Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A new chamber choir, you interested?



UPDATE: Sign up for auditions here!

Adding another choir to the Greater Seattle Choral Consortium's phonebook of a list sounds ludicrous, indeed. Seattle feels plenty saturated with all kinds of choirs, specializing in medieval to avant-garde music in various sizes and configurations. One would think there is a choir for every singer no matter their skill or musical taste. Unfortunately, this is not the case and there is a type of singer that I believe is under-served: the very good amateur singer.



I audition singers regularly that are interested in singing with the Byrd Ensemble. I'm impressed with their courage to audition in front of someone they've never met in an unfamiliar place, no doubt with nerves that are preventing them from putting their best foot forward. No matter where they come from, the vast majority of them express a desire to perform at a higher level than they currently do in their respective choirs.

Unfortunately, Byrd Ensemble normally performs with 8-12 singers and the number of interested singers makes each position competitive. Having all this great talent to choose from is great from an artistic standpoint, but perhaps not so much for developing the talent pool for the future. At some point, especially in professional groups, we'll have to replace singers with new talent, and we must be ready for that moment.

When I was in school, I met new musicians and singers all the time, some with whom I still sing with. Now that I'm out of school, I'm no longer in touch with the current prospects. In an effort to get in touch with talented singers interested in professional ensemble singing and develop the talent pool, I would like to start a new chamber choir.

A 16-voice choir (SATB, 4 on each part) seems like the perfect size. It's a small enough group where each singer's contributions are really important and depended on. The group would have an early music focus, but more of an opportunity to explore vocal chamber choral music outside the Renaissance. [Perhaps also a great opportunity to perform music by composers in the group!] The choir would focus on developing the musical skill-set required in professional chamber singing.

I'm trying to gauge interest in this choir to see if it's worth organizing, so if you are interested please sign up below! If you are REALLY interested, please share this post with others that might want to sign up! [And no, this isn't for "young" singers, it's for all ages!].

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Purpose
The chamber choir would simulate a professional environment.
*Limited rehearsals.
*Musical expectations.
*Exposure to basic arts administration
*Possible recording projects

The chamber choir will focus on developing the desirable musical skills in a professional environment.
*Ensemble singing
*Tuning
*Contextual singing
*Singing with a partner

Requirements
*Interested singers will be expected to audition.
*Participants will be expected to attend all concerts and rehearsals (4 per concert)
*Participants will learn all the music.

Compensation
*Participants will not be paid a fee, but instead, will receive a share of revenue from ticket sales after expenses are paid.

Fees
*There are no fees!

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