Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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 4, 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.

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Choral Audition Information (Returning)

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 2013-2014 choral ensembles. Please read it carefully, and be sure to sign up for an audition time as early as possible.

As you know, Dr. Nance is on sabbatical this year, and we are delighted to welcome Nathan Frank as Visiting Associate Director of Choral Activities. Mr. Frank comes to us from the University of North Texas, where he recently completed doctoral studies in choral conducting and was the conductor of the UNT Women's Chorus. Mr. Frank also holds degrees from Southern Methodist University (Master's in Choral Conducting) and UNT (Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance). Mr. Frank recently moved to the area, and he is excited to meet you in September.

As a reminder, the 2013-2014 choral ensembles at PLU are as follows:
  • Choir of the West rehearses Monday thru Thursday, 3:40-5:10 PM. Conducted by Dr. Galante.
  • University Chorale rehearses Monday thru Thursday, 3:40-5:10 PM. Conducted by Mr. Frank.
  • University Singers meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1:45-3:15 PM. Conducted by Mr. Frank.
  • Men's Chorus rehearses Tuesday and Thursday, 1:45-3:15 PM. Conducted by Dr. Galante.
  • The Chapel Choir meets for rehearsal on Tuesday evenings, 6:00-7:30 PM. Conducted by Dr. Paul Tegels.

CHORAL AUDITIONS
We will be posting sign up lists for auditions in the MBR back hallway (on the choir bulletin board) on Tuesday, September 3. We are having four days of initial auditions this year:
  • Thursday, September 5 (6:00-9:00p)
  • Friday, September 6 (9:30a-12:30p; 1:00-5:00p)
  • Sunday, September 8 (2:00-6:00p)
  • Monday, September 9 [first day of classes] (12:30-5:00p)
Please note there are NO times available on Saturday, September 7. This means we need as many of you as possible to sing for us on Thursday and Friday: we simply will not have enough times available on Sunday and Monday to hear all returning people. First year students have orientation schedules to work around, so please sign up for an early slot.

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 4, 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 Monday, September 9. All returning members of Choir of the West and Chorale participate in the convocation ensemble. The choir will be singing Dale Grotenhuis' Song of Triumph and an a cappella verse of a hymn. The schedule is listed below:
  • Sunday, Sept 8 -- Rehearsal, 7:00-8:00pm
  • Monday, Sept 9 -- Convocation, 9:00am (CALL TBA, likely at 8:00)

RECALL AUDITIONS
Recall lists will be posted by noon on Tuesday, Sept 10, and will run throughout the first week of classes. We'll post our final choir lists late in the afternoon on Friday, September 13. Rehearsals will begin on Monday, Sept 16.

It's going to be a very exciting year, and we are anxious to get started. Please sign up for your audition 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. Galante, Acting Director of Choral Activities
Mr. Frank, Visiting Associate Director of Choral Activities

Choral Audition Information (New Student)

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. Our choral program features six ensembles, and our rehearsal and performance facilities are some of the finest in the country.
This year, Dr. Richard Nance is on sabbatical, and we are delighted to welcome Nathan Frank as Visiting Associate Director of Choral Activities. Mr. Frank comes to us from the University of North Texas, where he recently completed doctoral studies in choral conducting and was the conductor of the UNT Women's Chorus. Mr. Frank also holds degrees from Southern Methodist University (Master's in Choral Conducting) and UNT (Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance).

The 2013-2014 choral ensembles at PLU are as follows:
  • 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. Brian Galante.
  • 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 Mr. Nathan Frank.
  • University Singers, our women’s chorus of 50-60 members from all class ranks, meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1:45-3:15 PMConducted by Mr. Nathan Frank.
  • Men's Chorus, our men’s chorus of 16-24 members from all class ranks, rehearses Tuesday and Thursday, 1:45-3:15 PMConducted by Dr. Brian Galante.
  • Choral Union is a community mixed chorus of approximately 80 members that rehearses Monday evenings, 7:30-9:30 PM. Conducted by Dr. Richard Nance.
  • 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 PMConducted by Dr. Paul Tegels.
All groups, with the exception of the Chapel Choir, require audition. Beginning on Tuesday, September 3, you will be able to sign up for an audition time in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center (signs in the lobby will show you where to go to sign up).  Auditions are held Thursday, September 5 (6:00-9:00p), Friday, September 6 (9:30a-12:30p, 1:00-5:00p), Sunday, September 7 (2:00-6:00p), and Monday, September 8 (12:30-5:00p). We require a six-minute audition, and we try to make it as user-friendly and stress free as possible. The choral faculty (Dr. Galante and Mr. Frank) 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.
After we have heard everyone, we may ask you to come back to sing a second audition, beginning on Tuesday, September 10. These recall auditions last throughout the first week of classes, and choir lists are posted on Friday, September 13. Rehearsals begin the following week.
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.
Our choirs perform both on and off campus, several times each year. All of our groups record Christmas selections for release on one of our compact discs (our last CD, PEACE: A PLU CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION, was released in November 2011; our next album is expected in fall 2013). 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. Galante, Acting Director of Choral Activities
Mr. Frank, Visiting Associate Director of Choral Activities