Start time: 1:10 pm
Present: Susan Witt-Butler, Thelma Dare Ahner, Mary Beard, Laurie Hartmann, Marilyn
Simpson, Simone Lyne Comtois, Marian Marsh, Beth Freeman
Minutes Approved as corrected
Starting balance $3,675.14
Ending balance $3,801.86
The complete versions is sent as an attachment to the minutes.
Jim Meredith workshop on Nov. 7, 2015 2-5 pm—in the Green Center Room
1028(note, this is a different location than the flyer) He will bring three of his own
singers and we will provide three students. He will share about his work. He has bubbling
energy. Workshop is free. Parking is $5. First choice will be intermediate high school age,
second choice, first two years of college. Susan will find out if the repertoire needs to be
classical or theatre.
By-Laws What we see in red are the suggested changes.
1) Raise chapter dues to $30 from $25 for full members $20 from $15 for affiliate.
This has been moved, approved and unanimously accepted by vote
2) At the national level, members 68 or older who have been members for 20 years may
request Emeritus status and will be excused from paying dues at the national level.
(This needs to be put in the by-laws) For our chapter, if a member, 68 years old or older
has been a member of our chapter for 5 years they may request Emeritus status and may
be excused from paying dues. This has been move, approved and unanimously accepted
More student performing opportunities/student recitals as fundraisers? Ideas-
1)Email chapter if we are having a studio recital.
2)February 20th,2016, Saturday, could be a student recital. First Congregational is $50
Thelma will check out Friday evening and Saturday evening optimal 7:30, second choice
Saturday, 5:30 that weekend. This would have an option of donation by attendees. Ask
venue for two and a half hour reservation.
3)If we want a Fall venue for students, we may look at that for next year.
4) Salon Series for teachers in a home where we collect donations or check out Varenna
or Spring Lake where we may get paid. Suggested the weekend of November 13,14,15,
5)Beth offered Chinese dinner fund raiser in the Spring. She can take 10 reservations. We
will talk about this at the January meeting
Discuss viability of our chapter—need more members, need younger members, need
new board members,etc.
1)The list of the benefits of NATS was mentioned
Memberships give opportunities for students to perform and attend workshops.
Memberships give opportunities for networking.
Vocapedia website and NATS facebook chat room. Mary will send out an email about
this. Susan has the idea to offer a pedagogical course to those who are interested. Chris
Fritsche is also interested. The idea is to do a four session course. We need to bring up the
ideas of making NATS more relevant to younger teachers by using the media that they
are used to communicating with, such as the NATS Vocapedia website and the NATS
Chat facebook group, at the January meeting or create a separate meeting.
2)Susan shared her idea of a pedagogy class. This will be discussed further in January.
3)Laurie spoke about the need to reach the younger teachers with media and
communication that they are used to.
4)Mary will inquire about the cost of joining as an associate.
5)We are looking for a person who is tech savvy who has an interest in websites, social
media etc. Our current website is not up to date. Can we upload videos, recordings on our
Spring workshop—geared toward teachers ideas for presenter, topic, venue, etc.
presenter, topic, venue, etc.
Susan will try to book a venue in March or April .
Ideas include: Ellie Lichtenstein from Cinnabar Theatre ( Can we link her to NATS),
Jennifer King, drama prof from NVC (Napa Valley Community College), Eve-Anne
Wilkes/NVC voice lab, lyric diction, IPA,
If we have ideas, please email it to Vaida
Meeting adjourned at 2:34pm
Round Robin—(Susan will allot a set amount of time for each person based on how many
are in attendance and how much time we have left) We’ll go around the circle and have
each member briefly share/comment on one or more of the following (if there’s enough
time at the end we can have a group discussion on some of the things we heard):
a teaching breakthrough or special experience,
new and interesting repertoire that you’ve discovered,
a new artist who moves you,
a memorable concert you recently attended,
a good new pedagogy video,
something about singing or teaching you learned from a good article
In attendance: Beth Freeman, Marian Marsh, Sandy Riccardi, Laurie Goldstein, Vaida
Falconbridge, Susan Witt-Butler, Mary Beard, Sarah Oppenheim-Beggs, Linda Manuilow,
Thelma Ahner, plus Marilyn Simpson and Kathy Allan by speakerphone
Minutes: Minutes of August 2013 meeting approved as stands.
The Jan. report was a review of calendar year 2013. Started with balance of $5,539.61 and ended
with $5,751.97. Total profits from Libiamo were $2,135.56. Nationals have reported on dues
being paid by 9 of our members as of Dec. 31. If dues haven’t been paid by Feb. 28 2014, a
member will be dropped to inactive status for the rest of the year or until they are paid. After that
they will be dropped from membership. Linda will send a list of all currently paid members every
time she gets a report from Nationals.
Sandy is the current web-master and did some updating 2 days ago. Wants to be sure old web-site
is closed. Will is checking on this. She will add photos of Libiamo to new site. The group
offered, but Sandy declined, receiving a stipend for her work. If any of us see something that
needs changing, etc., pass it on to Vaida or Sandy. Mary and Vaida will work on getting our
website link on letters, emails, etc.
