4) 2015 NATS Intern program
The Great Lakes region was well-represented at the 2015 NATS Intern program held at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas. Mary Ann Hart of Indiana University was one of the four master teachers. Four of the 12 interns – chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants – were from the Great Lakes region:
Maribeth Crawford – Walsh University in Canton, OH
Peter C. Keates – Wright State University in Dayton, OH
Linda McAlister – Miami University in Oxford, OH
Angela Young Smucker – Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, IN
5) 2015 NSA participants
The Great Lakes Region participants in the 2015 National Student Auditions were:
Shannon Barry of DePauw University, Greencastle, IN (student of Pamela Coburn) Blake Beckemeyer of DePauw University, Greencastle, IN (student of Caroline Smith) Ashlee Bickley (student of Keith Brautigam)
Logan Dell’Acqua of DePauw University (student of Caroline Smith)
Desiree Johnson of Bowling Green State University (student of Myra Merritt) Samuel Witmer of Ohio University (student of Debra Rentz)
6) 2016 NATSAA
As you know, the national board of NATS voted to incorporate changes to NATSAA beginning with the 2016 auditions. The primary change at this point is that the chapter round has been eliminated. The first round will now be at the regional level. This presents some benefits and some difficulties.
The benefits are that the costs to mount the auditions for the each of the chapters have been eliminated. There were costs to arrange for judges, venues, pianists, etc., and there will now no longer be a need for that. Unfortunately, for our region, this means that to enter and compete in even the first round means that someone from the region will have to have a passport. Either Canadians will have to cross the border (and, therefore, must have a passport) to compete, or Americans will have to cross the border, depending on the venue of the competition. There will be a more significant outlay of cash just to enter the first round.
Traditionally, the NATSAA regional finals have been held the night before the regional NATS auditions wherever they were to be held. I believe the hope was that this would become part of the event, but nearly no one attended because it meant having to arrive early, and most people don’t have that luxury.
I have decided to decouple these two events, so regional NATS will be held on February 27 in London, ON, and the regional NATSAA competition (now the first round) will be held on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, MI in metro Detroit on April 2, 2016. Drake Dantzler, president of the Michigan chapter will act as the local coordinator. The deadline to apply is January 13, 2016. More information about repertoire and other requirements can be found here: