Some GALA choruses are open to any community member without any audition process. Others have some kind of audition requirement. The decision to audition or not is one that both the board and artistic director need to make based on the mission and focus of the chorus.
The templates below offer many resources for auditions and new member retention.
ChoralNet has fabulous audition resources including how to say no to an auditionee, new member orientation and more!
If you want great singers to audition for your chorus you need to recruit them!
- Hold several open rehearsals and encourage new singers to try out the chorus.
- Offer prizes and incentives to current singers who recruit new auditionees.
- Advertise in your local gay rag, church/synagogue bulletins, in coffee shops and at LGBT events.
- Use Facebook, Grinder and other social media options to spread the word.
- Collect names of interested auditionees at your annual Pride event.
- Keep a database list of singers who are interested in joining you.
- Create an audition packet of information for singers considering an audition with your chorus.
Approximately 4 weeks before auditions email or mail your information packet letter to all potential auditionees from the database. The packet should include a cover letter, general information about the chorus, a season calendar, a map to the audition site, a chorus newsletter and a chorus brochure or flyer.
The audition space should include a comfortable space where new auditionees are greeted by current singers, can peruse concert programs, watch a concert video and get excited about singing in your chorus. Make sure that new auditionees know your chorus requirements in advance (rehearsal expectations, calendar, attendance requirements), and fill out an audition form when they arrive.
The singing audition should be in a private rehearsal space with a strong accompanist. Create a document that offers a standard ranking system including color, intonation, sight-singing, ability, and blend at a minimum (sample below). After hearing several dozen voices it is amazing how little detail you may retain about each voice!
Use these templates and checklists to prepare for your audition process and to welcome new singers.
Some choirs are blessed with the problem of having to say no to singers for a variety of reasons. Perhaps there are too many singers in one section and the chorus needs to be vocally balanced. Perhaps if the chorus gets any larger they won’t fit onto your risers or into the performing venue.
Here are some options:
- Limit types of members you are letting in – only audition for low basses and first sopranos.
- Have a “reserve” list of singers who have passed the audition who are next in line to get into the chorus when space opens up
- Audition fewer times during the year
- Mandate that ALL singers audition each year or every two years
- Cap the membership and stay within this limit.