Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ten Tips to Ace your Audition


Some choirs are open to all, some audition
Relax, research and ready yourself.

A good audition can get be your ticket to sing in your fave group.

Whether you are booking an audition for the Stairwell Carollers, or Googling "how to audition for a choir", I  want to help you do your best at any choir tryout.

Our choir holds auditions twice a year; mid to late August for the Christmas season and January for the Spring season. Other choirs have their own timelines and requirements for their audition process.

The Stairwell Carollers sing a cappella, so we prefer your sample song is sung live at your audition and is unaccompanied. Other choirs may hold "open" auditions, but we ask that you book by email a time (only 15 minutes) to audition. We don't care what song you decide to sing (O Canada is great), other choirs may ask you to prepare a specific song they have chosen.
Singing outside can be tough on the voice, but fantastic fun!
Every choir is different, but some guidelines will work for all:

1. Know what you Want
Renaissance or Rap, Madrigals or Madonna - there's a choir for every kind of music.
What's your kind?
An auditioned choir can be quite small in size
2. Know what You can Commit To
One night a week or one night a month; complex parts to learn, or well-known songs sung in unison - you are the only one who can decide how much spare time and energy you have. No worries, there is a group out there to fit your needs.
You may be asked to wear costume - and pay for it too
3. Do your Research
Ask others. Google - not just choir, but Complaints choir or Gospel choir. Don't forget to add your location.

Unless you don't mind hopping on a plane to get to each rehearsal.
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - or Ottawa, ILLINOIS USA - oops
 4. Know Thyself
Can't read music? Have a doctorate in Operatic Vocalization? Only play the banjo and hum along at the same time? You should know what you can do and what you can't. Not all choirs are the same and your likes and talents will fit somewhere.
Pierre gazes at listeners on the balcony in the Atrium, National Gallery of Canada
5. Aim High
Don't let fear hold you back. Just because the choir you LOVE is super amazing and you think you aren't good enough, GO FOR IT! You have nothing to lose but fear itself.

Every audition you do makes you better at your next audition.
Choir is a group effort
6. Choose some Choirs
Only audition for one at a time so you can focus on what they want from you. Contact the group and ask what is required. Ask about fees, time, place and frequency of rehearsals, number of concerts in a season and if they travel out of town to sing.

If you don't agree with or like what you hear (rehearsals four times a week, $1000 fee and your first born child), go on to the the next group on your list.
7. Choose your Song
Unless the choir says "just sing anything" (like us, The Stairwell Carollers) try to choose a piece that meshes with that choir's style. Your song sample should also showcase your range and vocal abilities.
Do you know what your vocal range is?
8. Practice
Obvious but often overlooked, practicing your audition song is key. You may be nervous on the day of the audition or be hoarse from cheering your team at the game the day before. Whatever, it will be easier if you are able to sing the song in your sleep.

If you need accompaniment, nail that down now. Never assume that they have a CD player or a pianist on hand. Good questions to ask, BTW.
Focus and breathe
9. Relax and Ready Yourself
Think of the audition as a job interview. Dress appropriately and double check that you have your music before heading out the door. Have a breath mint and bring a water bottle.

Leave home early enough to arrive 5 or 10 minutes before your audition time. Being a little early makes a good first impression and gives you time to calm your mind and get focused.
Choir loft entrance
10. Don't Give Up
If you didn't make it, don't be discouraged. It may have simply been that your voice was not the type they were looking for. It is not an indication that you can't sing well.
Their loss.
Next.

About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie began our a cappella choir in 1977 while he was a music student at the University of Ottawa. The Stairwell Carollers are now ranked alongside the best of Ontario choirs, winning both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions. 

A registered Canadian charity, we help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook sales. Our professional recordings sound beautiful and have excellent reviews. 

Our recordings are available on our website in both CD and MP3 formats. Net proceeds benefit charity
Visit our website

1 comment :

  1. An 11th tip: learn to sing tenor when your target choir is desperately in need of tenors!

    ReplyDelete

Email your questions to - info (at) stairwellcarollers (dot) com.
Thanks,
Holly :)

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