National Opera Association Member Newsletter
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NOA Notes Newsletter
Vol. 38, No. 5
December 2015

In This Issue

From the President
From the President Elect
From the Vice-President of Conventions
From the Vice President for Regions
From the Editor
From the Finance Committee
Nominating Committee


Convention Registration

Now is the time to register for the January 2016 Convention! We can't wait to see you in Indianapolis!

Questions?  Read the complete instructions for registration.

Public Service Announcement Videos

Folks, here's an invitation from the fabulous Stephanie Blythe, Face of NOA for 2015:

And give a listen to Darren Keith Woods, general director of Fort Worth Opera, for some of the BEST reasons to start off your year with NOA and NATS in Indianapolis:

Upcoming Deadlines and Events

January 6-10, National Opera Association 61st Annual National Convention and the National Association of Teachers of Singing Winter Workshop, The Conrad Hotel, Indianapolis, Indiana.

David HolleyFrom the President
David Holley
Director of Opera and Professor of Music

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Artistic Director, Greensboro Opera

Twenty years ago in Boston, the National Opera Association Legacy Initiative was born, with a thrilling celebration of the 50th anniversary of Todd Duncan’s contract with New York City Opera. Our website says, “It was the first contract for an African-American singer with a major US opera company, and has become the focal point for the National Opera Association's recognition of the outstanding contributions of African-American artists to opera in America.”  We are excited to honor Esther Hinds with our 2016 “Lift Every Voice” Legacy Award at our 61st Annual Convention in Indianapolis.  What a great week it will be, as she will be joined by our 2015 honoree, Olive Moorefield-Mach, as well as our Lifetime Achievement Award Winner George Shirley, recently recognized by President Obama with the National Medal of Arts.  Come celebrate with us!
But, don’t take my word for it.  Listen to what Stephanie Blythe and Darren Keith Woods said at the conclusion of last year’s convention in Greensboro by clicking above!

See you in Indy!


From the President Elect

Reg Pittman

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

Dear NOA Colleagues,
Season’s greetings! I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving Day surrounded by family and friends. I’m thankful that I was able to visit my 92 year old mother and other family members that I don’t get to see very often. I’m also thankful that I will be seeing many of you at our convention in Indianapolis. If you haven’t already, visit the NOA website for all the details.


From the Vice-President for Conventions

Ruth Dobson

Vice-President for Conventions


"Heritage and Hope: Celebrating Diversity in Performance and Pedagogy"
Honoring the 20th Anniversary of the "Lift Every Voice" Legacy Awards
The Conrad Hotel, Indianapolis
January 6-10, 2016

We hope you have made your hotel and plane reservations and have registered for the 2016 NOA Convention in Indianapolis! We know you will want to attend this exciting and important convention honoring the 20th anniversary of the "LIFT EVERY VOICE" LEGACY AWARDS of NOA.

You can access the full convention schedule by clicking on the link to the schedule on the NOA home page. Results from the Opera Production Competition and Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition are now also available on the website. You can conveniently pay your dues while you are registering by visiting the Payments and Purchases link on the Member area of the NOA website.

There are two "Early-Arriver" events for NOA and NATS members who will arrive on Wednesday. There will be an afternoon tour to the GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK FOUNDATION EXPERIENCE in nearby Carmel, Indiana and in the evening, a PRE-CONVENTION DINNER AND OPEN-MIC SESSION. These events are open to all members of NOA and NATS, and we hope you will attend both. Registration is required for both events and can also be found on the Payments and Purchases link in the Member area of the NOA website. Cost for the tour to Carmel is $20, and for the Pre-Convention Dinner, $50, in addition to the convention registration fee.

Here are details about the Great American Songbook Foundation Experience, which will take place on Wednesday, January 6 from 2-5 pm:
 "The Great American Songbook Foundation Experience will be a multifaceted exploration of the vibrant and timeless music from the Golden Age of American popular music. We’ll begin the experience with a visit to the acoustically perfect Palladium Hall, where these classics are regularly performed through the Center’s Songbook Series. We’ll then wander up to the Songbook Gallery where staff will introduce us to 'Gus Kahn: The Man Behind the Music.' This exhibit explores one of the most creative and prolific lyricists of the 20th century. If it’s an oldie, but a goodie, there’s a decent chance Gus Kahn might have penned the words.  Once we’re done exploring the exhibit, we’ll get a sneak peek at the Great American Songbook Archives & Library, which houses artifacts such as sheet music, personal papers, recordings, and musical arrangements of the songwriters and performers who helped to create the music. The archivist will give us a behind the scenes look at this important collection and efforts at its preservation and transformation into a resource that is widely accessible to all.  We will also hear about efforts to promote the Great American Songbook through the Great American Songbook Competition. This will be an experience that will expose you to this incredible resource for your teaching and performing."

