- This topic has 9 voices and 8 replies.
- October 3, 2016 at 9:38 am #522607nadiaParticipant
First time poster here, nice to meet you all.
I’ve always been dreaming of being a part of a chorus. There are two major non-proffesional (meaning, unpaid but they are like-professional) where I live and I attend classical music concerts weekly, concerts of the national orchestra, thankfully they perform every Friday in the city I live in. The orchestra is obviously a professional one, but there is also an amazing huge Chorus that sort of belongs to them but is not paid. They keep advertising that they’re looking for new members, there’s an open rehearsal next week, they’ve even made a professional video about themselves as a Chorus, encouraging people to come and join them. Apart from the main Chorus, they do something called “Academy Chorus” which is very amateur (I assume), doesn’t require sight-reading etc.
I am a 26 years old female, with *some* musical background, but I’ve never been a part of a chorus and never even had a single singing class. I am not one of those talented singers, I’m definitely around or below average, but I think I can sing in tune and that my range is not bad. Those are just my assumptions, as I never had any professional feedback. I used to play the piano and violin, guitar as a child/teenager, and have now started taking piano classes as an adult. I absolutely adore classical music and choral music in particular.
The thing is, I am very nervous about being auditioned as I really don’t want to embarrass myself in front of everyone, especially the chorus master. I’ve been watching some videos on youtube showing how an audition looks like and I though “I can do it” but then again, maybe it’s just my impression.
Is there any other advice you could give me than “go to an audition and you’ll find out!”? 🙂 Joining a chorus would be a dream come true to me, but I would really like to check my abilities before going to an audition. There is this main amazing Chorus (120 members and they keep looking for new ones) which I don’t think I could join, but then there’s also a smaller one in my city, and the Academy Chorus. (I would be the happiest person in the world if I could join the 120-members one, it’s my favourite one and they perform twice a year with the national orchestra!)
Your advice would be GREATLY appreciated! 🙂
NadiaOctober 5, 2016 at 1:15 am #522633Simon LovelessParticipant
You could start out by joining a non-auditioned choir, use your time there to gauge (and improve) your skills and build your confidence, and then attempt an audition when you think you are ready.
As to whether you are ready for an auditioned choir – it depends on the choir, and what they are looking for – they’ll each have a different skill set in mind, and a different process. Some are looking for trained voices, some prioritise good readers over trained singers whose reading isn’t up to scratch, some just want to know that you can sing in tune and learn a part.October 5, 2016 at 1:15 am #522634Robert MeyerParticipant
I think you should print this post and take it to the director of whichever choir you decide you’d like to join. It is honest and open and would be an excellent introduction.
Go for it!October 5, 2016 at 1:15 am #522638Kayla WerlinParticipant
Nadia, life is short. Please don’t let fear hold you back from trying something you would love to do. (This applies to EVERYTHING, not just singing!) To prepare, try contact the choir in some way and getting info about what the audition will be like. Maybe they can connect you with someone who sings in the choir, who would talk about the experience with you, to help you prepare. DO IT and let us know about how it goes!October 5, 2016 at 1:16 am #522643Lori MavesParticipant
What a wonderful attitude! I would LOVE to have you in my choir. It is very scary to “put your voice out there” because your voice is a part of you, not an instrument that you play. That being said, there might be a few things you want to explore before “putting your self out there”. Perhaps you could ask your piano teacher if he/she does vocie lessons, or, find a voice teacher and take a few lessons. There may be a few fairly easy things to be aware of like voice placement, vowel shaping, projection, ect that you can understand better about your voice when you are in a lesson situation. I think that would give you the confidence to stand up in an audition and sing. Best of luck! Let us know how it all works out!October 5, 2016 at 1:16 am #522644Lark UnderwoodParticipant
Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Go to the “amazing huge Chorus” and see what’s up … the worst that might happen is you’re not accepted, BUT the best is you discover you not only have a voice, but you get to share it with others who are as enthusiastic about music as you are!
In between these two possibilities are other opportunities: you may be told you’re not be ready for this chorus, but you are then told with a little work, you CAN be, OR “The Academy” is the best time you’ve ever had, OR you may realize working behind the scenes for an organization you love is as satisfying as being on stage with them….
None of which you will discover if you do not take the first step, so…. GO, GIRL!!!!