Definition of “member in good standing”:
What is required to enter students in scholarship auditions and workshops? Currently our by-laws
say that teachers of participants must be “members in good standing.” [The By-Law definition
currently reads: “a member in good standing of the REC is one who contributes to the healthy
functioning of the chapter by participating in the annual fund-raiser, attending chapter functions
(meetings, programs, etc.) and paying annual dues.” Added after the meeting.--Mary] In the
application forms for the Scholarship Auditions, the instructions to teachers are more specific (a
decision made several years ago by the membership): Only students of Redwood Empire NATS
teachers in good standing are eligible. To be in good standing, a member must have paid dues for
the current year, attended at least one NATS event and participated in fund-raising. Some of our
members don’t meet these current requirements yet are important members (i.e. some of faculty at
SSU). Since we want the “healthy functioning of the chapter” to be primary and don’t want to
police members, yet ask all members to contribute their fair share of the “work”, we proposed,
voted and approved, that in the future we try the wording:
“a member in good standing [contributes to the healthy functioning of our chapter by]* paying
dues and participating in fundraising. It is highly recommended that they attend at least one event
and participate in the fall fundraiser.”
*The phrase in brackets comes from the By-Laws which were not read at the meeting. I think it adds a nice flavor
and I recommend we vote on its inclusion at the August meeting. –Mary
A preference for dates for next year seems to be mid-October rather than Nov. We#discussed#the#
and#setEup. The decision was: if we stay at Fountaingrove next year, we will try for a Sunday at 4
p.m., perhaps the second weekend. If we choose another venue, we will try for the second
Saturday in October. The first weekend in November would be second choice.
Why were the ticket sales lower and fewer singers participated? Is this a trend? Some suggested
possibilities: many of us are older, our studios are smaller, we don’t sing as much ourselves any
more; also this year info came out a bit late. Next year we will begin notices specifically about
Libiamo (i.e. not combined with other announcements), at lease 6 weeks before the date, and each
notice will remind members that they are asked to donate one or sell at least two tickets (this
counts as “fund-raising”). (We have dropped the word “requirement” but will remind members
that for a healthy program we need every member’s participation in this project.)
Some newer members have asked about including some students. We discussed that the
fundraiser Tea or Libiamo is a teachers’ recital and a chance to represent our studios with our own
singing; the only “students” asked to perform are Scholarship winners from previous years. Of
course, a teacher may perform an ensemble with one or more of their students. Next year we will
ask the chapter members to nominate one of their students who was a previous winner if they
wish, assuming they know that student is still singing at a high level of achievement. The Board
will make the final two selections.
Scholarship Auditions on Feb. 9 2014
The following jobs are needed/assigned:
Set-up team (arr. 9:00 a.m.): Susan, Vaida, Mary,
Reg. team (set up 9:15): Sarah (chair)
Morning: Sandy R., Marian M.
Afternoon: Kathy A., Linda M.
Inside door monitor a.m.: Linda and Kathy p.m.: Marilyn S.
Early morning coffee: Simone
Judges’ orientation: Mary
Judges’ assistants: Mary (chair)
Morning: Bonnie, Simone
Afternoon: Laurie, Melva
Tally sheets, evaluation sheets and organizing program: Marilyn S.
Accompanists: Yvonne W. and Richard R. will be there all day. Yvonne assigned Div. I-III and
Richard Div. IV-VI, but they want to be flexible, especially with SSU students.
Timers: Susan (chair) with Thelma assisting in p.m.
Warm Up Rooms: 4 are needed
Judges’ lunch: Beth assistant: Melinda
Clean-up team: everyone
Teachers will bring their own sack lunches.
For divisions with more than 3 singers we will offer a green room and late entry for singers later in
the group. The reg. team will need to get them from the green room or hallway and have them
enter BEFORE the singer IN FRONT of them.
Mary and Marilyn will look at what happened last year that rushed the judges in the morning so
that they were late for lunch and had little time to eat.
Simone brought up a high school Honor Choir conflict that has its big program the same weekend
as our auditions each year, ruling out many of her students. We discussed possibly moving our
date to the last weekend in January (not much enthusiasm for that) or the last weekend in February
(preferred), with the winners’ recital the following day, on Sunday. Susan will check to see if
Warren Aud. or other auditorium can be available next year.
Mary will send Marilyn info about the judges to be added to the program for the auditions.
Mary will do programs for winners’ recital and include info on the judges
Beth and Vaida will see about fortunes for cookies: can they have a performing or musical theme?
Can we send some choices ourselves to a company that makes them?
Vaida will check with Will about certificates.
Sarah, as historian, asked for a small photographer team since her camera does not do well in the
dim or special lighting of performance halls. She’d like to contact someone on the team for each
event and ask them to be the photographer for that day. Mary volunteered to be on the team.
Looking for another volunteer or two (can be a husband, friend, responsible student, etc.) that she
Eugene Villanueva (a student of Bonnie Brooks when he was in high school) will be asked to do
an Italian Art Song master class with advanced students on Saturday April 5. It is rare we get a
currently performing singer to be available for a master class. His focus will probably be stylistic
interpretation. Time to be decided, based on his schedule.
Meeting adjourned 4:04 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Mary Beard
Edited version Jan. 22, 2014NATS General Meeting – Redwood Empire Chapter 8/25/2013
NATS Redwood Empire Chapter
General Meeting Minutes Jan. 11, 2015
Held at Music to My Ears
Called to order: 2:40 pm
Present: Vaida Falconbridge, Susan Witt-Butler, Thelma Dare Ahner, Mary Beard, Laurie Hartmann, Bonnie Brooks, Ruth Escher, Marian Marsh
Minutes Approved as stands
Welcome Laurie as secretary/recap of board reorganization
Membership renewals/ new member
Scholarship auditions/winners recital--
Spring and fall workshops--
Two ideas for Spring:
Website—ideas for 2015 tabled till next meeting
Remembering Gael -- Vaida suggested stories and silence.