Audition Information and Instructions - Spring 2021
We're glad to have you join a vibrant choral community. Our goal is to get everyone into the right voice part and the right choir(s). Auditions will be held online because of COVID-19. We've tried to streamline the process to make it as easy as possible for you.
If you sang last semester and wish to return to the same group(s), there is no need to re-audition. Read the email sent by Dr. Natter and follow those instructions.
If you are new to the program, or wish to participate in a group that you did not sing in last semester, please audition through this process.
Auditions for all choirs are due by Wednesday, Feb. 3rd at 5:00pm.
Even though auditions aren't due until Wednesday, most groups will meet (remotely) during the first week.
If you are interested in Audeamus, you should come to class (Zoom link) on Tuesday, February 2nd at 11:30am.
Concert Choir singers should attend (Zoom link) on Wednesday evening at 7:30.
You are welcome to audition for College Choir or Camerata, but spots are limited in those groups - you should only attend if invited to do so.
Don't delay - get your audition done early!
The audition is a two-step process. This web page will give you the instructions and tools to learn what to do during the audition, and a link at the bottom of this page will take you to the form where you will give information about yourself and record your audition.
To complete the audition you will need a computer with a microphone (a built-in mic is fine for this - no special equipment needed), or you can complete everything on your phone or a tablet. That said, it will likely be easier to learn the music on a computer, with its larger screen. You may wish to have your computer open for the music, but record items on your phone.
For the audition I want to hear your range and tone, and some prepared music. You will make three small recordings, right into your computer/phone.
These are the same materials from auditions in the Fall - this should make it easier for everyone!
Part 1: Row, Row, Row Your Boat
You'll sing two renditions of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," once lower in your range, and once higher in your range. This will show your range, tone quality and tuning.
If you don't happen to know the song, that's OK. Go to the Wikipedia page to learn it. There you will find music and a recording. (There's also a fascinating article about it's orgins and alternate lyrics.)
Some singers may feel that this song is rather basic for an audition, but I can tell a lot about your singing from this song. Here's what I'm looking for.
Show the comfortable extent of your range. The song covers one octave. Choose a starting pitch that shows the lower comfortable octave of your range. Experiment to find your best starting pitch. As a guide, basses should start around G2, tenors near D3, altos near A3, sopranos near D4.
For the second recording, choose a starting pitch that shows the comfortable top octave of your range. As a guide, sopranos should start around G4, altos around D4 or higher, tenors near G3, basses near D3. You're best key may be a little higher or lower. Experiment to find your best key for your voice. The goal here is to show your beautiful, comfortable high range, not to show how high you can make sound. Beauty and comfort of tone is important.
Below is a convenient keyboard to give yourself pitches and experiment with different ranges.
When you perform the audition, you'll sing the song a cappella after giving yourself a starting pitch with the keyboard.
The exercise is to see how well you can sing in tune without accompaniment.
The song is good for that purpose. It begins with an upward scale, then leaps up to the octave, which can be a tuning challenge. Then it arpeggiates downward on "Merrily...", then leaps up a 5th for "Life is but a dream." Can you sing all of those intervals in tune? Do you finish on the same note you started?
Sing with good tone, in good style for the song. Be musical: the song is cheery!
Use the keyboard below to experiment with a good starting pitch for your music.
"C4" = "middle C" on the piano.
(Buttons are there in case your device is skinnier than the keyboard)
Part 2: Prepared Music Exercise
You'll learn your part for a 16-measure passage of the piece below, which is by Henry Purcell, a 17th-century English composer. Once you've learned it well, you'll record it right into the audition form. This time you won't have to sing by yourself. You'll sing along with a recording.
There's a music player above so you can hear the piece. This might be sufficient for you to learn the passage.
If you have access to piano or keyboard, you can use it to learn your part. You can also give yourself a pitch and learn it by sight-reading!
You may also want to use a special program called ChoralWorks to help you learn your individual part. You can play your part by itself by turning off the other voice parts. When you've gained some confidence, turn the other voice parts back on and sing along with them. Finally, turn off your voice part, and sing it with just the other voice parts playing. When you can do that, you're ready!
In more normal times we would do auditions in person, but COVID-19 makes this unsafe. I look forward to seeing and hearing you in person as soon as possible.
There are some advantages to doing auditions in this way. It's all online. You can prepare for and do the audition whenever you want.
You don't have to sing in front of anyone. For some people this will be a huge benefit.
But, it may feel weird to sing by yourself into your phone or computer.
You may have trouble finding enough privacy to feel comfortable, either at home or when you come to school.
You may need to strategize about your technology tools. Computer? (Do I have a mic?) Phone? Computer for practice? Phone for audition? Do I need to print out the music? It's not difficult, but you'll need to think it through.
What if I need help?
Do your best to go through the process I've outlined.
If you continue to struggle, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help you.
We want to make sure that you get into the right choir(s) and the right voice part. The technology should not get in the way. Don't give up: ask for help if you need it.