Auditioning for BYU choirs

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    By Robert Roxburgh

    The BYU School of Music claims, “If a student has a desire to sing, there is a place for that student to realize such a goal at BYU.”

    Laura Workman, a freshman from St. George majoring in vocal performance, is a member of the BYU Singers. Workman continues a tradition for her family.

    “I”ve known about the Singers for a long time because I”ve had siblings in it,” Workman said. “I”ve always admired Singers and known that singing with the group is something that I”ve wanted to do.”

    But Workman couldn”t get by on family name alone. An audition is required for all students who have never participated in a BYU select choir or BYU-Idaho Collegiate Singers.

    Auditions happen in three stages.

    Students must first set up a preliminary audition with a graduate student.

    In this audition students are required to sing a well-known hymn and some vocal exercises to determine voice quality and range.

    Sam Gibson, a freshman from Salt Lake City majoring in pre-communications, remembers this phase of the auditions.

    “The judge administering the audition will tell you which choir would be a possibility for you,” Gibson said.

    Students may be considered for more than one choir.

    Students must then sign up for the main audition with the appropriate conductor.

    The graduate student may determine that a student does you not have sufficient experience to sing in one of the select choirs.

    “They”ll tell you that you should sing in the University Chorale,” Gibson said.

    The chorales are mixed choirs intended to give students an opportunity to gain the experience necessary to audition for a select choir.

    Students are then instructed to sign up for the main auditions with BYU Singers conductor, Ronald Staheli, Rosalind Hall, conductor of Concert Choir and Men”s Chorus, or Women”s Chorus conductor, Andrew Crane.

    In this audition candidates will sing a prepared piece of their choice. Tests to evaluate sightreading and tonal memory will be given.

    Students who pass this stage of the audition are called back to yet another audition..

    Callback auditions require students to audition at a particular time. Those students who fail to show up for their specific audition time are immediately disqualified.

    Callbacks will be similar to a regular choir rehearsal. Music from the choir”s repertoire will be taught. Judges will then evaluate students on their ability to learn music, blend, sing in tune, take a risk and be a team player.

    Students who have been a part of a BYU Provo select choir or of BYU Idaho Collegiate Singers do not need to audition. These students may sign up for the main audition for the choir of their choice.

    Students may register for a select choir in advance but are required to drop the class if not selected in the audition.

    All BYU choral auditions for Fall 2003 will take place in August.

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