How do I try out?
First of all, you need to have a love for the arts, choral music in particular. In short, you have to love to sing. Next you need to schedule an audition as described above. Now, don’t let that scare you. The purpose of the audition is for you to have an opportunity to meet our Artistic Director/Conductor Don McAvoy and for him to evaluate your vocal range and quality. You can ask him questions and he can hear you sing a little. This will help him to decide where you will best fit in to the Chorale. For example, voice part, possible soloist, small ensemble singer, etc. Don’t let the formality of an audition keep you away.
Where do I try out?
The location and time of the audition will be established when you contact us. A BVC member will greet you and help you fill out an audition form. Or, you can download this form, complete it ahead of time and bring it with you. Feel free to ask your greeter for details about the Chorale. Keep in mind, this is an audition survivor who can give you the insider’s view to the BVC. Then you will be introduced to Mr. McAvoy.
What do I need to sing?
You will be asked to vocalize some with the piano to determine the range of your voice. You will also be asked to sing something you have prepared. In the past, singers have used folk songs, familiar hymns, show tunes, arias, etc. Choose something that best showcases your voice and be sure to bring your sheet music with you for our accompanist. It is helpful to have had prior choral experience, but is not required.
After the audition
Finally, you have survived the audition. You must go home and call all of your friends who sing to tell them how great the BVC is and that you want them to join you in singing with the Chorale this season. Then come out to the Brazos Center at 6:30 p.m. January 8, 2018 to register and for the spring’s first rehearsal. Registration cost is $60 per person for dues ($35 for students). You may also need to purchase music, a dress (for women), an optional music folder, etc.
“But I already sing in my church choir.”
That’s fantastic. Many of our members do sing in a church or school choir as well as the BVC. In fact, a recent national poll shows that, of those who sing in at least one chorus (which is nearly 28.5 million Americans), almost 45 percent of those perform with more than one chorus. Choirs are an integral part of almost every worthwhile worship experience and have been for many centuries. But the choral art reaches well beyond the confines of our religious institutions. Being the only major community chorus in the area, we try to perform a wide range of choral literature, from major works with orchestra to adaptations of popular music performed in a relaxed atmosphere. While individuals have their own preferences for musical styles, ideally, participation in the entire spectrum we provide will bring a greater appreciation for more diverse kinds of music.
“But I can’t really sing.”
Really, who says? Yes, there is a wide range of musical ability and preparedness in this community and the Chorale has singers that fall into all of them. While we certainly want to keep improving the quality of the performances we produce, we also want those who can sing and want to be a part of our organization to have that opportunity. If you have had some experience singing in a choir and have had some experience reading music, then you probably are an excellent candidate for the Chorale. Moreover, if you have had vocal training and extensive choral experience, we truly need your leadership abilities to continue to keep this a topnotch choir. Plus, there is the opportunity to sing in the select Chamber Singers with slightly more challenging music and where your skills can be further utilized. If you know you don’t sing at a level that would make you comfortable being a member, but you know someone who does and should be singing with us, please extend that invitation. There is no way for us to make all the personal contacts that we would like to, but we know there are others who would benefit from the experience and should be a part of us. Help us make that possible.
“But I really don’t have time.”
Who does? Everyone’s leisure time is at a premium and we relish every spare moment. The experience of most busy people, however, is that they seem to accomplish more and are happier when they are meaningfully engaged. The beauty of the Chorale is that is only takes one evening (two hours) each week, and four weekends per season. A commitment to the group and regular attendance is essential if the choir is to function as an ensemble and the performances are to be the best possible. However, being a collection of busy adults, we also recognize that sometimes schedule conflicts prevent attendance at every rehearsal. Minimal absences, when necessary, are certainly understood.
“But I’ve never auditioned before.”
Auditions frighten even the most seasoned professional performers. Please know that we make the process as painless as possible. The actual process is very simple and takes very little time. Bring something that you are comfortable singing, preferably with music for piano accompaniment. We will also do some vocalizing to hear your voice and its range, and do a little simple sight reading. Understanding the basic language of music and realizing how the notes on the printed page relate to what you sing is important. It allows us to get to the point of “making music” sooner and helps you be more comfortable in the rehearsal and performance environments. However, this is a skill that even the most educated musician is constantly striving to improve. And, even though it may seem daunting at first, the basic concepts are relatively simple and easy to learn. If that outstanding tenor in your church choir (or even the minister of music) isn’t singing with us, encourage them to get involved with us. If that wonderful soprano that you enjoy hearing on Easter isn’t in the Chorale, let her know that there is indeed room for another soprano in our choir. It is not a matter of numbers, but rather gathering the best this community has to offer, while creating an opportunity for all those who enjoy the art of collective singing. This would be a great season for new singers to get involved. Or, if you already sing with the Chorale and have always considered being a part of the Chamber Singers, call and sign up for an audition. We invite you to join us in enriching our community and, hopefully, find some personal fulfillment along the way.