National Opera Association Member Newsletter
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NOA Notes Newsletter
Vol. 39, No. 3
August 2016

In This Issue

From the President
From the President-Elect
From the Vice-President of Conventions
From the Vice President for Regions
From the Finance Committee
Research Corner
In the Spotlight 

Upcoming Deadlines and Events:

for January's NOA Convention

for the RESEARCH Competitions, all with an Oct. 1, 2016 deadline

to enter the 2017 Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition.  
Deadline: October 15, 2016


From the President

Reg Pittman

Professor of Music Chair, Voice Division
School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
Kansas State University

Dear NOA Colleagues,

Earlier this summer your Board of Directors met in Santa Barbara for the mid-year meeting. Thanks to Ben Brecher  (local host for the 2017 convention) for arranging our accommodations and conference room at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and lunch overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We were also treated to a tour of the beautiful Fess Parker Hotel where our convention will be held. I encourage you to start making plans now to attend the convention. Ben and VP of Conventions Carleen Graham are preparing an outstanding program of sessions and a few special events to be held in the courtyard of the hotel. Other outside venues are also possible.
Have you taken a look at the new and improved website? You will notice immediately a colorful and picturesque website with a new NOA logo.  I also think you find it easier to navigate and find the information that you need. Have you renewed your membership? If you haven’t, you’ll most likely be receiving a reminder. The Board of Directors is making an extra effort to increase membership and to contact members for renewal. And don’t forget to browse the convention information and register to attend and join us in beautiful Santa Barbara.

From the President-Elect

Paul Houghtaling

Associate Professor of Voice
Director of Opera Theatre Director
The Druid City Opera Workshop
University of Alabama School of Music

End-of-summer greetings, everyone.  I’m pleased to report that there were a lot of exciting things happening in our organization, even during the warm summer months.  The work of the organization never rests, and that’s a good thing.  Forward momentum!  As you see in this edition, plans are well under way for a terrific convention in Santa Barbara.  There have also been spiffy updates to the look and feel of the NOA website, including a new logo  – check it out, if you haven’t.  Use it as an opportunity to renew your membership.  Take a minute to recall the reason why you may have gotten involved with NOA in the first place.  Perhaps it was a competition or an initiative of special interest to you.  Well, these things which make NOA so unique can only be sustained and grow with the revenue from members’ dues.  So please take a moment and be sure you’re current on your membership.  I encourage you all to be in touch with your State and Regional Governors.  Partner with  them and get involved.  Finally, I look forward to seeing you all in Santa Barbara in January.  Bring a friend. Bring a new member.  I promise they’ll thank you for it.  And you can watch me teach the surfing lessons. I’ve gotten quite good riding the waves of the Alabama coast!   

From the Vice-President for Conventions

Carleen Graham

Distinguished Professor of Music
The Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam

Dear NOA Colleages,

2017 Local Host Benjamin Brecher, the Convention Committee and I recently reviewed proposals for the 2017 Convention in Santa Barbara. We have wonderful plenary and breakout sessions confirmed that beautifully reflect the convention theme, Fostering Change: Performance and Pedagogy in Opera’s New Millennium. 

Kostis Protopapis, Artistic Director of Opera Santa Barbara and former Artistic Director of Tulsa Opera, will be the keynote speaker for our Opening Ceremonies and Luncheon. Our session topics focus on ways in which we might modernize our approaches to collegiate-level teaching and directing in the 21st century. We even have a special Santa Barbara Session that will allow convention attendees to select a particular experience (tour of the Santa Barbra Mission, Hike to the Butterfly Sanctuary, or Learning to Surf) unique to the area in which we will be staying.

All of this will take place at the historic Fess Parker, A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA. Visit to view more details and to register for what will be an exciting and memorable experience. Also, check out the preliminary 2017 convention grid in this issue of NOTES.

Finally, I want to let everyone know that I have accepted a position with the Houston Grand Opera as the new Director of HGOco  I will move to Houston, TX and begin my new position in August. This formidable shift in my career will not, unfortunately, allow me to continue as Vice President into the 2017-2018 year. My work as V.P. will end at the conclusion of the 2017 convention.

Best wishes for a great start to the new academic year!


From the Vice-President for Regions

Samuel Mungo

Director of Opera Studies and Coordinator of the Voice Area
Texas State University

I am so happy to say that great strides have been made to engage our Regions! 

Representative of regional efforts include Barbara Hill Moore (Texhoma) heading a session for Texhoma NATS conference employing  Michael Ching's Speed Dating Tonight! as a medium to allow improvisation and collaboration, and preparation in the works for a joint session in the Southeast Region.  The gauntlet has been thrown for the other Regions!

