Audition for Grinnell Singers Fall 2021

July 07, 2021

We will be having auditions for the Grinnell Singers both online and in person this year. Once you’ve read through the material below, please sign up for an audition time.

You’re welcome to audition online before you come to Grinnell. Here are the early-bird online audition times:

  • 7-8 p.m. CDT Wednesday, Aug. 18
  • 4-5 p.m. CDT Thursday, Aug. 19

Shortly before your online appointment, you will receive an invitation via email for a one-on-one Webex video conference meeting with John Rommereim. You don’t need to have the Webex application to use it. If the times listed above don’t work for you, you are welcome to email John Rommereim and set up another time. 

In-Person Auditions Times (Bucksbaum Center for the Arts Room 152):

New Students

  • 3-5 p.m. CDT Monday, Aug. 23
  • 2-3 p.m. CDT Tuesday, Aug. 24

New Students and Returning Students

  • 7-9 p.m. CDT Wednesday, Aug. 25
  • 4-5:30 p.m. CDT Thursday, Aug. 26
  • 7-9 p.m. CDT Thursday, Aug 26

Please note: If you are unable to attend an in-person audition because of COVID restrictions, you are welcome to set up an online meeting at any of the in-person times by emailing John Rommereim.

If you are a new student, please sign up for auditions on Monday or Tuesday. If you can’t attend on Monday or Tuesday, it’s OK to audition Wednesday or Thursday, but it’s helpful to have the new students audition first before the returning students arrive.

Call-Back Auditions (Sebring-Lewis Hall):

  • Saturday, Aug. 28
    • Sopranos 10 a.m. CDT
    • Altos 11 a.m. CDT
    • Basses 1 p.m. CDT
    • Tenors 2 p.m. CDT

For these call-back auditions, we’ll invite people to come in and sing together in various combinations. It’s helpful to have singers there in person, but if there are people who are unable to attend the in-person callback because they are in temporary quarantine, they won’t be penalized for the absence.

Audition Process

During the 10-minute audition, we’ll devote some time to getting to know each other a little, and then we’ll do the following:

  • I'll ask you to sing back short melodies played on the piano (testing tonal memory).
  • We'll test your vocal range using a simple pattern, such as 1–5–4–3–2–1 on “ee” and “ah” vowels. The pattern will move up and down by half steps.
  • For online auditions, you will sing “Hands” by Jocelyn Hagen (PDF, login required), starting at measure 16. For accompaniment, you can use one of these four YouTube videos: soprano, alto, tenor, bass. (Each of the videos has one of the voice parts highlighted). You can play the video on your phone or on your computer and sing over it. For in-person auditions, we'll use "Sing to the Moon" by Laura Mvula (PDF). I’ll play the accompaniment on the piano for in-person auditions. If you don’t have much experience reading vocal music and you find this exercise challenging, please do still audition. Sight-reading skills are very helpful for the ensemble, but they aren’t all-important. If you have a good ear (which we test in the first two segments of the audition), you can still be a strong contributor to the ensemble. If you need accessible versions of these PDFs, contact Luke Saunders
  • Optionally, you may sing a prepared piece up to three minutes long. It is helpful to hear how you sound when you're singing a piece that you know well. Any style is acceptable — whatever allows you to show your musical and vocal personality. Again, this is optional; it is perfectly OK if you don't have a prepared piece. For the in-person auditions, I can play the accompaniment for you on the piano. For online auditions, you can sing unaccompanied or use a recorded accompaniment.

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