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I was pleased to see the announcement of the Franz-Schubert-Institut in my NATS Bulletin and to know that it is an ongoing success. It has been nineteen years since I was a part of that first group of singers and pianists, and it still remains one of the highlights of my professional career.

The work I did with the splendid faculty at the Institut has been invaluable to me as teacher and artist. I still refer to the marks in my scores from that time, and the knowledge of the poetry and language that I gained there has informed my coaching and singing ever since. The equal importance of the text/language along with the music has always been a priority of mine, but I am continually amazed/dismayed to find that many others in the profession do not treat it so. The goals and curriculum of the Franz-Schubert-Institut make an important contribution to the development of real artists, not just singers. Please give my fondest greetings to those on the faculty who may still remember me --- I have not forgotten them.

Melinda K. Spratlan
Professor of Music at Mount Holyoke College (Mass.)
May 1997

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