Choral Placement Audition Information: FAQs

Who can audition? 

Any UMU student, regardless of major, may complete a choral placement audition. The Concert Choir (MUS 260) rehearses three days each week: Mondays from 5:30 to 6:30 PM; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:15 to 5:45 PM. Cantus Femina (MUS 262) also rehearses three days each week: MWF from 3:00 to 4:05 PM. The Mount Union Alliance Chorale (MUS 261), comprised of students, faculty, staff and members of the community, rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. 

The Concert Choir is the ONLY ensemble that requires a formal audition; however, it is advised that you complete the choral placement process to ensure that you are placed in the appropriate ensemble for your skill level. 

When and where are auditions? 

Auditions will be held Sunday, August 20 through Saturday, August 26 in the office of the Director of Choral Activities (Giese Center for the Performing Arts, Room 189).

Where do I sign up for an audition time?  

There will be an audition sign-up sheet on the office door of the Director of Choral Activities (Giese Center for the Performing Arts, Room 189).

Audition procedure:

The audition is relatively simple and consists of four parts: singing America (“My Country, 'Tis of Thee”); vocalizing; pitch retention; and simple sight-reading.It is not necessary to bring a prepared song.

  • America: Students will be asked to sing the melody without accompaniment in a key appropriate to the student's voice classification. Music will be provided. The director will be listening for voice quality and pitch accuracy
  • Vocalizing: Students will be asked to sing a five-tone scale using various vowels. (Those auditioning may be asked to sing other simple vocalizes.) The director will be listening for range, voice and vowel quality, vocal agility, and pitch accuracy.
  • Pitch retention: Isolated pitches will be played on the piano, and the student will be asked to sing back what he/she hears. The director will be listening for pitch accuracy and the ease with which the student reproduces the pitches. The exercises begin simply (diatonic) and become increasingly more difficult (non-diatonic).
  • Sight-reading: Students will be asked to sight-sing a simple melody unaccompanied. The level of difficulty of the melodies is similar to that of a church hymn or folk song. Students may use their preferred method of sight-singing: neutral syllable (la, la, la); solfège (do, re, mi); numbers (1, 2, 3), etc. The director will be listening for the accuracy of pitches and rhythms and, in general, a demonstration of musical literacy.

Final Note:

Choral placements will be sent via campus email no later than Monday, August 28 at noon.  Depending on your placement, the University Registrar will either add your assigned ensemble to your schedule or change your current ensemble registration (for example from Concert Choir to Cantus Femina or vice versa).   The Concert Choir’s first rehearsal of the academic year will be Monday, August 28 at 5:30 PM; Cantus Femina will begin rehearsals on Monday, August 28 at 3:00 PM; and the Mount Union Alliance Chorale will begin its rehearsals on Tuesday, August 29 at 7:00 PM.

For additional information, please contact:

Dr. Grant William Cook III
Director of Choral Activities
Professor of Music
330.614.5019 (Cell; best during the summer months)
330.823.2181 (Office)

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