2016 Audition Information

Choir Auditions for 2016-2017

Students who will be joining Lawrence University in the Fall will have New Student Auditions on September 8-9, 2016 in the Conservatory West Offices.


Who can audition? 

Anyone!  Ensemble members in our four choirs represent all academic areas and involve a variety of domestic and international students.  There is an ensemble that will be the perfect fit for you.

Concert Choir and Cantala Women’s Choir
• challenging and rewarding literature from a variety of periods and cultures
• superb singers from across the United States
• nationally recognized excellence in choral performance
Mondays/Wednesdays 3:15-4:15, Tuesdays/Thursdays 4:35-5:35

Viking Chorale
• variety of literature including performance of a choral masterwork with orchestra
• No experience required, no formal audition needed.  High level of music-making, but open to anyone.
Tuesdays/Thursdays 5:45-6:45

Hybrid Ensemble
• mixed, small ensemble comprised of 8-16 singers with rhythm section
• wide variety of musical styles (jazz, early music, world music, original compositions)
Tuesdays/Thursdays 3:10-4:20

Do all the choirs have the same audition?

Concert Choir and Cantala have a full ‘advanced audition’ procedure, as described below.  All incoming vocal performance and choral music education majors are expected to prepare for this audition, and any incoming student interested in singing with an advanced ensemble is welcome to prepare this. You do not have to be in the Conservatory to be in these ensembles.

Viking Chorale doesn’t have a formal audition, but rather a brief meeting with the professors to get to know you and to confirm your best vocal range.

Hybrid Ensemble has an audition specific to jazz singing and is run by Dr. Swan – please see below for the Hybrid audition materials. 

Where do I sign up for an audition?

New students, click here

     Returning students, click here

For Hybrid Ensemble, please email Dr. Swan at phillip.a.swan@lawrence.edu


If you are auditioning for our advanced choirs, here's a quick guide to the process:
1. Please see this rubric so you know what we're listening for! Choir Audition Rubric 2016

2. Vocalizations : We’ll begin with vocalizations throughout your range. We’re listening to see both the upper and lower extensions of your range, but equally importantly, how comfortably you move through your voice and where your voice seems to lie most happily.

3. Tessitura : We’ll ask you to sing “My Country, 'Tis of Thee” in a variety of keys. We are looking to confirm our impressions of your ideal voice-range in the choral setting.

4. Preparation: 2016-17 Choral Excerpt Please be prepared to sing the selection on your voice-part. We will establish the key and give you your starting note, but you will sing it unaccompanied.  Please learn measures 17-34: Grave tempo: quarter-note=60; Allegro tempo: quarter-note=120.

5. Tonal recall: We will play a series of four or five notes, and then ask you to sing them back on [la]. We will continue with progressively more difficult patterns of four and five notes. This gives us a chance to assess your listening/hearing skills.
6. Rhythmic Reading: We will ask you to clap out a given line of music, and then continue with progressively more difficult passages.
7. Sight-singing: We will ask you to sing a given line of music in whatever way works best for you – whether that is Solfege or ‘la la la’ or something else is entirely your choice. We will continue with progressively more difficult passages.

[If you are auditioning for Viking Chorale, just bring yourself!]

Required Concert Attire

WOMEN (Cantala, Concert Choir)

  • black, Aspen dress (see info below)
  • black nylons
  • appropriate black undergarments for formal wear
  • black, close-toed dress shoes (comfortable, heel not too high, and no sandals or casual shoes)

Women participating in Concert Choir or Cantala will need to purchase the “Aspen” dress from Stage Accents.

Just in case you have any difficulty with the above link, their web address is: www.stageaccents.com. Click on “Women’s Formal.” Part way down the page is the picture of the Aspen dress. Click on the dress/description to go to the page with the dress description. Their direct telephone number is 1-800-631-1611.
Following is the information you will need:

Dress: Black Aspen Dress, order #8605B
Lawrence University Customer Number: S54901
Stage Accents will accept check or money order but credit card is preferred. Please be very careful when determining the size to order since there will be a restocking fee for returns.

PLEASE NOTE: Hem length is 1/2" off the floor with your dress shoes on. The hem must to be completely finished (with all extra fabric cut off, etc). The bottom of the dress should look exactly the same as it did before the alterations, except shorter, and the top shouldn't look any different at all!

MEN (Concert Choir)

Tuxedo required with the following specifications:

  • traditional jacket (traditional jacket length, not double-breasted and not tails)
  • white, pleated, wing-tip collar shirt
  • black bowtie (with neck band)
  • black vest
  • black studs and cufflinks
  • black socks
  • black dress shoes

Online: Stage Accents (The “Premier Tuxedo Ensemble” is available for the bargain price of $105. However, you may wish to "upgrade" to a wool-blend ensemble for a nicer look and feel.) Stage Accents Homepage: www.stageaccents.com.

Appleton Stores:

Gingiss Formalwear: Fox River Mall (920-830-3677)
DuBois Formalwear: Fox River Mall (920-738-0166)
The Formal Event: 2415 North Richmond (920-730-8321)
Men’s Wearhouse: 4301 West Wisconsin Ave #208 – by the Fox River Mall (920-830-3677)

WOMEN & MEN (Viking Chorale)

Please wear tasteful, modest clothes that are black. Some examples: a dress with shoulders, a hemline well below the knees, and a relatively high neckline; black pants, white button-down shirt, black suit coat; black tuxedo with white tux shirt, black cummerbund, and bow-tie; black slacks, black blouse/sweater.

All students should be wearing closed-toed black dress shoes, not flip flops. Black socks or nylons go with black shoes.

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