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Video submission guidelines

Recording Location


You should record your video in the spirit of a live audition or recital performance. You may record in a home, school, church, synagogue, recital hall, rehearsal room, or voice studio with good natural acoustics with or without an audience. You should dress professionally, as you would for a recital or live audition.

Recording Instructions


  • 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.**

    1. **Singers, pianists, and teachers should follow the health guidelines/regulations issued by their institution/venue wherever they are recording.  Therefore, during this pandemic, masks are allowed to be worn in NATS audition videos.  

  • To view a short video of best practices for recording a quality audition video click HERE.

  • 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.

  • The accompanist may use a page turner who is not the singer’s teacher.


Due to the unprecedented nature of the times in which we find ourselves, with growing travel restrictions, school closings (and/or transitions to online instruction), and wide-spread health concerns, we know it will be nearly impossible for many to meet and record videos with live accompanists during this time.  Therefore, during this crisis NATS will allow students to record audition videos using pre-recorded tracks such as found on Appcompanist, Hal Leonard’s Virtual Library, or other similar sources that offer piano-only accompaniments.  YouTube Karaoke Tracks are also acceptable, as long as they are piano only.  NO orchestrated tracks or tracks with other instruments or voices will be acceptable, and would result in disqualification.  It will also be acceptable to use tracks that are recorded by your teacher or your pianist (who know you and your interpretation).  Additionally, in this extreme circumstance, should student and teacher be in the same location, a teacher may accompany a singer in the recording, but the teacher should not be visible in the recording directly or on any reflected surface (mirror, piano surface, etc.).  Please note that this will not be an accepted precedent for future auditions, but is rather an isolated exception necessitated by a highly unusual global crisis.  Because of this, videos will not be required to show the pianist.  All other guidelines outlined in the video submission guidelines at will apply and must be followed.



  • Introduce each selection at the beginning of the video. Introduce yourself by saying: “My Name is__________; “I will sing—Title of Composition---by—Composer—and if appropriate—from---Title of Work”. (The identity of your teacher, school, and region 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.

  • Participants in all categories (classical, musical theatre, spirituals, and CCM) must perform full songs or arias.  16-bar, 32-bar, etc. cuts are not acceptable.


Preparing the YouTube Video



  • Please note that you must select "unlisted" in the Privacy settings found under the broadcasting and Sharing Options section when uploading your video file to YouTube.

  • If you select "private," adjudicators will not be able to access your submission(s). If you select “Public”, you may encounter copyright issues with YouTube.


Video Titles and Notes

  • Each video title should contain the singer’s name and the name of the chapter, district, region, or national audition based on the audition for which you are submitting the video. (i.e. Jane Doe – Eastern Region NATS)  If the same video is used for a different audition, the video title MUST be changed to reflect the new audition.  (i.e. From the Eastern Region to the National Preliminary Round.)

  • In the YouTube “Notes” section, please include the Title, Composer, and Larger Work (if applicable).

  • YouTube Channel Titles & Images must NOT reveal Teacher, School, or Studio affiliations.



  • In the application, provide the web link/address for each video that corresponds to the appropriate repertoire selection – either 3, 4, or 5 total selections, depending on your audition category.

  • Please double check the links you provide for each video before submitting your application.


Invalid Videos


The following video problems would make them invalid.

  • Videos revealing the teacher’s identity, school, or studio affiliation.

  • Videos at the National Level must not reveal a teacher's identity, singer's chapter/district/region, school or studio affiliation.

  • Videos with “private” sharing options (see above).

  • Videos that pan and zoom during performances.

  • Videos using recording equipment that alters the acoustics of the venue or the sound quality of the singer by adding/subtracting reverb or altering the pitches being sung.

  • Videos that are digitally altered.

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