Widely acknowledged as one of the finest choruses in the nation, the Choral Arts Chorus comprises over 160 professional caliber volunteer singers. Ranging from homemakers to judges and high school students to retirees, chorus members represent a variety of backgrounds and interests. United in their love of music, our singers often experience remarkable camaraderie both socially and artistically.
Auditioning for Choral Arts
Choral Arts auditions involve two phases: an online audition application and a live audition. The Artistic Director reviews all applications and hears all live auditions, sometimes in conjunction with the Associate Conductor.
Audition applications may be submitted throughout the year but may be held for review until closer to a live audition date. Live auditions are held each summer in advance of the following season and periodically in the winter based on the needs of the chorus. Please note that auditions for the 2019-2020 season have concluded. Singers are encouraged to submit audition applications through the year for periodic review.
Please contact the Artistic Manager at any time during the year with audition questions. Whitney McColley, Artistic Manager: 202.244.3669 x111; firstname.lastname@example.org
Please read the following information carefully if interested in auditioning for Choral Arts.
There are no dues for singing members of Choral Arts.
Full Members are asked to commit to most, if not all, of the rehearsals and performances designated for the full chorus on the performance schedule.
The Choral Arts Chamber Singers are recruited annually from the full membership and perform in their own series of concerts and special events across the course of the Choral Arts season. Other concerts or events requiring a reduced ensemble of singers can arise during the course of the season, and Full Members are recruited through open solicitation or by individual invitation. Participation in reduced ensemble performances is not a requirement of full membership.
Guest Choristers are qualified singers who may wish to sing with the Chorus in one or more performances during the course of the season, but who are not available and able to commit to the requirements of full membership.
The Artistic Director may invite a guest chorister to sing in a given rehearsal/performance cycle if the need arises. Guest Choristers may request to sing in a given rehearsal/performance cycle if he or she so desires; inclusion is at the discretion of the Artistic Director. There is no guarantee that a guest chorister will have an opportunity to sing with the Chorus during the course of the season.
The Audition Process
Apply for an Audition
Please first submit an audition application. A complete application consists of the following items:
An mp3 recording of an a cappella solo of your choice. If you are accustomed to solo singing, prepare something you know well that shows off your voice. If not, choose something with which you are comfortable (a hymn, folk song, or your voice part from a choral work). Please label this recording as “LastName_FirstName_Solo_Date”
An mp3 recording arpeggios or another vocalization of your choice on “ah,” beginning in the middle of your range. Repeat the exercise, each time a half step higher, until you have reached the upper limit of your useful range. Please announce at the beginning of the recording the note you start on. “LastName_FirstName_Vocalizations_Date”
The Artistic Director reviews audition applications. Applications are most often reviewed in late spring/early summer ahead of summer live auditions. But you may submit an audition application at any point in the year.
Qualified singers will be contacted to schedule a live audition. During live auditions, singers may be asked to demonstrate some or all of the following:
Range: Sing scales and other vocalizations, and possibly a familiar song in several different key signatures.
Pitch perception/tonal memory: Match a series of tones played on the piano and sing tones at intervals above or below a given tone.
Rhythm: Clap or speak printed rhythmic patterns.
Sight-singing: Perform a short passage of music presented to you at the audition.
Ensemble singing: Sing a prepared piece in a quartet with three existing choir members. Music will be provided in advance.
Additionally, singers will be provided a schedule of the full season’s rehearsal and performances and asked to agree to your availability. If you aren’t available for the full season, you can request to audition as a Guest Singer rather than Full Member.
Live auditions are most often held at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church on the grounds of the National Cathedral. Specific location details will be sent to singers ahead of the audition.
Following the live auditions, qualified singers for whom there are openings will be invited to join the Chorus for the current season. Qualified singers for whom there are no openings will be asked to join the Guest Chorister roster for the current season. Guest Choristers may be invited to become full members if vacancies occur during the season, to substitute for a given rehearsal/performance cycle, to augment the Chorus if required, or to join the Chorus for optional performance opportunities.
All chorus members re-audition every one to three years. Re-auditions take place in person.
Important notes about recording your audition segments:
There is no need to make a professional recording, using your smartphone or tablet’s voice recording capability is a great way to record your audition.
The accepted audio file type is .mp3.
You may need to trim your audio, convert the files, or compress the file to a smaller file size. You can do this online for free at one of the following sites: