The dedicated volunteers of the Apollo Chorus strive for world-class artistic quality in every performance. If you are an experienced choral singer looking for a fun and fast-paced musical challenge, we encourage you to audition for membership.
Our next auditions will be held on Monday, September 8 and Wednesday, September 11, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Merit School of Music, 38 S. Peoria, Chicago. For information and to schedule an audition, contact Paul Wagner - firstname.lastname@example.org
All prospective members will sing for an Audition Committee composed of the Music Director, Musicianship Chair, and eight section leaders. The Committee evaluates each singer for tone quality, pitch, blending, and sight-singing ability.
Applicants are encouraged to do a thorough vocal warm-up on their own before arriving at the audition. Sessions last about 10-15 minutes and include the following...
Range and Tone Quality: First, you will be led through a series of vocalization exercises to evaluate your breath support, the extent of your range, and the beauty of your tone. Tips: Practice making an accurate, confident, and warm sound both with and without vibrato.
A Familiar Tune: You will then be asked to sing through one verse of a common song (e.g. "My Country 'Tis of Thee", the Star Spangled Banner, or another piece you are comfortable with). The emphasis here is on phrasing, breath support, and making a pleasant vocal sound. There is no need to prepare specific works for the audition.
Tonal Memory: A short series of notes will be played for you on the piano, and you will be asked to sing them back. Evaluation is based on the accuracy of sequence, rhythm, and pitch.
Chord Exercises: A three-note chord will be played on the piano (all notes at once), and you will be asked to sing back one of the notes. This could be the top, middle, or bottom for each chord. Note that not all chords are simple triads in the audition or in choral music at large. Tip: When practicing this exercise with a piano or computer program, start by "rolling" the chords one-note-at-a-time until you can hear all the tones. Then repeat with all three notes played at once.
Music Theory: Because the Chorus has limited rehearsal time to prepare sophisticated musical works, it is important that all members can read printed notation quickly and accurately. You may be asked to identify the key signature, meter, note names, dynamics, or other details of a score you have not seen before. Tip: Be prepared to read in both treble and bass clefs, regardless of your voice part.
Sight-Singing: Finally, you will be given the score of a short choral piece and the starting pitch of your line. You will be asked to sing your voice part while the other three parts are played along with you on the piano. Rhythmic and pitch accuracy are most important, with words coming in a close second. You may also be asked to sing in a quartet with section leaders filling in the other voice parts; this is to assess your blending, which is very important in choral singing. Tip: Sight-singing seems to be difficult for many prospective members; you can practice in advance using any four-part music that is readily available. If you don't have a piano or keyboard/synthesizer, there are numerous resources online that can play parts.
Our music season runs parallel to the school-year calendar. Rehearsals start after Labor Day and continue on Monday evenings until the December concert. After the holidays, rehearsals resume in early January and continue until the May concert. Special dress rehearsals are held at different times for each major concert.
Members are expected to attend rehearsals regularly and must sing in all major concerts and dress rehearsals. Members are required to pay $100 annual dues as well as purchase music (average $40 per season) and their performance attire (black tuxedos for men, Apollo dresses for women). A black choral performance folder is also required and can be obtained for $20 through the chorus.
Members also have the opportunity to sing at special event performances throughout the year and during the summer, which are not part of Apollo's regular performance schedule. Extra rehearsals are typically required for these additional performances.
The Apollo Chorus of Chicago welcomes new members to carry on its tradition of bringing the finest classical and sacred music to the Chicago area since 1872.