'09 NATS Intern Program calls Shorter home
This June, Shorter was home to the 2009 National Association of Teachers of Singing Intern Program. Held June 9-19, the program gave participants a chance to be directly observed and coached by some of the greatest voice teachers in the United States. Master teachers included Carmen Balthrop, from the University of Maryland; Jeannette LoVetri, a private studio teacher from New York City; George Gibson, professor emeritus from Wichita State University; and Scott McCoy, from the Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
“The 2009 NATS Intern Program was a resounding success. It was perhaps the most exciting 10 days for the Shorter College music department in recent memory. Shorter College not only gained positive exposure on a national level, but 24 of our vocal music students were given the opportunity to work with some of the best and most well-known professionals in the field of vocal pedagogy,” said Shorter College assistant professor of music, Dr. Matthew Hoch. A 2006 alumnus of the NATS program, Dr. Hoch served as the on-site coordinator for the event. Dr. Linda Lister, associate professor of music, vocal coordinator and opera director at Shorter College, served as assistant on-site coordinator. She is also an alumna of the program, having been an intern in 1996.
Shorter’s roots run deep in the NATS program as Dr. John Ramsaur, professor emeritus of music at Shorter, was selected as a master teacher for the 2001 NATS Intern Program hosted at the University of Dayton. Dr. Ramsaur taught at Shorter for 50 years along with his wife, Helen. Together, they contributed 92 years of service to the college.
The program featured daily teaching presentations from master voice teachers and culminated with a special recital by Shorter College students who were participants in the 2009 NATS program. “I know that everyone involved feels that they have grown tremendously and had a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Dr. Hoch said. “I am humbled and honored that we were selected as the host institution for this important program.” Former hosts of the program include the University of North Carolina, University of Missouri and the State University of New York.
Students received one-on-one instruction during the 10-day program from young voice teachers selected to be a part of the internship. The experience undoubtedly has made a long-lasting impression on Shorter students.
The program culminated in a concert in Brookes Chapel
“It was really one of the most educational, intensive, wonderful experiences that I have been a part of,” said 2008 Shorter graduate Andy McLeod. “The individual lessons were so wonderfully intense, and I felt like I’ve learned so much just in the few hours I got to spend with the master teachers and interns. I walked away with a new understanding of musicality and performance, and for that I am grateful. I feel that I am a much better musician having been a part of this program.”
The feeling of gratitude didn’t end with the students. Master teacher Dr. George Gibson expressed his appreciation through a letter sent to Dr. Hoch just one day after the NATS program ended. “ I shall remember my experience forever,” Dr. Gibson stated. “You and the staff at Shorter are to be congratulated … It was such a pleasure being in an atmosphere of such collegiality. Everyone seemed to feed off each other.”