic arias, regardless of origin.  If the singer is in category IX or above (Upper College and Graduate), ANY repertoire found in the 24/26/28 Italian Songs and Arias books may be considered as art songs ONLY, regardless of origin.  Any comparable literature found outside the 24/26/28  Italian Songs and Arias books, regardless of composer, will be considered only as the composer originally intended, either as an aria OR an art song.

Can any of the songs be used to fulfill the art song requirement for the High School Division?  Can only those not marked aria/arietta? 

If the singer is in one of the High School or Lower College Classical Divisions (III, IV, VII, VIII), ANY repertoire found in the 24/26/28 Italian Songs and Arias books may be considered as art songs AND/OR as operatic arias, regardless of origin.  If the singer is in category IX or above (Upper College and Graduate), ANY repertoire found in the 24/26/28 Italian Songs and Arias books may be considered as art songs ONLY, regardless of origin.  Any comparable literature found outside the 24/26/28  Italian Songs and Arias books, regardless of composer, will be considered only as the composer originally intended, either as an aria OR an art song.

Who should I contact with additional repertoire questions that are unlisted on this document, including what is acceptable, and making changes to current selections? 

Contact Deborah Williamson, NSA Coordinator, at .

 

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