This tour includes transportation to and from the venue in Carmel. Buses will begin loading promptly at 1:30 pm for a 2:00 pm departure. Group will return to the hotel at approximately 5:30 pm.
Reservations for both NOA and NATS members must be made in advance.
Cost is $20 per person. NOA members please reserve on the NOA website on the Payment and Purchases link of the Member area. Space is limited, so please reserve your tickets early!

(At the Center for the Performing Arts)
One Center Green
Carmel, IN 46032

NATS and NOA members arriving on Wednesday are also encouraged to make reservations for the PRE-CONVENTION DINNER to be held from 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm in the spectacular Conrad Hotel glass-domed Artsgarden. The first ever spontaneous, no-rehearsal convention OPEN-MIC SESSION follows the dinner, with NOA and NATS members who wish to sing joining in the fun! Indianapolis-based Great American Songbook pianist DAVID DUNCAN will be the pianist for the evening. Be sure to bring along your music if you wish to sing! Reservations are required for this dinner. Also look for this event on the Payments and Purchases link on the Member area. The cost for the dinner is $50 per person.

The 2016 convention theme, HERITAGE AND HOPE: CELEBRATING DIVERSITY IN PERFORMANCE AND PEDAGOGY, honors the 20th Anniversary of the "Lift Every Voice" Legacy Awards of NOA. The OPENING CEREMONIES AND LUNCHEON will feature legendary soprano MARTINA ARROYO as the Keynote Speaker.

Following the luncheon will be the first Legacy session, "HERITAGE AND HOPE FROM THE AFRICAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Career Insights and Advice from Three Successful Generations", with a distinguished panel that includes George Shirley, Olive Moorefield Mach, Willie Anthony Waters, Thomas Young, and Angela Brown.

The Legacy festivities continue on Friday evening with a gala concert "WHAT'S PAST IS PROLOGUE: THE LEGACY CONTINUES," a stellar concert celebrating the rich musical legacy of African Americans in the mainstream of opera. Hosted by George Shirley, the concert will feature Angela Brown, Thomas Young, Gordon Hawkins, and a host of other distinguished, established artists and rising artists. Cliff Jackson will serve as the orchestra at the piano.

The evening's host, GEORGE SHIRLEY, the first African-American tenor to sing a leading role at the Metropolitan Opera, and an NOA Legacy Award winner in 2003, will be additionally honored with the NOA Lifetime Achievement Award at the Gala Banquet on Saturday evening. He was recently honored as a 2015 National Medal of Arts winner, an award presented at the White House by President Obama.

Other special sessions include an OPERA AMERICA SINGER TRAINING FORUM with Jeffrey Larson, Artistic Services Manager at OPERA America, and Carleen Graham, Director of the Crane Opera Ensemble SUNY Potsdam.

NATS brings Juilliard faulty member Margo Garrett to the convention for a COLLABORATIVE PIANO SUMMIT IN THREE SESSIONSNATS presenters also include JULIA FAULKNER, Director of Vocal Studies for The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, Lyric Opera of Chicago.

NOA popular annual sessions COLLEGIATE OPERA SCENES COMPETITION, VOCAL COMPETITION, and the presentation of the winner of the CHAMBER OPERA COMPETITION will also take place at the convention. The winning 2015 Chamber Opera, THE CLEVER ARTIFICE OF HARRIET AND MARGARET, Leanna Kirchoff, composer and librettist, will be presented by Indiana Wesleyan University on Friday evening.

THE SACRED IN OPERA INITIATIVE of NOA will present a performance at the historic Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal, two blocks from the Conrad Hotel, on the beautiful and historic Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. Jess Munoz, from the faculty of Indiana Wesleyan University, is coordinating the performance, which will showcase excerpts from HAGAR, a new Sacred Opera  with music by William David Cooper and libretto by Will Dunlap, commissioned last year by Second Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis.

