By-Laws

Article I – Name

As chartered in 1968 by the Executive Committee of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Inc., hereafter called NATS, and subject to its Bylaws, the name of this organization is Puget Sound Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Inc.

Article II – Purposes and Code of Ethics

The Puget Sound Chapter adopts fully the stated mission of NATS. “The mission of NATS is to encourage the highest standards of the vocal art and of ethical principles in the teaching of singing; and to promote vocal education and research at all levels, both for the enrichment of the general public and for the professional advancement of the talented.”  The Puget Sound Chapter subscribes without reservation to the NATS Code of Ethics.

Article III – Membership

All teachers of singing who have been accepted by the National Association into full, associate, affiliate (affiliate members may not vote or hold office at any level), or emeritus membership who reside in or near the geographical area in which the Puget Sound Chapter has been chartered, are immediately eligible for membership in the chapter.  No such member shall be refused membership in the Puget Sound Chapter; however, such chapter membership is not obligatory on the part of the individual.  Any National member in good standing may join the Puget Sound Chapter. Chapter membership will be terminated when the member resigns or is dropped from membership in NATS (Also see Article VII).

Article IV – Officers and Duties

Chapter officers comprising the Board of Directors shall consist of President, Vice- President/President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President in Charge of Adjudications, and Past President. The term of office of President is two years, Vice-President-Elect, and Past President shall be for one year each. That is, the Vice-President /President-Elect serves a one year term, then becomes President for two years and then serves as Past-President for one year.

The terms of Secretary and Treasurer are for two years. Each may be reelected for a second term in office.

The term of Vice-President in Charge of Adjudications is for two years and may be reelected for a second two year term.

There shall also be three At-Large Board Members whose terms shall be for three years.  They shall be elected on an annual rotation basis. Board Members At-Large are required to attend board meetings and discuss and vote on chapter business. Each Board Member At-Large will be responsible for participating in at least one project or event per year.

The President shall preside at all meetings of the chapter and of the Board of Directors, and present such matters as may properly come before the membership. The President shall appoint an Executive Committee of Student Adjudications, which will include the previous Vice-President of Adjudications, a Nominating Committee, a Website Advisory Committee, which will include the current Webmaster, a Financial Advisory Committee chaired by the Past President, a Scholarship committee, which will include the Treasurer, and other committees and chairs as necessary.  Committee terms shall cease at the close of the President’s term. The succeeding President may appoint new committee members or retain all or part of any current committees.  The President shall be responsible for contacting new National members in the Puget Sound area. The President conducts all National NATS business and notifies National, the Regional Governor, and the Webmaster of any change of officers and board members.

The Vice-President/President-Elect, or the Past President shall assist the President in his/her duties and preside at the meetings when the President is absent. The Vice President/ President-Elect, or Past President is responsible for sending a welcome letter, including the by-laws, to all new members.

The Secretary shall keep accurate minutes of all meetings and conduct necessary correspondence.  The Secretary is responsible for distributing Board of Directors meeting minutes to the Board and Chapter meeting minutes to the chapter members within two weeks of each meeting. Unless another chapter member is designated for this task, the Secretary will submit chapter events on an on-going basis to the national office at www.nats.org.

The Treasurer shall keep an accurate account of the finances of the chapter. The Treasurer shall receive payments of dues from National, notify delinquent members that they have been dropped from membership on such further date as the Board shall determine, and pay all approved bills of the chapter. The Treasurer shall present financial reports at Board of Directors meetings and at chapter meetings. Upon receipt of new member’s dues, the Treasurer will inform the President of the new member.

The Vice-President in Charge of Adjudications shall be responsible for the Student Adjudications held each year and shall select members from the chapter to assist.  The Vice-President in Charge of Adjudications and the Executive Committee of Student Adjudications shall make decisions of procedure and content.  All decisions shall be presented to the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors shall outline programs and activities of the chapter and make recommendations for approval of the membership at regularly scheduled chapter meetings.  The Board of Directors shall manage the affairs of the chapter during the interim between regularly scheduled chapter meetings. The Board of Directors shall be authorized to fill any board vacancies that may occur unexpectedly between regularly scheduled elections. Such officers or board members shall complete the term of the said office.  Every board member must participate in at least one project or event per year.

Any administrative officer, whether elected or appointed, shall cease to hold office upon termination of his/her membership in the National Association. Any elected officer may be removed from office, upon due cause, by a majority vote of the chapter membership.

Article V – Meetings

There shall be at least two meetings of the chapter each year.  Announcement of meetings with proposed agenda and program shall be given to the chapter members at least twenty one days prior to the date of each meeting. Chapter meetings will be held at times and places convenient to the membership and at venues that are conducive to the type of meetings planned. Chapter meetings may be called by the President and/or Board of Directors or by any responsible segment of the membership, provided in the latter instance that the chapter officers and the remainder of the chapter membership are notified at least twenty one days in advance of such a meeting.

Article VI – Elections and Quorum

Elections shall be held annually in the spring. The nominating committee will provide a slate of nominees for the offices named above. The agenda and slate of nominees including a space for write-in votes will be sent to the chapter members at least twenty one days prior to the election. A ballot will also be posted on the chapter website and available for downloading. Members will be responsible for returning ballots back to the designated NATS board member. All ballots must arrive by the voting deadline. Late ballots will not be counted.

Officers elected will take office at once, serving until their term expires. (See article IV for terms of the officers.)

A quorum will consist of one-third of the active membership. At any regular meeting, each full, associate, and emeritus member in good standing shall be entitled to vote in person or by written proxy upon any motion or question properly brought before the chapter.

Article VII – Dues and Assessments

Dues are payable annually by February 1st, in such an amount as may be suggested by the Board of Directors and voted on by the chapter membership.  Notices of non-payment of dues shall be sent to delinquent members on February 15th of each year.  If any remain unpaid by March 1st of that year, said chapter membership shall automatically cease. Assessments over and above the annual dues may be made for special events necessitating unusual expenditures. Dues must be paid through the National website and may be attached to the National dues payments.

Article VIII – Program and Procedures

The program of the chapter may include professional, educational, promotional and social activities at the discretion of its officers and members, so long as such activities are consistent with the NATS Code of Ethics stated in Article II.

Business meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order.

Article IX – Amendments

With the exception of Articles I, II, and III, which may not be amended or revoked, the Bylaws of this chapter may be repealed or amended, or new Bylaws adopted, by a majority of the chapter membership voting in person, by written proxy, or by mail, provided that such amendments have been announced to the membership at least twenty one days in advance of the voting date. With the consent of a majority of the active members at a regularly scheduled meeting, the ruling regarding advance notice of voting on amendments may be suspended in order to expedite needed action on repealing, amending or making new Bylaws.

Approved 5/17/87, Amended 5/05, Amended 6/2015