Edward Baird Singer of the Year/NATSAA

EB SOTY Past Winners

The purposes of the Texoma Region Edward Baird Singer of the Year Competition are (1) to select and award singers whose artistry qualifies them for entry to professional careers, (2) to encourage these young artists to carry on the tradition of fine singing as advocated by the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and (3) to provide an annual competition of professional quality equivalent to the NATS Artist Awards competitions, which are held every other spring. Selection of winners will be based upon present accomplishment rather than future potential.

The EBSOTY preliminaries are always held on the Wednesday preceding the annual fall conference and EBSOTY finals are held on the following Saturday.


  1. How to qualify:
    1. A student applicant's current teacher must be a NATS member at good standing at the tie of the application.
    2. A student applicant must have studied with a NATS teacher continuously for at least one academic year.
    3. NATS members who qualify under paragraph 2, 3, and 4 below may enter independently, without sponsorship of a teacher.
  2. Each applicant must be at least 21 years of age, but not more than 35 years of age on the deadline entry date.
  3. Each student applicant must reside in the NATS Texoma Region (New Mexico, Oklahoma, or Texas), or study with a teacher who resides in the NATS Texoma Region.
  4. Applicants (NATS members) who do not enter under the sponsorship of a NATS teacher must maintain their legal residence in the Texoma Region.
  5. First-place winners of previous Texoma Edward Baird Singer of the Year competitions are not eligible to compete.
  6. The final decision on all matters of eligibility rests with the Governor of the Texoma Region of NATS.


  1. Application packets containing all items listed below must be submitted online by 6 pm (Central time) Thursday, October 1.  Late applications will not be accepted.
  2. Each applicant must submit: 
    1. Completed Online Entry Form.
    2. $50.00 entry fee.  This fee is non-refundable.
    3. All required information, including all repertoire selection titles, composers, keys of performance, and accurate timings of each selection, is necessary for application submission.
    4. No late submissions will be accepted.
  3. Applicants will need to scan and submit an original copy of proof of age, such as Birth Certificate, Driver's License, or Passport to competition chair prior to the competition.  Instructions for doing this will be provided after registration.
  4. All competition videos must be uploaded by 6pm (Central time) on October 15.


  1. The preliminary and final round will be conducted via submitted videos. Please follow these instructions for recording your videos:
  1. Setup
  • You should record a separate, unedited video for each selection on your repertoire list.
  • Your camera should record from a fixed position as if three adjudicators were seated in front of you.
  • You should face straight forward to the camera as you would appear to adjudicators in a live audition.
  • Your video recordings must clearly show your face and most of your body from the knees upward.

b. Pianist

  • You may sing with a live pianist, your teacher, or recorded accompaniment in your video entries.
  • If your teacher is your accompanist, they should not be in view in the video.
  • Accompanists must play from authorized copies that are compliant with the NATS Copyright Policy.
  • In these unusual times, videos will not be required to show the pianist in order to promote social distancing.

c. Performance for Camera

  • Introduce each selection at the beginning of the video, but do not introduce yourself: “This is [Title of Composition] by [Composer] (and, if appropriate) from [Title of Work]”
  • Your identity, the identify of your teacher or school should not be revealed.
  • You must perform each of your selections from memory on your recording.

CAUTION: In viewing your tablet or phone during the recording, if you give the impression you are using music for your audition, you may be disqualified.

2. If the competition attracts a large number of applicants, there may be two preliminary rounds and a semifinals round. Appearance order will be determined through random placement by the Governor. 
3. Preliminaries: The EB SOTY Preliminaries will be held virtually on the Wednesday of the conference. The judges will select three (3) finalists.
4. Finals: The three finalists’ videos will be used as part of a livestreamed competition at one of the afternoon or evening sessions of the conference. We will announce the EB SOTY winners following the final round.
5. Prizes: First Place: $1000.00; Second Place $500.00; and Third Place $250.00.
6. Pianists: Singers must provide their own pianists or recorded accompaniment.
7. Singers who enter EB SOTY competition may also enter any of the other Texoma region auditions for which they qualify. The three singers who are chosen for competition in the finals must withdraw from the student auditions. Their region audition fee will be refunded, if requested. Participation in this EB SOTY competition does not affect the singer's eligibility to compete in any NATS Artist Awards (NATSAA) competition.
8. If the judges determine that none of the singers' performances justify advancement to finals, no final competition will be held, nor winners named.

