Symphony Chorus issues audition call

Don’t think of your voice as one but one blending with some 120.

And all joining with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra to fill the Baton Rouge River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts with glorious music.

But you can’t do it unless you audition.

“And we’re looking for new members,” Ed Dodd said.

Dodd is a tenor in the Baton Rouge Symphony Chorus, which will conduct auditions Aug. 12-18 at Broadmoor United Methodist Church, 10230 Mollylea Drive. Audition times must be scheduled through Chorusmaster David Shaler.

Current members are not to required to re-audition, but not all members choose to stay with the chorus.

“We’re looking for new members in all positions,” Dodd said. “It would be wonderful if we could get more tenors and basses, but all positions are welcome.”

Dodd received the chorus’ Outstanding Chorus Member of the Year award for the 2012-13 season. His day job is director of TV, Radio and Photography for the LSU Office of Public Affairs.

But his main goal at this time of year is getting the word out about auditions.

The chorus is made up of a little more than 120 members age 18 and older. All singers are amateurs who, as stated in the chorus mission, “work collectively toward a professional standard of performance in a challenging and broad variety of choral musical masterpieces.”

Auditions last about 10 minutes and consist of four parts.

“It’s helpful if a person has rudimentary knowledge of the music,” Dodd said. “The music is challenging, and you have to be able to learn it quickly. So, part of the audition is to see if you can keep up.”

Each singer should prepare a piece of music no longer than 2½ minutes for the first part of the audition. The piece can be a simple hymn or a folk song and should demonstrate the singer’s vocal talent.

In part two, singers will be asked to sing simple vocalise, or warm-ups, that demonstrate range and timbre.

Then comes sight reading in part three. This is where a singer performs an unprepared song by sight. An accompanist will be provided.

Finally, in part four, singers will be asked to produce a series of pitches to determine tonal memory.

Candidates also are required to fill out audition sheets mapping out their previous experience, including individual voice training, instrumental training, choral experience and solo experience.

“We’ll let everyone know if they’ve been chosen soon after the auditions,” Dodd said.

Once the chorus is in place, rehearsals will take place from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays from September through May in the LSU School of Music’s Choir Room. The chorus is scheduled for five performances with the orchestra. It also will perform as Opera Louisiane’s Chorus in CHORUS!, a program of operettas and Broadway standards Feb. 13, 2014, in First Baptist Church of Baton Rouge.

“We don’t want to scare anyone off,” Dodd said. “Come and try out. We even have sort of a mentor program in place where our older members help our younger members come along. It’s a great program.”

But the best part is when all of those voices come together as one.

To schedule an audition, call Shaler at (225) 924-6269, ext.233, or email dashaler@gmail.com.