FAQ

What should I prepare for an audition?

You should prepare a song or aria that effectively demonstrates your vocal and musical ability—a folk song, hymn, patriotic song or aria are all fine for volunteer community member auditions. You will most likely perform no more than 16-20 measures. Associate Conductor and Accompanist Thomas Hetrick will accompany you. Please bring two copies of your song or aria to your audition. We advise you not to pick music that tests the limits of your range or vocal technique; rather, bring a work that you can sing confidently and expressively. You should also be prepared to sing a series of exercises to determine the range and color of your voice, and to sight-sing.

Handel Choir’s repertoire for the 2019/2020 season is set. However, opportunities exist for our upcoming 2020/2021 season.

What should I expect in an audition?

Singers audition individually with the artistic director. You will be asked to sing vocal exercises as demonstrated, to further assess voice category and color, and you will sight-read a relatively simple melody and rhythm to demonstrate musicianship skills. Prior instrumental and/or vocal solo or ensemble experience is strongly recommended. Your audition will last approximately eight minutes.

Where does the Choir rehearse?

Handel Choir rehearses at Towson Unitarian Universalist Church, 1710 Dulaney Valley Road, Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland 21093.

What is the rehearsal schedule?

Rehearsals for the new season begin the day after Labor Day, Tuesday September 3, 2019. After that rehearsal, Handel Choir rehearses Monday nights from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m., with four Tuesday night sectional rehearsals per season, and mandatory working and dress rehearsals during the two weeks prior to a subscription concert. In addition to our subscription concert performances, there are several performances in the community.

Choir members are expected to sing in all scheduled appearances. In each of the subscription concert periods (September-December for Messiah and January through early May) a maximum of two absences is permitted. Singers are expected to work on their music individually in between rehearsals, preparing assigned passages and reviewing music that proved challenging during prior rehearsals.

When do rehearsals begin?

Rehearsals for the new season begin the day after Labor Day, Tuesday September 3, 2019. After Messiah performances in December, rehearsals will resume on Monday January 6, 2020.

Who sings in Handel Choir?

Our singers have a wide range of musical backgrounds; several are professional musicians. Singers range in age from early 20s to early 70s, and we come from the Baltimore/DC/Pennsylvania and Western Maryland regions. Handel Choir is a friendly group, and we get to know each other as friends as well as musicians.

Dues and music?

Annual membership dues of $200 are collected at the start of the season or may be paid in two installments in September and the following January. Vocal scores for the season are available to members to purchase at cost. Members are welcome to use scores from their own collection provided the editions are the same. Black music folders are required for concerts. A limited number of folders are available for purchase. Financial aid is available to ensure that all qualified singers are able to participate.

What does Handel Choir wear?

Members are responsible for providing their own concert attire. Men wear a black dinner jacket (tuxedo) with white shirt, black bow tie, black pants, black socks and black dress shoes. Women wear a long sleeved black top, floor length black skirt (hem 1/2 to 1 inch from floor) or dressy, loose fitting, floor length black pants, black hosiery and black dress shoes.

Additional responsibilities

Members support Handel Choir with volunteer work and ticket sales. Each member helps to set up or re-set concert venues before and after performances, publicizes concerts and events to their friends, family and associates, and purchases or sells tickets to subscription concerts. These activities are essential to the health of the organization, and all members are expected to participate.

Sponsors

Handel Choir thanks Preston and Nancy Athey for their sustaining support. Our 2019-2020 season is supported in part by grants from the organizations pictured, the John J. Leidy Foundation and the Harry L. Gladding Foundation, Inc.