Vocal Ensembles Overview & Auditions

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has several opportunities for singers from across the campus to participate in choral and vocal ensembles. Choral ensembles are open to all students, regardless of major. Choral ensembles range in size and focus. Choral ensembles at VCU 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.

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.

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


Auditions for Fall 2023 choral ensembles will take place in April for current VCU students and again in August for new and incoming students. All choral ensembles are available to all students at VCU.  Non-Music Majors are welcome and encouraged to audition for any of the auditioned choral ensembles. 

Audition Days 

  • Monday, April 24th, 2023, from 12 noon – 2:40pm
  • Tuesday, April 25th, 2023, from 2pm – 4:30pm
  • Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023 from 2-4:30 pm
  • Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023 from 12 noon – 2:40 pm

Audition Location   

  • Recital Hall, James W. Black Music Center.  1015 Grove Ave, Richmond, VA 23284

Audition Sign Up

Sign up for an audition slot.  Please CLICK ON THIS SIGNUP GENIUS LINK and choose a time. 

Audition Procedures (Five-Minutes)

  1. Sing acapella (without accompaniment) a song of your choosing not to exceed one-minute. If you cannot select a song on your own, then select one of the three songs below (links to sheet music and supplemental learning materials are further below on this webpage):
    1. Deep River, by Burleigh
    2. I Attempt from Love’s Sickness, by Purcell  
    3. Whither Must I Wander, by Williams
  2. Completed a basic vocalizing assessment–Vocal Range.
  3. Sight sing a rhythm that we give you at the audition.
  4. Sight sing a melody that we give you at the audition.

Results Following Auditions

You will be placed in a choral ensemble based on your audition. You will be notified via email. Please remember to check your email and plan to attend the class for which you have been selected.

After acceptance into Vox Concordia or Commonwealth Singers, singers may be asked to sight-read a choral piece or sing additional vocal range exercises for appropriate voice part placement within the group.

Course Registration

Once you are placed in an ensemble, you may need to change your schedule. We advise that students register for a choral ensemble as soon as possible, in order to receive communications through Canvas and your VCU email. You do not need to be registered for choir to audition.  However, you will need to enroll once your choral assignment has been decided.


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

Optional Acapella Song Selections for Auditionees

Please remember to check your email for choral ensemble placement, and for possible SECOND ROUND Call-Back Auditions. Please attend the sessions that correspond to the choral ensemble for which you have been placed.

Choral and Vocal Ensemble Descriptions


Choral Arts Society (APPM 359) is a large mixed-voice ensemble bringing the joy of singing to the VCU community & beyond.  This course satisfies a degree requirement for music majors studying voice, and is open to all students at VCU regardless of major or degree focus.

This ensemble prepares and performs a variety of choral literature, including music from multiple world cultures, large traditional choral works, and selections from the rich tradition of classical music and musical theatre. In addition to presenting an end-of-semester formal concert, the chorus often performs the National Anthem for VCU sporting events and can be heard in pop-up concerts throughout VCU and the Richmond region. There is no audition for Choral Arts Society.

Choral Arts Society meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:30-2:50 pm. 


The VCU Commonwealth Singers (APPM 358) is a select choir of mixed voices (SATB) chosen from throughout the university and known for its sensitive and dynamic performances of diverse spectrum of standard and non-traditional choral repertoire.  This ensemble performs in numerous concerts on-and-off campus each semester. Students should have previous choral experience and will be required to audition.  This course satisfies a degree requirement for music majors studying voice, and is open to all students at VCU regardless of major or degree focus.

Commonwealth Singers meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:00-1:15 pm.


Vox Concordia (APPM 378) is a select treble ensemble that performs in numerous concerts on- and off-campus each semester, studying and performing a wide range of musical genres for soprano and alto voice. Vox Concordia is open to all students who sing soprano or alto, regardless of gender identity. Students should have previous choral experience and will be required to audition. This course satisfies a degree requirement for music majors studying voice, and is open to all students at VCU regardless of major or degree focus.

Vox Concordia meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00-3:25 pm.


Vocal Chamber Ensemble (APPM 377) satisfies a degree requirement for music majors studying voice in the performance and music education tracks. Multiple ensembles may emerge as a result of screening in the areas of music reading, timbre and musicianship. Singers study and perform a stylistic mix of predominantly a cappella repertoire, early music to new 21st-century compositions and style. Ensembles are student led and coached weekly by VCU faculty, with an emphasis on self reliance, shared leadership, and creativity. Performances include concerts on campus and special appearances in the region and in local schools, businesses and churches.

Vocal Chamber Ensemble meets Tuesdays from 3:30-4:55 and Thursdays from 3:30-4:25 p.m.