Minutes – October 11, 2009

Greater Houston Chapter of National Association of Teachers of Singing, www.ghnats.org, Fall Business Meeting, Sunday, October 11, 2009, The Black Labrador, 4100 Montrose Blvd., Texas 77006-4936, 3:00 p.m.

President Marion Russell Dickson called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m. She welcomed everyone, and thanked them for helping with the Annual Winners Recital, which had preceded the meeting. Two new members, Dr. Kerry Jennings and Charles Stanton, introduced themselves. President Russell Dickson acknowledged the officers who were present: Secretary Debra Greschner, Treasurer Jason Lester (replacing Dawn Padula, who took a new position out of state), Vice-President of Classical Auditions Elisa Thompson, Winners’ Recital Chair Angela Pickering, and Vice-President of Workshops Charles Stanton (replacing Melissa Givens). The other officers are: Vice-President of Music Theatre Auditions Laura Avery, Membership Liaison Jody Haas, and Christopher Michel Past President Ex-officio. Several vacancies have been filled: Deanna Peden will serve as Hospitality Chair, and Charles Stanton is now serving as Newsletter Chair.

Secretary Greschner presented the minutes from the Spring Business Meeting. Angela Pickering made a motion to accept the minutes; Isabelle Ganz seconded. Motion carried.

Treasurer Lester presented the Financial Report. He pointed out that the Chapter does not have a budget. He suggested keeping monies from Audition separate from other financial activities. The Chapter is being charged bank fees; however, once the Chapter attains non-profit status, the fees will stop (and perhaps even be refunded from previous years). Currently, we do not pay rental fees for rooms for Auditions.

Secretary Greschner presented the Secretary’s report. She urged members to pay their Chapter dues, and encourage members who have lapsed to renew their membership in the Chapter.

Classical Auditions Vice-President Thompson reminded members that no photocopies — not even for pianists – are acceptable. There are exceptions for music that is out-of-print, or for scores printed from online or CD sources. Discussion ensued regarding the protocol for students who use copies. Students should not be confronted. Instead, the judges should tell the Audition organizers. Charles Stanton recommended checking music before the competition at a registration table. The Classical auditions are April 10.

Music Theatre Audition Vice-President Laura Avery was not present, but President Russell Dickson reported that the tentative site is a church in Pasadena. Other venues were suggested, but the proposed location is not charging a rental fee. The music theatre auditions are May 1.

Workshops Vice-President Stanton reported that he had contacted Susan Graham regarding a possible workshop, but her schedule does not permit it this year. Houston Grand Opera stated they could provide an artist. Composer Thomas Pasatieri would also be willing to present a master class. Discussion followed regarding the percentage of budget that should be used for workshops, and whether fees should be charged. Other suggestions for clinicians included Linda Mabbs, Carol Kimball, Buck Ross, Mary Beth Smith, Weston Hurt, and Cory Trahan.

In other committee reports, President Russell Dickson reported that Jody Haas, Membership Liaison, contacts new and prospective members. In regard to the Winners’ Recital, a suggestion was made that the recital is held at a different venue each year to encourage participation by many members of the Chapter.

In Old Business, it was decided to table the College Music Vocal Fair until further notice.

The Chapter contributed $500 to the Texoma website. Registration for the upcoming Texoma Conference is now in progress via the website. (Members were informed that there is a $15 fee for all changes made after initial registration of students for the Texoma Regional Conference scheduled for November 5-7 at Texas Tech). Chapter members Marion Russell Dickson and Todd Miller, with collaborative artist Jay Whatley, will present “Songs of Richard Faith: A Lecture Recital with Composer in Residence”. In other Old Business, members are encouraged to update their information on the national NATS website, as well as encourage local pianist who are interested in being included in GHNATS Pianist Archive to contact President Russell Dickson.

In New Business, contracts for guest judges and clinicians will be signed before the event. The documents will include fees and responsibilities. The question of insurance for events was raised. There was discussion about a Bulletin Board addition to the GHNATS website that would list performance, publications, and other activities of Chapter members. Members at secondary institutions are encouraged to start Student NATS (SNATS) Chapters. Members are also encouraged to donate to the Scholarship Fund for Maura DeSouza, who was a student at Sam Houston State University. A nomination committee will be formed for the purpose of nominating new officers. The next term begins April 10, 2010. Dr. Radionoff announced that she will visit China in a “People-to-People” project that is sponsored by MENC. She will be working with classroom and voice teachers.

Bob Collett made a motion to adjourn the meeting; Isabelle Ganz seconded. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Debra Greschner, Secretary