Monday, August 24, 2015

Welcome to the 2015-2016 Year!

Audition sign up sheets will be posted on the Choral Bulletin Board in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center by 2:00pm on Tuesday, September 1.

First year students should not schedule a choral audition during mandatory orientation activities. Please read your orientation schedule carefully to avoid any conflicts.

Signing up for an audition is a two-part process:
  1. Schedule an audition time. Auditions are scheduled in six-minute appointments beginning Saturday morning. SCHEDULE THE EARLIEST TIME THAT YOU ARE AVAILABLE. We simply cannot hear everyone sing on Monday. When possible, do not leave large gaps of time in the schedule.
  2. Complete the online registration form, found here.
Don't forget the optional Audition Prep Class with Sheila Bristow on Wednesday, September 2. Drop-in coachings are available from 6:30-8:30pm in the Choir Room. Cost is $5 per student.

See you this weekend! We're looking forward to hearing you sing!

Dr. Richard Nance, Director of Choral Activities
Dr. Brian Galante, Associate Director of Choral Activities


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tuxedo Pricing and Fitting

All men wear tuxedos during our choral performances. Tuxedos are basic black, with a black bow tie and cummerbund, white shirt and black cufflinks and studs.

If you need to purchase a tuxedo, or order additional accessories, Pat Van Haren will be available to take orders and measurements on Thursday, September 17, from 2:45-4:00. Please note that payment must be submitted in order to place an order at that time. An a la carte pricing list is provided below. The total price for the full tuxedo package is $153.24 (sales tax included).

All alterations are completed before delivery.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Audition Information (Returning Students)

Greetings all!

We hope your summer has been a time of relaxation, fun with your family, and personal productivity! This blog provides important information regarding auditions for our 2015-2016 choral ensembles. Please read it carefully, and be sure to sign up for an audition time as early as possible.

The 2015-2016 choral ensembles at PLU are as follows:
  • Choir of the West rehearses Monday thru Thursday, 3:40-5:10 PM. Conducted by Dr. Nance. 
  • University Chorale rehearses Monday thru Thursday, 3:40-5:10 PM. Conducted by Dr. Galante. 
  • University Singers rehearses Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1:45-3:15 PM. Conducted by Dr. Galante. 
  • University Men's Chorus rehearses Tuesday and Thursday, 1:45-3:00 PM. Conducted by Dr. Nance. 
  • Chamber Singers rehearses Tuesday and Thursday, 1:45-2:45 PM. Directed by Dr. Galante. 
  • Choral Union rehearses Monday evenings, 7:30-9:30 PM. Conducted by Dr. Nance. 
  • Chapel Choir rehearses on Tuesday evenings, 6:00-7:30 PM. Conducted by Dr. Tegels.

CHORAL AUDITION INFORMATION
We will be posting sign up lists for auditions in the MBR back hallway (on the choir bulletin board) by Tuesday, September 1. Please be aware that there are only three days of initial auditions this year:
  • Saturday, September 5 (9:30a-12:30p and 1:00p-3:00p, new students only; 3:00p - 5:00p, returning students only) 
  • Sunday, September 6 (2:00p-6:00p, open to all students) 
  • Monday, September 7 (12:30-5:30p, returning students only).
*Note: all returning members of Choir of the West and Chorale will have a Convocation rehearsal on Monday evening, 7:00 - 8:15 pm.

As you can see, there are specific audition blocks assigned to new students and returning students. This is being done to accommodate first-year orientation activities. It is very important that you sign up for the earliest possible time that fits your schedule. We simply will not have enough times available on Monday to hear all returning people.

As in the past, auditions are six minutes; the routine has not changed. We will say a very quick hello, ask you to sing a solo piece (Sheila Bristow will be accompanying), and then finish with three short tonal memory exercises. If we want to hear more of your voice we may also ask for some vocalises. Since we have short audition times, please keep your solo to 2 or 3 minutes. We do want to hear enough to get a sense of how your voice is growing; if your piece is longer than 3 minutes, just pick a section that best shows off your voice. If you have a piece with a da capo, you could choose to omit the da capo, or simply ornament the first time around.

PREPARING FOR YOUR AUDITION
It is very important for you to take your audition seriously! Start working on your piece so you can be in good form when you sing for us (it's easy to get rusty during the summer break!). We also encourage you to NOT choose to sing something from the hymnal. Spots in the choirs are limited and we have difficult choices to make: you need to sing your best for us!

To assist with your audition preparation, Sheila Bristow is offering an Audition Prep Class on Wednesday, September 2, from 6:30-8:30p (drop in hours) in the Choir Room. This is a great chance to check your memory, remember what the accompaniment sounds like, and sing in front of your friends! The cost to participate is $5. For more information, please contact Sheila.

OPENING CONVOCATION
This year's convocation will be held on Tuesday, September 8. All returning members of Choir of the West and Chorale participate in the convocation ensemble. The choir will be singing an anthem and an unaccompanied verse of a hymn. The schedule is listed below:

Monday, Sept 7—Rehearsal, 7:00-8:15pm
Tuesday, Sept 8—Convocation, 9:00am (CALL 7:50 for sound check)

RECALL AUDITIONS
Recall lists will be posted on the choir bulletin board by noon on Tuesday, Sept 8, and will run throughout the first week of classes. We'll post our final choir lists late in the afternoon on Friday, September 11 on this blog. Rehearsals will begin on Monday, Sept 14.

It's going to be a very exciting year, and we are anxious to get started. Highlights of the schedule are listed on this blog! Please register for your audition and sign up for a time at your earliest convenience. Any questions, please do not hesitate to send us an email.

Enjoy these last few days of summer!