Meet with the colleagues from your region at the NOA GOVERNOR'S NO-HOST LUNCHEON on Friday. This is an opportunity to meet with other NOA members from your geographical area and plan activities, collaborations, and to just say hello to your nearest colleagues. Reservations are requested for this no-host lunch and can be made at the NOA registration desk after you arrive at the convention.

We'll see you in Indy!
From the Vice-President for Conventions
Ruth Dobson


From the Finance Committee

Carol Ann Modesitt, treasurer

Chair, Finance Committee
Chair 2015 Annual Campaign
Music Department
Southern Utah University

From the Annual Campaign Finance Committee:
The holidays are upon us.  It’s a great time of year to be aware of the many good things in our lives and to express our thankfulness to family, friends, and our colleagues throughout the United State and the world.  In our field, this is usually one of our busiest times of the year, and probably one of the most rewarding as well.  May I take this time to wish each of you a happy, healthful, and peaceful holiday season!

There is still time left if you would like to make a tax deductible donation to the 2015 NOA Annual Campaign before our joint venture with NATS in January of 2016. We have raised $4650.00 so far this year.  I want to thank those of you who have contributed to the Annual Campaign this year.  I look forward to seeing you in January in Indianapolis. 

Happy Holidays!
Carol Ann Modesitt, Treasurer /Chair Annual Campaign
Tiered List

Carol Notestine, in honor of Dr. Robert Hansen
Julia Aubrey
Bruce Gardner
Carol Ann Modesitt, in Memory of Betty Jeanne Chipman
Robert Chauls
Carleen Graham
Milton Granger
Adriana Hardy
Kathleen Roland-Silverstein
Clifton Ware
Juliana Hoch, in memory of Dr. Carl Gerbrandt
Kirk Severtson

From the Vice-President for Regions

Paul Houghtaling

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

Holiday greetings from Alabama!  Many regions have continued to be active and energized throughout the year with workshops, new Facebook pages, newsletters, and other forms of organizing and communicating.  It’s important that we keep NOA going, moving forward, relevant, and present all year long. That’s what the regional and state governors can accomplish so beautifully.  Many other regions have plans and ideas, and I have been encouraging the brainstorming and the regional support for our organization.  Carry on, everyone.  Get some new members.  Bring a friend to Indianapolis.  And remember … our organization is a year-round, living, breathing entity with life between the conventions!  See you in Indianapolis.  


The Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition had another strong year of applicants and the following are the results.  Finalists in Division I are Michigan State University, Lawrence University, Kennesaw State University, DePauw University, and Sam Houston State University.  Finalists in Division II are the University of Illinois, Sam Houston State University, and Missouri State University.  Finalists in the Musical Theatre category are Sam Houston State University, Bucknell University, DePauw University, and Samford University.  The finals will be live in Indianapolis on Thursday night, January 7, 2016.  Don’t miss it!!  
Paul Houghtaling,
COSC Chair

From the Editor

Kathleen Roland-Silverstein

Assistant Professor
Setnor School of Music
Syracuse University

The countdown begins, and we are on our way to another exciting convention, always a high point in the year for so many of us. Please register on-line now, buy those plane tickets and join us for four days of inspiration and information, for meeting old friends and making new ones. Go now to, and see what you have to look forward to!

Onward and upward,

Notice from the Nominating Committee

Committee:  Julia Aubrey (Chair), Ruth Dobson, Carol Notestine, Gordon Ostrowski, Penny Speedie
The following slate of nominees was approved by the Executive Committee at the mid-year meeting, and will be brought forward for a vote of the full membership at its Annual Business Meeting in Indianapolis in January:

    Executive Officers
  •         President:  Reginald Pittman
  •         President - Elect:  Paul Houghtaling
  •         VP for Conventions: Carleen Graham
  •         VP for Regions: Sam Mungo
  •         Past President:  David Holley
    Board of Directors
  •         Five new board members: Jacque Trussel, Louise Loftquist, Ron Ulen, Linda Lister, Melanie Helton
  •         Alternates:  Anne Basinski and Daniel Washington
  •         Re-elect board member: Mark Clark

Continuing board members are: Hugh Murphy, Richard Poppino, David Ronis, Benjamin Brecher, Leigh Holman, and Albert Chaney.
Copyright © 2015 National Opera Association, All rights reserved.

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