Vocal Ensembles Overview & Auditions

VCU has several opportunities for singers from across the campus to participate in vocal ensembles. Ensembles are open to all majors (some require an audition), and range in size and focus from a small chamber ensemble to a large symphonic style chorus.  Please contact Dr. Chris Hansen at hansenc3@vcu.edu and Professor Lisa Fusco at fuscolc@vcu.edu 

Choral Arts Society (APPM 359) – Mixed ensemble, no audition required.

Commonwealth Singers (APPM 358) – Mixed ensemble, audition required.

Vox Concordia (APPM 378) – Soprano/Alto ensemble, audition required.

Vocal Chamber Ensemble (APPM 377) – Small ensembles, audition for vocal placement within ensemble only.

If you are looking for information regarding auditions for the Opera, please refer specifically to the Opera Auditions Page.

VCU’s vocal ensembles have gained recognition for their dynamic performances, creative programming, and high level of excellence. Performances take place on the VCU campus, throughout the Richmond region, and beyond.

If you have questions about auditions or registration, please contact Dr. Chris Hansen at hansenc3@vcu.edu and Professor Lisa Fusco at fuscolc@vcu.edu 

AUDITION INFORMATION

  1. Choral Arts Society does not require an audition.
  2. Commonwealth Singers and Vox Concordia require auditions. Audition information is below. 
  3. Vocal Chamber Ensemble admittance is arranged individually with Professor Fusco and will require an audition for placement in small groups.

Please contact please contact Dr. Chris Hansen at hansenc3@vcu.edu and Professor Lisa Fusco at fuscolc@vcu.edu 

AUDITION PROCESS

Auditions take place on the first day of classes of the semester, during the class times for the choral ensembles. Everyone interested in Commonwealth Singers, Vox Concordia, and Vocal Chamber must participate in one of the two available audition days. If you sang in one of the auditioned choirs in Fall 2022, you do not need to re-audition for this spring. These auditions are for new singers who want to join these groups.

Non-Music Majors are welcome to audition for any of the auditioned choral ensembles. Please speak with your academic advisor and also the music advisor Professor Christine Hoffman, or Dr. Hansen or Professor Fusco about scheduling. You may need an Override form, which can be found here. CLICK HERE FOR OVERRIDE FORM

AUDITION DAYS: 

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 from 2-4:30 pm

Wednesday, January 18, 2023 from 12 noon – 2:30 pm

Location –  Recital Hall, James W. Black Music Center

Audition blocks of 30 minutes are available. To sign up for an audition block, please CLICK ON THIS SIGNUP GENIUS and choose your time. 

AUDITION REQUIREMENTS:

  • Sing the first 18 measures of the melody of Deep River in one of multiple keys. Music is available below.
  • Sing a prepared solfege (Do, Re, Mi) exercise. Music is available below.
  • Learn and read a rhythm that we give you at the audition (you will have time to practice it)
  • Some basic vocalizing, so we can hear your range.

FOLLOWING AUDITIONS:

You will be placed in a choral ensemble(s) based on this audition. You will be notified by email before the next class meeting of the specific ensemble(s). Please remember to check your email and plan to attend the class for which you have been selected.

After acceptance into Vox Concordia, singers may be asked to sight-read a choral piece or sing additional vocal range exercises for appropriate voice part placement in the group during the next class meeting.

After acceptance into Vocal Chamber Ensemble, singers will have additional informal auditions to be placed in appropriate small groups during the next class meeting.

COURSE REGISTRATION:

We advise that interested students register for a choral ensemble no later than the week before auditions (January 9, 2023). You will receive communications through Canvas and/or your VCU email regarding excerpts and signups. Once you are placed in an ensemble, we will help you change your registration if needed.

AUDITION MATERIALS

SOLFEGE, SCORES and MUSICAL HELP RECORDINGS

  • SOLFEGE Exercises
    • There are two – please learn both examples. The first is 8 measures; the second is 10 measures. The notes are the same in treble and bass clef. Click HERE for music.
  • SOLO: Deep River, arr. Burleigh – Pick your favorite key! You will sing this with live piano accompaniment and may be asked to sing portions a cappella.
  • HIGH KEY (F Major, Range low C-high A)
    • RECORDING F Major Randye Jones, soprano singing. Click HERE
    • ACCOMPANIMENT: Score on screen, accompaniment only. Click HERE
    • SCORE in Treble Clef: Click HERE
  • MEDIUM KEY (D Major, Range low A-high F#)
    • RECORDING D major Robert McFerrin Baritone singing.  Click HERE
    • ACCOMPANIMENT Score on screen, accompaniment only.  Click HERE
    • SCORE in Treble Clef: Click HERE
    • SCORE in Bass Clef: Click HERE
  • LOW KEY (C Major, Range low G-high E)
    • RECORDING William Warfield, bass, singing.  Click HERE
    • ACCOMPANIMENT Score on screen, accompaniment only.  Click HERE
    • SCORE in Treble Clef: Click HERE
    • SCORE in Bass Clef: Click HERE

Please remember to check your email for choral ensemble placement, and for possible SECOND ROUND Call-Back Auditions. Dates and times for Call-Back Auditions will be communicated following auditions. Please attend the sessions that correspond to the choral ensemble(s) for which you have received call-back invitations.