All best,
Dr. Richard Nance, Director of Choral Activities
Dr. Brian Galante, Associate Director of Choral Activities


Audition Information (New Students)

Welcome to PLU! We hope you’ll find PLU a wonderful place to live and learn, with outstanding faculty, students, and renowned academic programs. Our music program is no exception: we have the reputation for one of the most outstanding programs in the nation, and our rehearsal and performance facilities are some of the finest in the country.

Student choral ensembles at PLU include:
  • Choir of the West, a mixed chorus of 40-50 members (primarily juniors and seniors), rehearses Monday thru Thursday, 3:40-5:10 PM. Conducted by Dr. Richard Nance.
  • University Chorale, a mixed chorus of 40-50 members (primarily freshmen and sophomores), also rehearses Monday thru Thursday, 3:40-5:10 PM. Conducted by Dr. Brian Galante.
  • University Singers, our women’s chorus of 50-60 members from all class ranks, meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1:45-3:15 PM. Conducted by Dr. Brian Galante.
  • University Men's Chorus, 16-24 members from all class ranks, rehearses Tuesday and Thursday, 1:45-3:00 PM. Conducted by Dr. Richard Nance.
  • Chamber Singers, a select 8-voice ensemble, meets Tuesday and Thursday, 1:45-2:45 PM. Directed by Dr. Brian Galante.
  • The Chapel Choir is comprised of about 30 members and sings regularly for University Chapel. Chapel Choir meets for rehearsal on Tuesday evenings, 6:00-7:30 PM. Conducted by Dr. Paul Tegels.

CHORAL AUDITION INFORMATION
All groups, with the exception of the Chapel Choir, require audition. We will be posting sign up lists for auditions in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center back hallway (on the choir bulletin board) by Tuesday, September 1. Auditions will be held on:
  • Saturday, September 5 (9:30a-12:30p and 1:00p-3:00p, new students only; 3:00p - 5:00p, returning students only) 
  • Sunday, September 6 (2:00p-6:00p, open to all students) 
  • Monday, September 7 (12:30-5:30p, returning students only).
The auditions will take place in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center, room 306.

PREPARING FOR YOUR AUDITION
We require a six-minute audition, and we try to make it as user-friendly and stress free as possible. The choral faculty (Dr. Nance and Dr. Galante) will hear you sing, along with Dr. James Brown, Chair of Vocal Studies. You will be asked to sing a solo piece—either something you may have worked on with a voice teacher or for solo and ensemble when you were in high school, or a simple hymn or carol. A professional accompanist will be provided, and we will have hymnals for you if you need one. Whatever you choose to sing, please be sure to show us the full range and expression of your voice. After the solo piece, we may vocalize you if we want to hear more of your range, and we will ask you to sing a brief series of tonal memory exercises.

After we have heard everyone, we may ask you to come back to sing a second audition, beginning on Tuesday, September 8. These recall auditions last throughout the first week of classes, and choir lists are posted on this blog Friday, September 11. Rehearsals begin the following week.

To assist with your audition preparation, Sheila Bristow, our wonderful pianist, is offering an Audition Prep Class on Wednesday, September 2, from 6:30-8:30p (drop in hours) in the Choir Room. This is a great chance to check your memory, remember what the accompaniment sounds like, and sing in front of your friends! The cost to participate is $5. For more information, please contact Sheila.

VOICE LESSONS
As you are aware, we also have an outstanding studio voice faculty. Regardless of your chosen major, you can take private voice lessons. Many students think they don’t have room for choir and voice in their schedule, but it is relatively easy to move classes around at this time of year to make it possible; your advisor can help with this. You can register for voice lessons in the music office, and if you have any questions about vocal study, please contact Dr. Brown.

Our choirs perform both on and off campus, several times each year. Check out our performance highlights for the coming year here. Opportunities for outstanding choral performances are plentiful at PLU!

We hope that you will audition for one of our ensembles. College is one of the great times in your life, and singing in a high-level choir can bring memories that last forever. You’ll meet great people, sing fantastic music in inspired performances, and share in many unforgettable moments. If we can answer any questions for you, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best wishes for a great year at PLU, and we look forward to seeing you in Choral Auditions!

All best,

Dr. Richard Nance, Director of Choral Activities
Dr. Brian Galante, Associate Director of Choral Activities


Audition Prep Class

For new and returning students...all are invited!

To assist with your audition preparation, Sheila Bristow is offering an audition prep class on Wednesday, September 2, from 6:30-8:30p (drop in hours) in the Choir Room. This is a great chance to check your memory, remember what the accompaniment sounds like, and sing in front of your friends! The cost to participate is $5. For more information, please contact Sheila.


Information for Students Planning to Study Away

A semester of study away is an exciting and important experience offered to students during their time at PLU. We try our best to accommodate students who want to study away and still be involved in choir in the semester before or after their program, but this requires careful planning and clear communication between students and choral faculty.  

Obviously, a year-long commitment from members is the ideal for any ensemble. Choirs grow immensely during the course of an academic year, and group chemistry is an important part of that.  Adding or subtracting personnel also affects the balance and tone color of the choir. This is not to say that a mid-year change in personnel is not possible (especially a minor one), but it's not ideal, and it takes some careful consideration.

Students who are studying away in J-term or the spring semester should sing an audition in the fall. During the audition, let the panel know that you are planning to study away, and we can take that into consideration when we consider rosters for the various choirs. For those studying away in the fall who cannot attend choral auditions, please email Dr. Nance and Dr. Galante before September 1, so we know that you are going to be gone. When you return, we'll hear you sing an audition and find a place appropriate for both you and the ensemble.

Dr. Nance (richard.nance@plu.edu)
Dr. Galante (galante@plu.edu)


Audition Registration Form