Valley of the Sun National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition in Musical Theatre

Annual Valley of the Sun National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition in Musical Theatre in partnership with the NSAL Greater Arizona Chapter. Singers compete in categories by age and/or years of study and are adjudicated on vocal and dramatic skills, generally ages 11-25. In addition there is a workshop with a topic determined each year, such as dance, auditioning, acting the song or belting. Singers must be students of and registered by NATS teachers.  First-place winners in each category, performing in a recital which concludes the NATS competition, are adjudicated by NSAL judges to receive a total of $1500 in awards from NSALAZ.  The 2017 competition will be November 4th and 5th at Arizona State University Music Building. For further information see

1st Place: Mario Yniguez

Mario Yniguez is a junior at Mesa Community College majoring in Vocal Performance and will be transferring to ASU next year. He is a composer, arranger, performer, and director. His psychedelic jazz fusion band, Harrison Fjord that he leads, singing and playing guitar, was recently named best new band in Phoenix. He is the director of a young men and women's barbershop chorus called Sounds of the Mouth and regularly acts in musicals. He has won 1st place in the classical and musical theater division of the MCCCD competition and 1st place in the Arizona NATS competition three times.


2nd Place: Lauryn Wallentine

Lauryn Wallentine is a 16 year old sophomore who attends Ironwood Ridge High School in Tucson, AZ.  She has been singing, dancing and performing on stage for 7 years.  She has performed in over 25 musicals, mostly through a youth theatre program called Christian Youth Theater.  Some of her most notable roles have been Young Cosette in Les Miserables, Annie in Annie, Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden, Marian Paroo in The Music Man and she was recently cast as Sally Brown in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.  Lauryn’s passion in life is singing worship with her church’s worship team.  She regularly leads worship in the youth ministry and occasionally in the main services.  She hopes someday to attend Liberty University for their Worship Arts program with an emphasis in Theater.


3rd Place: Cameron Swindler

Cameron Swindler is 16 and a home-educated sophomore. When he was 11, his parents were given the surprising news that he could sing by a church choir director.  Since then he has performed in several local youth theater productions and is currently in rehearsal for the role of Ching Ho at Hale Centre Theatre in Gilbert.  Just this year, he discovered a love of opera and is enjoying the chance to audition in regional vocal competitions.  He is very grateful for the opportunity to sing for the NSAL Greater Arizona Chapter and is honored by the encouragement and support they have shown him.


NSAL National Career Awards Competition in Musical Theatre

NSAL National Career Awards Competition in Musical Theater is held every four years, next in 2020. Adjudication is at the local and national levels. Details and registration information, including competitors’ age range will be available in the Spring of 2019. The national 2016 finals were last held in Phoenix in May 2016.