Choral and Vocal Audition Information
Auditions for the Davidson College Choirs are held during the first week of classes each semester in Prof. Knell's office, Sloan 102. Fall 2021 semester auditions will be held in the afternoon on Tuesday, August 24, Wednesday, August 25, and Thursday, August 26, with limited auditions available by appointment on Monday, August 30. Please sign up via WeJoinIn.
Auditions are 10 minutes in length and are intentionally low-key and relaxed. Most of our members are non-music majors, and there is a place in the Davidson College Choirs for every singer—beginning, intermediate, and advanced.
Are available for audition preparation and are located in the lower level of Sloan. Building access begins when CatCard Services activates your card for the fall semester. Hours are 7:00 a.m.–midnight daily. For more info, see the signs posted on practice room doors.
What to Expect
An audition form will be made available online at the time of your audition. Please bring a phone, tablet, or computer and arrive 10-15 minutes early to complete the form prior to your audition. In your audition, you will have a brief chat with Prof. Knell about your experience and will be asked for/to perform the following:
- An art song, aria, hymn, musical theatre selection, or folk song (1–2 minutes in length) of the singer's choosing. Hymnals will be provided if needed. You may sing something a cappella if you choose. If you don’t have anything prepared, we will work with you; no problem. Prof. Robak, the collaborative pianist for the choral program, will be accompanying you in your auditions. Students who have worked with Prof. Robak may wish to select a piece they’ve studied with him––please let Prof. Robak know in advance if you have a piece you’d like to sing that you’ve worked on with him.
- Vocal exercises to determine range.
- Pitch retention exercises– a short melody that you will be asked to sing back.
- Sight-reading exercises– both pitch and rhythmic exercises will be included.
Those who audition will be notified about the status of their audition via email no later than 9 p.m. on Monday, August 30. Both choirs will have their first meetings on that same Thursday.
Pandemic Safety Measures
Please be advised that pursuant to Davidson College’s policy on vaccination, because singing in choir is considered by Davidson’s COVID task force to be a high-risk activity, all students wishing to sing in choirs at Davidson are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, unless a religious or medical exemption has been filed with the college. Your first dose must have been administered no later than August 15, and proof of vaccination must be on file with the college.
In the audition, singers will be no closer than six feet from Prof. Knell and Mr. Robak. All individuals in the room will be wearing masks––we recommend you select a mask that is large enough to accommodate singing and test the mask while singing before the audition. All provided audition materials will be replaced and all surfaces disinfected between each audition.
When are auditions held?
Auditions are the first week of classes each semester. Please sign up via WeJoinIn, and make note of your audition time. If no slots are available which work for you, please email Prof. Knell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where do auditions take place?
In the Sloan Music Center, room 102. The physical address of the building is 323 Concord Road, Davidson, N.C.
What do I have to do?
Auditions entail you singing a minute or two of a piece of your choice. It could be an art song, aria, hymn, jazz, musical theatre, gospel song, or a folk song/spiritual. Following your solo, you will be asked to sing exercises to help us determine your range, and then you will be taken through a few exercises that test your ear and musical skills. Finally, you will be asked to sight-read a selection and read through a rhythmic exercise, both of which we provide.
Do I have to be a music major to be involved?
Most of our singers are non-music majors. The most important thing that you can bring to your audition is enthusiasm and a willingness to be involved.
Do I have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to sing in choir at Davidson?
On July 23, the COVID Task Force issued new policies about vaccination requirements on campus. Because choir involves singing, a high-risk activity, with many people indoors, the Task Force has determined that students must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to be eligible to participate in choir, unless a religious or medical exemption has been filed with the college.
Will an accompanist be provided?
Yes. Prof. Robak, the collaborative pianist for the choral program, will be accompanying you in your auditions––students who have worked with Prof. Robak may wish to select a piece they’ve studied with him. Additionally, a copy of a hymnal will be provided should you need it. You may sing something a cappella if you wish. If you have nothing prepared, no worries, we’ll work with you.
When do the choirs rehearse?
- Davidson College Chorale rehearses every Tuesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. In addition to regular rehearsals, the section leader will also be appointed to lead a required hour-long sectional rehearsal every week at a mutually agreeable time for your section. The first meeting will be Tuesday, August 31.
- Davidson Singers rehearses every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:10 until 4:50 p.m. The first meeting will be Tuesday, August 31.
- Collegium Musicum and After Hours are student-led and will rehearse at a mutually agreeable time to be determined after a roster has been established.
How frequently do the choirs perform?
We are happy to be able to perform live, in-person concerts again this year. The Davidson College Chorale will perform four concerts in the fall and five concerts in the spring. The Davidson Singers will perform two concerts in the fall and three concerts in the spring.
What kind of singer/participant are you seeking?
The Davidson College Choirs is privileged to have many advanced students (many who are also enrolled in private vocal instruction), but there is also a large number of beginning and intermediate choral singers in our ensembles. Davidson College Choirs is the place for you to learn more about singing, music, teamwork, artistry, and collaborative engagement with your peers. We also have a lot of fun!
Above all, we seek choristers who are committed to musical discipline and artistry that leads to choral excellence. Our rehearsals are fun and engaging, but they are also rigorous––singers are required to be at the top of their game every rehearsal. We learn and perform a lot of music every year, and the professionalism that we bring to each of our performances is a result of a great deal of hard work that requires attendance at all rehearsals and commitment to building excellence and positive esprit de corps.
When will I be notified of the status of my audition?
You will be notified via email no later than 9 p.m. on Monday, August 30.