Winners at NATSAA


Left: Dr. Hope Thacker; Right: Katie McGill


Bethel University adjunct faculty member Dr. Hope Fairchild Thacker and Bethel student Katie McGill represented Bethel well at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award (NATSAA) competition recently.

     Thacker won the Tennessee NATSAA competition in February and advanced to the Mid-South Region NATSAA competition March 9 where she also won. Thacker will compete at the National Convention this summer. Two components of the first prize of the national competition are a monetary award and a New York Debut Recital.

     “Throughout its history, the purpose of this competition has been to select, through a series of elimination rounds on the district, regional and national levels, singers whose artistry indicates they are ready for a professional career and to encourage them toward that goal with a cash prize and the opportunity for performance engagements,” said Edward Baird, President of NATS, 1985-1987.

     The NATSAA competition encompasses the classical genres of opera, oratorio, and art song. Contestants must prepare a recital of at least 14 songs from memory. Judges may ask for any song on the list to be sung in part or in its entirety. Anonymity is required at all rounds, and judges are chosen from the members of NATS within the state or region of the competition.

     Bethel University sent its first student ever to the NATSAA Mid-South Regional Competition on March 9. Katie McGill of Humboldt prepared three to four songs from memory and sang them for judges composed of NATS members. There are three rounds of competition: preliminary, semi-final and final. McGill was a semi-finalist in the competition. A sophomore music education major from Humboldt, McGill studies voice with Dr. Hope Thacker.