07.09natsThe Wells School of Music’s Voice Program was well represented at this year’s National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) conference. NATS is a bi-annual event that attracts voice teachers, professionals, and students from around the world to share in educational programs, demonstrations, lectures, master classes, and competitions that help celebrate the art of singing. This year’s conference was held virtually from June 24 – 30, 2020.

Three voice students were chosen as semi-finalists for the National Student Auditions, a program of NATS that is an annual adjudication process where singers perform and receive written feedback. Via video audition, the three vocalists from West Chester University were selected as the top 14 in their respective categories:

Michael Bilik - Advanced Men’s Category

Michael Bilik












Sergey Kravets – Advanced Men’s Category

Sergey Kravets







Matthew Quarles – Hall Johnson Spiritual Category

Matthew Quarles









The students first competed in the NATS Regional Auditions, with Kravets and Quarles placing first and Bilik placing second. The three were then invited to submit recordings to compete in the national round. Bilik is earning a master of music in vocal performance, Kravets is a Senior music education major, and Quarles just completed his freshman year as music education major. Karvets and Bilik study with associate professor of voice, Stephen Ng, and Quarles is a student of Mary Ellen Schauber.

Stephen NgAlso at the conference, Stephen Ng participated in the panel discussion “The Ethics of a Profession: Diversity and Inclusivity.” The panel discussed ways to create and sustain access for all in the voice profession through targeted efforts to remove barriers, promote diversity and inclusivity, and ensure a future where all voices are valued, welcomed, and appreciated.

Ng says, “It was my huge honor to be invited as part of this important panel with singers of all diverse backgrounds, including people of color, different culture and believes, and the LGBTQ+ community. Through sharing personal stories and experiences of our own in building our teaching and performance careers, lots of difficult questions were asked and answered, and I learned so much about appreciating differences, and about how important it is for us to work together, and to let ourselves be heard.”

For more information about NATS and the National Student Auditions, please visit:



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