Copyright Regulations

Strict adherence to the NATS Policy on Copyright will be enforced without exception.
NATS Policy on Copyright

1. Participants in the Texoma EB-SOTY competition must perform from a program conforming to the categories below, and must provide videos for all of these compositions to be used at the preliminary or final round.

a. An aria from an opera to be sung in the original language and key.
b. An aria from a major oratorio, mass, requiem, or cantata to be sung in the original key.
c. Twelve (12) additional recital selections divided into four groups. The number of pieces in each group may vary but must total 12 in all, and each group except the English set must have at least two selections therein.

  • Group I: Songs or arias composed before 1800. No more than two arias may be included in this group. (Example composers: J.S. Bach, Byrd, Caccini, Dowland, Gluck, Handel, Lully, Pergolesi)
  • Group II: German Lieder or French Mélodies. (Example composers: Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Haydn, Mahler, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Wolf, Berlioz, Bizet, Chausson, Debussy, Duparc, Fauré, Hahn, Milhaud, Ravel)
  • Group III: A second group of National Art Songs consisting of any languages that are not presented in Groups II and IV.
  • Group IV:  American, Canadian, or British Art Songs.  Art songs with English as the original language.  A minimum of three songs must be included in this group.
  • Special note – At least one art song composed after 1950 (not an arrangement of a folk song) must be included in Group II, III, or IV.

2. Note that Sections A and B above (arias) are in addition to the full recital program requirement and in addition to the twelve selection minimum within Section C. (Each contestant must submit a minimum full total of fourteen selections.)

3. Except for the aria chosen under Section B above (oratorio, et al) all repertoire must be performed without score (from memory).

4. Any questions concerning the repertoire above should be addressed to the Governor of the Texoma Region.

5. When the applicant has completed the online Registration Form, confirmed, and submitted it, a Repertoire Form will automatically load for your completion. The completed Repertoire Form includes all repertoire selection titles, composers, keys of performance, and accurate timings of each selection. Once the repertoire form has been submitted, no changes or substitutions can be made unless original music cannot be located or, in the case of out-of-print music, permission from the copyright owner cannot be obtained.


  1. A panel of three judges will judge Preliminaries and Finals. Any teacher whose student is competing will not be eligible to serve as judge for that round. Applicants remain anonymous to the judges. If any contestant is found to be a former student of one of the judges, that judge will not submit scores for that singer's appearance and the average will be based on the other two scores.
  2. Participants will remain anonymous until the winners are announced. During the competition an assigned letter or number will identify them.
  3. Audition time limits: Preliminary round (Wednesday): Not less than 10 minutes actual singing time. Final round: Not less than 15 minutes actual singing time. Timing begins with the announcement of the first selection and continues until the minimum time is exceeded.
  4. The singers may begin each round with one selection of their choice. The judges will select the remainder of the program.

All decisions of the judges are final.

Edward Baird Singer of the Year Registration Instructions

  1. Review competition rules, regulations, repertoire requirements and eligibility under the “Edward Baird SOTY” tab at www.texomanats.org
    2. Click here to register for EBSOTY
    3. Work your way through the various registration screens and submit payment.

For questions regarding online registration, please contact:
• Lily Guerrero, Texoma Webmaster lguerrero@tlu.edu

For questions regarding payments, please contact:
• Gregory Brookes, Treasurer/Registrar gregory.brookes@ttu.edu

For questions regarding repertoire and competition rules, please contact:
• Melinda Brou, SOTY Chair, melinda.brou@tamuk.edu

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