It’s that time of year–audition time. And those of us beginning a new concert season or concert cycle look forward to it with both hope and with dread. Hope for new singers to add to our already wonderful ensemble and dread because some wonderful people won’t make it.
Anyone auditioning for the MMS should know I WANT you to make it. I would not take time to hear you if I didn’t. But certain factors come in to play beyond my control and yours.
One of those factors is your voice–I am looking for certain things you may not be able to control, vibrato not withstanding. Another is musicianship, and often it has nothing to do with your training or experience. And the last is attitude, and my instinct about how you would fit in to my group–Divas or Divos need not audition.
In short, the quality of your voice and your ability to control it may be beyond what is controllable. Musicianship CAN be a result of training but many singers have instincts through experience or talent and that is beyond control. But ATTITUDE is within your control.
A good attitude is simply the ability to get along with your fellow singers and the director, being on time for rehearsals and not trying to take over. Being prepared for rehearsals, making good and honest suggestions and wanting the best for the GROUP, not for yourself as a rule, all are part of a good attitude. And not trying to find fault with the director or other singers–LOUDLY–in the middle of rehearsals!
In a chamber choir, it is the attitude and not the musical ability I often am in a quandary over when it comes to making a decision about singers’ auditions. Many directors don’t care about dramas–I do, I want as drama-free a concert cycle as possible–but often it is hard to pick out a person with ‘drama’ as their middle name from an audition.
I began including an interview portion of my auditions after our first concert cycle. I never saw it coming–all of the above–but when I thought about it, a chamber choir magnifies any “diva tendencies” which wouldn’t be noticed in a larger group. And sometimes, those tendencies blot out the good.
I hope you audition and want to sing with us–good people, singing good music and being good to one another!