News and Events

We love to share the latest happenings in our region.

NATS Cal-Western Region is continuously engaging in musical events, competitions, and wonderful achievements.

Find out more below, and stay tuned as updates are posted!


NATSAA Winners


Congratulations to Brooke Lohman-Janz, student of Shigemi Matsumoto, for being judged our Cal-Western Region NATSAA Winner.  The first alternate (on the left) is Marlaina Owens, student of Darryl Taylor, and the second alternate (on the right) is Kristina Tullgren, student of Kimberly James. Other competitors included Sara Frondoni, Nicole Harris, Anzhela Kushnirenko, and Emily Smith.  With the repertoire requirements, it is quite an accomplishment just to compete in NATSAA.  Well done all! 

Thanks to our judges Rob Brandt, Amanda DeMaris and Katie Polit.  Special thanks to Laurinda Nikkel for arranging for us to hold the auditions at San Diego State University, and for the lovely student volunteers who helped the day run smoothly. 

2020 CWR Regional Conference and Auditions

Hello All!

Best wishes to our Cal-Western National Student Auditions competitors at the summer workshop this weekend! 

I have just completed the National Board meetings in Jacksonville, Florida.  More information to come on decisions made there. 


I wanted to let you know that negotiations for our 2020 Conference and Auditions venue are complete and I am happy to announce that they will be held at:

California State University East Bay (in Hayward).  The dates will be January 17-19, 2020.  

We would love to have you and your students join us! Please add these dates to your chapter, studio, district and departmental calendars so you can plan around them.  Just so you know, we will always hold this event on Martin Luther King Day weekend so you can make long term plans as well.   

Watch for additional details regarding:

  1. Guest artist announcement
  2. Call for presentations
  3. Divisions Offered (CCM,      Adult, Children, Youth, Classical and MT.  I believe we are the most      inclusive region in the country)

Wishing you well!

Dr. Ruth Ellis,

CWR Regional Governor

Congratulations to NSA 2019 Semi-Finalists

A hearty congratulations to the 12 singers and their teachers from the Cal-Western Region who have been selected as National Student Audition Semi-Finalists.  Be sure to cheer them on at St. Olaf's!

Camilla Andelin, student of Diane Reich, 7. Lower College/Independent Studio Women

Aliyah Douglas, student of Stephanie Fox, 1. High School Music Theater Women

Isabel Ferguson, student of Monica Williams-McCullough, 3. High School Women

Kelly Kudlik, student of Lori Moran, 1. High School Music Theater Women

Ava Kuntz, student of Kathleen Martin, 2. High School Music Theater Women

Adelaide Naegle, student of Carol Ann Modesitt, 5. Lower College Music Theater Women

Matthew Pittman, student of Nichole Jensen, 2. High School Music Theater Men

Reuben Roberts, student of Albert Lee, 14. Advanced College/Independent Studio Men

Matthew Sink, student of Alfonse Anderson, 12. Upper College/Independenet Studio Men

Ashley Stackhouse, student of Carol Ann Modesitt, 9. Upper College Music Theater Women

Adam Teachout, student of Albert Lee, 14. Advanced College/Independent Studio Men

Riley Thornton, student of Nichole Jensen, 2. High Music Theater Men

2018 NSA Finals

Congratulations again to the Cal-West students who placed in the 2018 NSA finals and their teachers:

National finalists

Category 3 High School Women: 3rd Place: Ava Kuntz, Cal-Western Region, Student of Kathleen Martin

Category 13 Graduate/Advanced Women: 2nd Place: Clarisse Colao, Cal-Western Region, Student of Aubrey Adams-McMillan

National semi-finalists

Category 1- HS MT Women Aria Critchley

Category 2- HS MT Men – Ethan Kelso

Category 3- HS Women-Isabel Ferguson

Category 3- HS Women- Ava Kuntz

Category 3- HS Women- Maya Thorson

Category 5- Lower College MT Women-Ashley Stack House

Category 7- Lower College/Independent Studio Women- Laura Dean

Category 7- Lower College/Independent Studio Women- Ashley Stackhouse

Category 11- Upper College/Independent Studio Women-Casey Dakus

Category 11- Upper College/Independent Studio Women- Claire Robinson

Category 13- Advanced College/Independent Studio Women- Clarisse Colao

Category 14- Upper College/Independent Studio Women- Emzy Burroughs

Category 14- Upper College/Independent Studio Women-Chris Langton

2019 CWR Student Auditions

As you select repertoire with your students, please keep in mind the Regional Auditions and Conference which will take place at University of Nevada Reno January 18-20, 2019.  

The categories offered this year are attached to this document and include the usual NSA offerings as well as youth, CCM, Non-Traditional, Advanced Classical and Adult Avocational.  We hope to have created a place for everyone at the table!  

Registration will open November 1st and close December 1st.  

More details to come.

Welcome Officers

I look forward to continuing my NATS service as the new Regional Governor.  

I am thankful for those who have agreed to serve on my cabinet:  

Brian Manternach, Utah District Governor and The Cal-Western Voice Editor, Stephanie Fox, Arizona District Governor and Auditions Vetting Co-Chair, Monica Williams-McCullough, Nevada District Governor and Regional SNATS Representative, Marisa Atha, Northern California District Governor and CWR Webmaster, Teri Herron, Southern California District Governor and CWR Treasurer. I am likewise grateful for those willing to serve on the auditions committee:  Rachel Velarde, Auditions Co-Chair, Nichole Jensen, Auditions Co-Chair, Cindy Dewey, Tabulation and Vetting Co-Chair. 


Our region had two finalists in the National Student Auditions.  Ava Kuntz, student of Kathleen Martin, took 3rd place in the High School Women category and Clarisse Calao, student of Aubrey Adams-McMillan, took second place in the Graduate/Advanced Women category.  

Additionally, Robyn Frey-Monell was given an Emerging Leader Award by the NATS Foundation and Sven Edward Olbash and Kate Scally received the 2018 Joan Frey Boytim Award for Independent Teachers.   

Keith Colclough, who was chosen to participate in the 2018 Nats Intern program. 

National Convention in Las Vegas

CWR was well-represented at the national convention in Las Vegas by multiple presenters including:

Alexis Davis-Hazell, Lynn Helding, Errik Hood, Albert Lee, Linda Lister, Brian Manternach, and Zipporah Peddle.

SNATS Summit/Poster Paper Session

SNATS Chapter advisors please note we will have a SNATS Summit as well as a poster paper session at the auditions and conference in January, 2019.  

Please encourage your students to apply for funding so they can compete, attend and present.  

If you don’t already have a SNATS chapter in your area, consider starting one!  It is a wonderful chance to mentor the future leaders of our field.

Happy 75th Anniversary NATS

Happy 75th Anniversary!

We will be celebrating this milestone between now and our next national conference in 2020.  

How can your chapter honor this wonderful institution?