Visit the NATS-Boston Student Auditions Website: HERE 2018 Student Auditions information TBA
A Reflection on the 2017 NATS-Boston Student Auditions by Kim Lamoureux, Student Auditions Co-Chair
On March 18 and 19 2017, NATS Boston hosted its annual Student Auditions program at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. We heard over 100 students ranging from Juniors (age 10) through College Undergraduates compete in Classical and Musical Theater Categories. It was a fabulous weekend of singing, and the Finalists Concert was full of authentic performances and beautiful singing.
As this Audition (and the busy season of preparation leading up to it) comes to a close, I have been reflecting on the role the Auditions have played in my studio over the years. I always consider it a priority to enter my students, but as we all know, it’s a lot of work to prepare students for such events. So, why do I enter students? What is the value for my studio?
To Grow: For many students, especially my young singers, the Auditions are an opportunity for growth. Just as a studio recital, school or community theater audition, or upcoming solo motivates students to work hard, the Auditions challenge students to focus, rise to the occasion, and strive to be the best version of themselves.
To Learn: I can’t overstate how much I value the feedback provided by my voice teaching colleagues to my students. I have found the feedback to be routinely encouraging, honest, and insightful. For some students, it affirms concepts that we have been working on. For others, a confirming outside opinion convinces them to take my advice! And in my favorite cases, a colleague offers an insight that becomes instrumental in helping a student progress on some vocal or dramatic particular.
For the Experience: For many students, just going in to Boston to compete feels like a Big. Deal. I’ve been surprised by how many students report that they were expecting a tense, negative atmosphere (like what you see in competitions on TV or in movies), but then they arrived and found everyone to be supportive and encouraging. I love that we are cultivating this atmosphere and experience for them. This year, we took this a step further by booking Sarah Whitten to lead a workshop on yoga and movement for singers during the tallying period. Her presentation completely changed the energy in the room, and students who moved on to the semi-finals reported that they sang even better than in their preliminary rounds because the workshop had helped them to relax.
To Win: Of course for some, it is so they can compete! When you have an exceptionally talented and motivated student, it’s exciting and empowering to pit them against the best singers in the area, and to see their hard work pay off in a tangible way. Our finalists this year were exceptional. The list of winners can be viewed here, and their performances can be watched at this youtube channel.
For the Professional Camaraderie: The final reason I enter students is for me! I love meeting and talking with fellow teachers over the weekend, sharing ideas, and listening to all of the wonderful talent at the Finals Concert. The Auditions are always a fabulous source of new rep ideas to take back to the studio as well.
So for this year, that’s a wrap. I’m grateful to NATS and the voice teaching community of greater Boston for the everything they do to support and uplift these talented young students. It’s inspiring to see what voice teachers and young singers are accomplishing in the Boston area!
Visit the NATS Boston Student Auditions Website HERE 2018 Student Auditions information TBA