Dear Members,

Many years ago I heard a comment on a radio station that has stuck with me.  A pastor declared, “We don’t have an organ in our sanctuary because that’s not what people hear on the radio.”  Fast forward to this season’s America’s Got Talent, when I recently heard the judges rave and saw an audience leap to its feet for Barbara Padilla, the classical soprano who made it to the quarter-finals of the million-dollar contest.  (Whose accomplishments also include “first place winner in NATS competition in 2001 in the advanced adults category” while a student at the University of Houston, according to her website.)   I believe part of why America kept voting for her is precisely because what she sings isn’t what they typically hear on the radio.  So – do we let popular culture influence what we do or do we influence popular culture?  I think as members of NATS, we do both.  We have included a music theatre division in our chapter student auditions, which means we constantly explore and review new shows and songs.    But we are also the ones who often teach that first old Italian song or aria in which a young discovers his or her ‘classical voice’ and a develops new lifelong passion. What a privileged job we have as teachers of singing!

Now, on to the news...

  • Update on the Texoma website contribution My thanks to each of you who responded this important business item, which we recently handled via e-mail.  We had 32 responses (32%), of which 31 were in support of the motion and second for the amount of $1000.00 as a one-time contribution to the Texoma Region to help with costs associated with the new and improved region website.  [The last reported response to an e-mail business was 34%, so participation was consistent.]  Special appreciation to several who assisted me with research and with answers to queries, including Randy Umstead, Patricia Ivey, Robert Best, and Theresa Cieminski.   I know you’ll appreciate the updates when you visit the new and improved website, if you haven’t already.
  • Chapter Dues are due October 1. Dues are $25.00.  Treasurer Randy Umstead has provided the form as a pdf file.
  • New E-mail Address for Molly Johnson To ensure electronic NATS correspondence does not get overlooked or returned due to a full mailbox at my university account, I have set up a discrete e-mail account.  If you would please use the following: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Words of Gratitude My first newsletter would be incomplete without saying a heartfelt thank you to Sam Savage for his service to this chapter, most recently as our president.  Sam, we will miss you and send our best wishes to you in your new position.  Additional thanks to several others who have already been a tremendous help to me as I stepped into fill his vacancy, especially Texoma Region Governor Deborah Williamson, North Texas District Governor Robert Best, and Texoma and DFW Treasurer Randall Umstead, (and my family, who said not a word when several boxes of files and archive information came to live with us).  I look forward to serving the chapter as president.

Molly Johnson, President, Dallas- Ft. Worth Chapter of NATS