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NATS Hall Johnson Spirituals Competition

Portrait of a man
Hall Johnson (1888-1970) American conductor, composer, and arranger

The Hall Johnson Spirituals Competition is happening this fall! It is a bi-annual national competition with tuition grants and cash prizes, including $2,000 for first place. You must sing in the Hall Johnson Spirituals category at the November 4th National Student Auditions: MDDC Chapter to qualify for the regional round.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Age 17-23

  • Post-high school

  • All voice types

  • Must sing three contrasting spirituals from approved repertoire list

Click here for more information and for repertoire list.


From the Sponsor

The purpose of this competition is to restore authenticity to the performance of the classically-arranged Spiritual, one of America’s unique contributions to world culture. Characteristics of Gospel and Jazz, styles that developed later but are far more popular and ubiquitous, have so corrupted Spiritual performance that authentic practice is in danger of being lost. The competition seeks further to promote the truth that Spirituals, like Art Songs, can be successfully performed by all people, not only by the African Americans who created them, and require only the same study that one devotes to any art song or aria. The competition wishes to encourage high excellence in the performance of this genre, and to this end, the Hall Johnson Collection at Rowan University will provide a cash award of $2,000 for the best performance of a Hall Johnson Spiritual at the biennial national convention from 2016–2036.


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