Minutes – March 28, 2009

Greater Houston Chapter of, National Association of Teachers of Singing, www.ghnats.org, Spring Business Meeting, Saturday, March 28, 2009, 12:00 p.m., University of Houston

President Marion Russell Dickson called the meeting to order at 12:21 p.m. She welcomed all members present, and introduced or acknowledged the 2008-2010 Board Members. They are: President, Marion Russell Dickson; Past President Ex-officio, Christopher Michel; Secretary, Debra Greschner; Treasurer, Dawn Padula; Vice-President for Classical Auditions, Elisa Thompson; Vice-President for Music Theatre Auditions, Laura Avery; Vice-President of Workshops, Melissa Givens; Hospitality Chair, Nicole Franklin; Newsletter Chair, Jason Lester; Winners’ Recital Chair, Angela Pickering; and Outside Judge Selection Chair for Auditions, Anne Heath Welch.

The minutes from the Fall Business Meeting held on October 25, 2008 were presented. Melissa Givens made a motion to accept the minutes as read; Linda McKnight seconded. Motion carried.

In committee reports, Secretary Debra Greschner reported that the Chapter has 53 members. Dawn Padula was unable to attend, so Marion Russell Dickson delivered the Treasurer’s report. The current balance is $7,249.42. The College Vocal Fair drew 17 colleges and 40 students this year. Workshop Chair Melissa Givens reported on three planned workshops:

  1. a presentation on the voice and vocal health by Sharon Radionoff immediately following this meeting;
  2. master classes by John Wustman, co-sponsored by Third Millennium Voices (Roger Keele and Frances Fenton), Houston Community College NW – Town and Country; University of St. Thomas, and the Greater Houston Chapter of NATS
  3. presentation by Georgia Stitt at the Music Theatre Auditions on May 2.

The Vice-President of Classical Auditions, Elisa Thompson, reported that 37 teachers had registered 288 students for today’s event. The membership is reminded that the deadline for Music Theatre Auditions is April 6, and the event will be held at St. Luke Methodist Church on May 2.

Old Business

Russell Dickson reported that the chapter website has been constructed by Discover Web Solutions. The address is www.ghnats.org. Members are urged to forward updated biographies and headshots.

There have been two changes to the bylaws.

  1. If chapter dues are paid after October 15, a $10.00 late fee will be charged.
  2. New offices have been added: two College Vocal Music Fair Vice-Presidents; Vice-President of Music Theatre Auditions, and Past President Ex-officio.

NATS held its 50th Annual Conference in Nashville in the summer of 2008. Thirty Texomans attended, and three members of our Chapter presented: Dawn Padula, Donna Hinds Sawyers, and Laurie Lee Cosby. The Chapter congratulates NATSSA Second Place Winner Laurie Lester and her collaborative pianist, Shannon Hesse.

Congratulations to all singers – and their teachers – who participated in the Winners’ Recital on October 11, 2008.

New Business

There is a new NATS membership initiative. Linda Poetschke, National Vice-President of Membership, is calling for an increase in membership. A prize of $1,000.00 will be awarded to the Region that gets the largest number of new members. Currently, Texoma is in third place. In addition, chapters are encouraged to create the office of membership liaison to contact prospective new members. Jody Haas has agreed to fill the position for the Greater Houston Chapter. A motion was made by Deanna Peden to create the position with Jody in that role; seconded by Peggy Buchanan. Motion carried.

Marion Russell Dickson opened discussion about the College Vocal Music Fair. St. Luke is no longer an option for the event. The average cost for the event is $1,000.00, and the average number of members who participate is 15. Marion asked members to email her with feedback and suggestions.

Marion encouraged members to have pianist register with the Pianist Archive on the GHNATS website.

Marion also reported that only 10 members attended the Fall Business meeting; she asked for input about changing the location and timing for better attendance. One suggestion from the floor was to hold the Business Meeting in conjunction with the Winners’ Recital, as it had been in the past.

The Texoma Region is developing a regional website. The Chapters have been asked to contribute to its development; GHNATS has agreed.

Upcoming Texoma Conference sites include Texas Tech University, November 4-7, 2009, and Oklahoma Baptist University in 2011. The location for the event in 2010 has not been determined.

The Voluntary Teacher Database on the national website is being updated. Members who listed their information on the old website will have to reactivate and update their profile.

Melissa Givens made a motion to adjourn. Stephen Morris seconded. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 12:50 p.m.