The National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) is proud to offer programming that supports and encourages rising composers of new art song.
Composer Lori Laitman, one of the foremost living composers of art song, recently gifted $10,000 to NATS to underwrite the commissioning and concert presentation for 10 new songs by the participants in the 2021/2022 NATS Composer Mentor Program.
Described by Fanfare Magazine as “one of the most talented and intriguing of living composers,” Laitman has composed multiple operas, choral works as well as hundreds of songs setting texts by classical and contemporary poets, including those who perished in the Holocaust. Her music is performed widely throughout the world to great critical acclaim.
“It is wonderful that NATS supports the creation of new art song,” Laitman said. “As long as I have been a member, NATS has done so much through the Art Song Composition Award. Now they have added this new program, which was the brainchild of Tom Cipullo. It allows veteran art song composers to connect with the next generation.”
The NATS Mentoring Program for Composers is a unique mentoring opportunity for early career art song composers. For this season, 10 composers have been paired with a mentor for eight months, though June of 2022.
Mentors offer critique and counsel about writing for voice. They also offer advice about resources, point the mentees toward appropriate performers and presenters, give information about recording and publishing opportunities, and provide a sounding board for any questions the mentees might have.
“Composers need their music brought to life,” she explained. “NATS, in conjunction with Cincinnati Song Initiative, under the direction of Samuel Martin, is facilitating this important collaboration between composer and performer.”
The inaugural composer mentorship concert took place in May of 2021, and it also was a collaboration with CSI.
“We’ve been able to assemble phenomenal mentors and we are so grateful to them for generously donating their time and talent,” Laitman said. “Regarding the applicants — Tom and I have been so impressed with the quality of the submissions. It was so difficult to pick just 10 mentees for this season. The level of interest in the genre indicates that the future is going to be very bright, with wonderful new repertoire for voice.”
The culminating concert will occur toward the end of the mentorship program in 2022. More details will be announced closer to the event.
Currently, NATS also is accepting entries for its annual Art Song Composition Award with a deadline of December 1, which awards more than $3,000 in prizes to the selected composers.
Leslie Adams, Michael Ching, Tom Cipullo, Andrea Clearfield, Anthony Davis, Juliana Hall, Jake Heggie, Roy Jennings, Lori Laitman, Evan Mack
Tom Cipullo, David Conte, Maria Corley, Steven Mark Kohn, Libby Larsen, Lori Laitman, Evan Mack, Nkeiru Okoye