Lark Underwood, (non-sight reading) Alto 2
PCC Chorale, Plant City, FLOctober 5, 2016 at 1:16 am #522645Kirin NielsenParticipant
How wonderful that you are so interested in singing with an accomplished choir! You’re smart to ask what you might need to do to prepare.
I expect that the person listening to you will want to hear your whole range, will listen to how well you sing in tune and/or match pitches sung or played for you, will evaluate your sound quality (including how well you might blend with other singers while contributing your own voice), and will want you to do some sight-singing.
If these skills are new to you, I would like to recommend that you get some choral singing experience in a non-auditioned choir first, though. Independence in learning your part (including reading some music for the first time in rehearsal), being able to listen to other parts simultaneously, and gaining vocal skills are going to be important in preparing to audition for a more challenging ensemble. Perhaps there is a church or community choir that you could join for a year, with your personal goal of developing choral singing skills and working on your sight-reading and blending as part of a group. You might consider taking some voice lessons, if possible. (Ask a conductor to recommend teachers in your area.) Let your teacher know that your goal is to sing well in a choir. Ultimately this preparation will lead to you having greater enjoyment and less frustration in an experienced choir.
Good luck!October 5, 2016 at 1:17 am #522653Anthony DohertyParticipant
Hi Nadia —
Well, let’s look at your qualifications:
You love music
You would like to join a chorus
You have musical experience, which must mean that you read music.
You want to do this.
On that basis, I’d welcome you into any choir or chorus I’ve directed. I’d say go to that open rehearsal. If they’re advertising for more singers, the door is open. A large chorus is more than the sum of its parts (singers). It produces a collective sound into which each individual voice gets caught up. And training in singing technique is part of the routine of every good chorus. The director knows exactly what sound he or she wants, and also knows how to get it.
So go for it! And don’t waste your energy by worrying about whether you’re good enough. You are.
Anthony DohertyOctober 5, 2016 at 1:18 am #522654Bill PaisnerParticipant
I direct a “non-professional” women’s chorus in the sense that no singer gets paid, but we still try to maintain high standards of performance. We do not require sight-reading, but we provide tools to help the singers learn their parts. In your case, you should audition for a chorus that does not require sight-reading as that is a skill that takes quite a bit of experience to acquire. I do mean should! Work on living your dream!
We are auditioned and I try to make the audition as comfortable as possible. The only way to get past an utter fear of auditioning is, not surprisingly, to DO it. Fear is normal – repeated exposure through auditioning is how you learn to live with it. At the audition you will undoubtedly be asked to sing some patterns accompanied by a piano. You should be able to sing any reasonable pitch played for you. Find a musician friend to check you out. You might have to sing a song. Don’t get complicated; they are not looking for soloists at this audition. A children’s song will usually be OK.
One of things I ask an auditioner to do is to sing Happy Birthday, starting on C, unaccompanied. I play the first few notes, then they continue. This is a surprisingly good test of your ability to sing in a wide vocal range. Go to our website, SouthwestWomensChorus.org, and check out the Auditions page for more information about how we do things.
Again, my advice is to pick a chorus that fits your current abilities and then go audition. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Good luck.
Director, Southwest Women’s ChorusOctober 5, 2016 at 5:57 pm #522690nadiaParticipant
Dear Simon, Robert, Kayla, Lori, Lark, Kirin, Anthony and Bill
Thank you ever so much for your fantastic replies. I have never expected such response, what a pleasant surprise! Not only encouraging but FULL of practical advice! What you all said is truly helpful and I greatly appreciate you’ve taken the time to share your experience and advice 🙂 I was actually moved reading some of your posts, like those saying “You’d be welcome to join my chorus”.
Turns out there is a non-auditioned chorus very close to where I live! They rehearse weekly and perform every Sunday 9.30AM. It’s in a church, I think I will go this Sunday to check them out a little bit and most likely I will attend next rehearsal (Thursday evening)! I’m really excited, as I have never sung in a choir but always loved singing (only at home 🙂 ) and, even more, listening to those who sing really beautifully. Choral music is something I loved since I was a teenager (it started with Mozart’s Requiem 🙂 ), I love how powerful it is and how heavenly and intimidating in a way.
Your words are so encouraging that it will definitely be easier to overcome my fears. And trying out that Church Chorus is probably the best way to go.
I shall keep you posted 🙂
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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