Pamela Ellsworth-Smith, associate professor of Vocal Arts, has accepted appointment to the Missouri District Governor position at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). NATS was founded in 1944 and is now the largest association of teachers of singing in the world.
“The NATS organization is a wonderful format for singers to be heard and receive an objective assessment from other voice professionals in the industry on a district, regional and national level,” Ellsworth-Smith explained.
“I am honored to be appointed as the new Missouri District Governor for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS),” she said. “It’s especially exciting to serve on the governing staff at this time in the organization when many ‘outside-of-the-box’ ideas are being embraced to meet the needs of singers in the 21st century.”
In her new role, Ellsworth-Smith will have the opportunity to get to know the voice teachers at the college and university level, private studio teachers throughout the state, as well as the national leaders of NATS.
“All of the NATS members are an important part in creating a successful and effective audition event,” she said. “I am thrilled to be part of this process. Our students are a treasure, and we want them to have a positive learning experience.”
This year, the Central Regional Student Auditions (Illinois, Iowa and Missouri) will be held Oct. 29-30 at the University of Iowa.
“Our students at Stephens have always done very well at these auditions,” Ellsworth-Smith said. “In fact, we developed and hosted the NATS Musical Theatre Student Auditions for the St. Louis Chapter 10 years ago.”
In addition to teaching vocal arts Stephens, Ellsworth-Smith is the director of The Velvetones, Stephens’ vocal jazz ensemble, which recently performed at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Tenn., and the Jazz Standard in New York. The group made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2004. Her affiliation with this professional organization began as a college student, participating in the student auditions with NATS herself.
“It has been an honor to work with Pamela and I know she will serve the NATS organization with the same integrity, commitment to student success and to the industry, and empowering leadership that she shows every day at Stephens,” said Dr. Gail Humphries Mardirosian, dean of the School of Performing Arts at Stephens. “She is passionate about working with individual singers as well as our performing ensembles to help them find a healthy and expressively beautiful sound. Our students benefit from her professional experience, talents and commitment, and NATS will as well.”
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