In an effort to establish structure of hierarchy and engage more members, I have asked each Regional Governor to work with the NOA Board to establish a permanent Facebook Page for each Region so folks can post interesting websites, helpful tips, lists of production inventory, etc.

Together, we can do great things!


Don't receive a postcard from one of your NOA colleagues that says, "Wish you were here!!"

Join us in Santa Barbara in January -- and check out the preliminary schedule by clcking on this photo



The Convention is coming! The Convention is coming!
Click the image above to place your ad in the
Convention Program Book today



Is RESEARCH your passion?    NOA is the place for you!
We have many opportunities for your and your students to explore that passion:

Research Competitions
(click on each link below for direct access to competition)

(deadline: October 1, 2016)
NOTE: the competition has been expanded to allow multiple submissions from any one university/college
Convention Poster Session 
(deadline: October 1, 2016)

Scholarly Paper Competition
(deadline: October 1, 2016)

NOA Opera Journal submissions
(articles  to be considered for publication are accepted year-round)

From the Finance Committee

Carol Ann Modesitt, treasurer

Chair, Finance Committee
Chair 2016 Annual Campaign

Music Department
Southern Utah University

From the Chair of Finance Annual Campaign
          A new school year is just ahead, and I hope that you all have had time to regroup and refresh over the summer. 

         We are still asking for donations to the 2016 Annual Fund Raising Campaign.  With the uncertainty of what will happen in the upcoming national election, I take great comfort that I live in the world of music and opera.  I urge you one more time to think about what NOA contributes to your sanity and to the enrichment of your life.  We have been hearing a great deal about “it takes a village” recently, and in some ways I feel that could apply to our organization.  We are the village that manages to re-invigorate opera as a part of education and culture.

I look forward to seeing you in beautiful Santa Barbara!

Julia Aubrey
Milton Granger
Paul Houghtaling
Carol Ann Modesitt in memory of Dr. Donald Henrickson
Carol Notestine
David Ronis
Clifton Ware
Kurt Zeller in honor of Barbara Hill Moore

Carol Ann

In the Spotlight

Houston Grand Opera Appoints Carleen Graham as Director of HGOco Houston, June 14, 2016
Houston Grand Opera (HGO) has appointed Carleen Graham, an award-winning opera educator, administrator, researcher, and stage director, as director of the company’s community collaboration and education initiative, HGOco. She will assume the position August 22. The executive search process was guided by Arts Consulting Group.
“In the short time since its formation HGOco has established a national reputation for creatively collaborating with Houston’s diverse communities and engaging young people with opera,” noted HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers and Managing Director Perryn Leech. “Carleen Graham’s expertise and energy as an innovative educator, administrator, and practitioner of opera will enable her to build on the legacy of Founding Director Sandra Bernhard as HGOco moves into its second decade. Her wide experience makes her the perfect person to develop programs and partnerships that will serve Houston and the opera field in innovative and exciting ways.”
Added Judy Agee, chair of the company’s HGOco committee, “Carleen Graham impressed us all with her passion for opera and for communicating with new audiences. We are looking forward to her leadership in helping us forge broader and deeper connections with Houstonians of all ages and backgrounds.” “The opportunity to join this prestigious American opera company is an exciting privilege,” said Graham. “I look forward to working with the HGOco team, the HGO family, and the wonderfully diverse communities, schools, and organizations of Houston in continuing HGOco’s rich tradition of community engagement through the art of storytelling with words and music.”
 A distinguished teaching professor at the State University of New York at Potsdam where she has been on the faculty since 1991, Graham has taught courses including Teaching Opera to Children and Opera, Research, and Advocacy. She has been recognized by the university with its President’s and Chancellor’s awards for excellence in teaching. As director of the university’s Crane Opera Ensemble, she was instrumental in establishing and administering the Dominic J. Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize for new works that explore themes related to tolerance, inclusion, and celebration of diversity. She also oversaw a program that enables regional schoolchildren to attend campus performances and engage in interactive workshops with college students. Graham is a former director of the university’s Center for Undergraduate Research (2009–13), which promotes undergraduate research across the curriculum and fosters inquiry-based student learning. She has led forums for Opera America and the National Opera Association on new developments in community engagement and education. In 2012 Graham co-founded, with Artistic Director Stephanie Blythe, the week-long Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar for emerging singers and pianists, engaging them in working with art songs by living American composers. As a stage director, she has directed numerous professional and college opera productions, including recent stints at Hawaii Performing Arts Festival and Tri-Cities Opera.
Carleen Graham earned a bachelor of music degree from Ohio University, a master of music degree and graduate diploma in vocal performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, and a doctor of education degree in music and music education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Houston Grand Opera Press Release, June 14, 2016
Copyright © 2016 National Opera Association, All rights reserved.

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