What should I prepare for an audition?

Please bring one solo selection of your choosing, whether an aria, art song, folk song, hymn, or patriotic anthem. You will most likely perform only a brief portion of the work. We advise that 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. Please provide two copies of your music; one for the director, and one for the accompanist. You should also be prepared to sing a series of exercises to determine the range and color of your voice, as well as ear training and sight-singing exercises.

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?

Rehearsal location – TBD

What is the rehearsal schedule?

Rehearsals for the new season begin the Monday after Labor Day. 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 Monday after Labor Day. After Messiah performances in December, rehearsals will resume on the first Monday of the new year.

Who sings in Handel Choir?

Our semi-professional 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.


Handel Choir thanks Preston and Nancy Athey for their sustaining support. Our 2021-2022 season is supported in part by grants from the organizations pictured, the John J. Leidy Foundation and the Harry L. Gladding Foundation, Inc.

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