Greater Houston Chapter of
National Association of Teachers of Singing
Fall Board Meeting
Tuesday, August 9, 2011 1:00 p.m.
Houston Baptist University

President Lester called the meeting to order at 1:13 p.m. He welcomed two new board members: Amanda Waites, who replaces Kerry Jennings as Vice-President of College Vocal Music Fair, and Shannon Langman, who replaces Jody Haas as Membership Liaison. Other members present were Jason Lester, President; Melissa Givens, Treasurer; Debra Greschner, Secretary; Angela Pickering, Vice-President for Classical Auditions; and Charles Stanton, Vice-President for Workshops. In a bond-building exercise, Lester asked the Board members to share the best and worst things that happened to them this summer.

Secretary Greschner presented the minutes from the last Business Meeting, which was held on Saturday, April 9, 2011. One correction was noted: the first sentence in the third to last paragraph should read: "He (Lester) also stated that the Board had discussed assigning the Vice-President of Workshops the responsibility of contacting and contracting guest artists and clinicians, and as contractor for guest judges. Pickering made a motion to accept the minutes with correction; Stanton seconded. Motion carried.

President Lester introduced Dr. Anton Villado from Rice University who created and oversaw the survey that was conducted in spring 2011. There were 25 responses, which represent 52% of the Chapter. He presented raw data, not mean, median or mode. The results will be shared with the Chapter as a whole at the next business meeting.

In New Business, Lester proposed sending a survey to national members who could be members of GHNATS Chapters and are not. It was agreed that the survey should be brief. Greschner will contact the National Office to see if the Chapter can get a complete list of members who live in the Houston area. Discussion about the website ensued; currently, our web master charges $50 per hour for updates. The question arose of having current board members serve in that capacity; however, the board agreed that stability in the role of web master is important. The information is currently funneled through the office of the President; while there was discussion of other officers taking on this role, no changes will be made. Shannon Langman will investigate creating a Facebook page for the Chapter. Member events will be posted on the website on a flashing list on the Home page, or under a heading "Member Events", but not directly on the Home page.

The President has the responsibility to appoint the Chair positions for Winner's Recital, Hospitality, and Outside Judge Selection. Lester will appoint those positions soon, and welcomes suggestions from the board. Elections for the Board will be held at the Spring Business Meeting. Since all Board Members are in their first term of two years (except the Secretary, whose position does not have a term limit), all are eligible for re-election.

Newsletter Chair Stanton announced that information for the Newsletter is due on September 1, 2011.

Vice-President for Workshops Stanton shared some of the workshops that are possible for the coming year; these include a session with Cindy Sadler of Classical Singer Magazine on the topic of marketing oneself as a performer; Nova Thomas of Westminster Choir College in a music theatre workshop; another Meet the Audience session with an artist from HGO; and/or a session with a local otolaryngologist, voice specialist, and pedagogue. Other ideas include a moving workshop that travels around the area over the course of a weekend, and a teacher/student cabaret. The Chapter has received Discretionary Funds from the National Office that must be used before the end of the calendar year. Stanton will investigate holding a clinic at the College Vocal Music Fair, or setting a separate date before the end of 2011.

Vice-President for Classical Auditions Pickering reported that the date has been set for Saturday, April 14, 2012. The University of Houston is available; however, that institution has recently communicated to the Chapter that it will now charge a fee for the use of its facility. The fee is not yet determined; if it is too high, the Chapter may have to find another venue. Pickering is investigating a website that handles scheduling. She proposes the registration open January 15, and close March 9. Lester suggested an escalating fee for registrations later in the period; Greschner suggested a fee for changes for any revisions made to the registration after it is submitted (as Texoma does).

Lester, in the absence of Vice-President of Musical Theatre Auditions, Beverly Laubach, reported that she is investigating combining the auditions due to the small turnout in recent years. Greschner raised the issues of space (would a larger venue be needed?) and the length of the competition.

Treasurer Melissa Givens reported that the Chapter has not switched banks, and Chase is still charging the Chapter $12 per month in fees. The Chapter will contribute $75 for Hospitality to the Texoma Conference in November.

Liaison Chair Shannon Langman raised the question of updating the website. The board clarified that the Liaison Chair is part of the effort to recruit new members.

Vice-President for College Vocal Music Fair Amanda Waites announced that October 15 is the tentative date for the event. Two venues are being considered for the event: Montgomery Community College, and San Jacinto Community College. The fee for colleges to attend is $50.

Lester reminded members of upcoming regional and national events: the National Conference June 29 - July 3, 2012 in Orlando, FL; and the Texoma Conference November 3-5, 2011 at Oklahoma Baptist University. Greschner added that a National Workshop is scheduled for January 5-8, 2012 in Memphis, TN; this is a joint workshop between NATS and the National Opera Association (NOA).

Givens made a motion to adjourn; Waites seconded. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 4:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted
Debra Greschner
Secretary, Greater Houston Chapter
National Association of Teachers of Singing