Singer Auditions for 2017 – 2018

The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh is the chorus of choice of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and as such we hold ourselves to the highest musical standards. All members are expected to be able to read music and sing expressively, in tune, and with a tone quality appropriate to classical choral music. If you are an experienced choral singer we encourage you to audition!

The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh traditionally holds auditions in the spring and fall.  Please review the audition criteria below, and contact Chorus Manager MaryColleen Seip via E-mail (mcseip@themendelssohn.org) or by phone (724-263-5259) to set up an appointment.

There are two categories of membership, Volunteer and Professional Core. All members are expected to prepare their music before each rehearsal.

  • All members of the Mendelssohn Choir audition annually.
  • Auditions are held every May for the following season. Occasionally additional auditions are held in August and at other times during the season.
  • Members of the Mendelssohn Choir are expected to sing the full complement of concerts in any given season. A full list of concerts for the upcoming season will be available at your audition appointment.
  • An accompanist will be provided. Please bring a legible copy of your music for the pianist.
  • Call MaryColleen Seip at 724-263-5259 for an appointment and further information.

You will be asked to:

  1. Sing one solo in any language (5 minute maximum length), preferably from the oratorio, art song, or opera repertoire. Memorization is not required, though your ease and expression will be directly related to the depth of your preparation. Choose something you’re comfortable with and that you enjoy singing—don’t try to learn something new that’s “impressive.” Your solo selection should be in a 3-ring binder for our accompanist.
  2. Vocalize (to show range and intonation)
  3. Sight-read a choral excerpt with accompaniment
  4. Sing chromatic and/or whole tone scales
  5. Sing a prepared excerpt from standard choral repertoire:

Mozart K317, Credo excerpt

Singers interested in auditioning for the professional core are asked to submit a resumé before scheduling an audition. Headshots are not needed.

If invited to audition, new auditionees for the Core will:

  1. Sing 2 solos in contrasting languages, styles, and tempi (maximum total length 12 minutes, memorization is not required, you may only be asked to sing a portion of the second piece). Your solos should be in a 3-ring binder for our accompanist.
  2. Vocalize (to show range and intonation)
  3. Sight-read a choral excerpt with accompaniment
  4. Sing chromatic and/or whole tone scales
  5. Sing major/minor/diminished/augmented triads
  6. Perform tonal memory exercises (sing/echo short phrases played on the piano)
  7. Take a short written music theory exam
  8. Read aloud short texts in Latin, German and French
  9. Sing 3 excerpts from standard choral repertoire:

Mozart K317, Credo excerpt

Brahms Requiem
Movement 7
Soprano: m. 1-34
Alto: m. 48-74
Tenor: m. 102-127
Bass: m. 1-34

Handel’s Messiah
And He Shall Purify, quarter note = 104
Soprano: m. 43-end
Alto: p. 37-38, p. 44-end
Tenor: p. 42-end
Bass: p. 36-40

If you have sung as a Core member in the 2015-16 season, please prepare:

  1. Sing a portion of 2 solos in contrasting languages. (maximum length 8 minutes, memorization is not required). Your solos should be in a 3-ring binder for our accompanist.
  2. Vocalize (to show range and intonation)
  3. Sight-read a choral excerpt with accompaniment
  4. Sing chromatic and/or whole tone scales
  5. Sing major/minor/diminished/augmented triads
  6. Sing 3 excerpts from standard choral repertoire:

Mozart K317, Credo excerpt

Brahms Requiem
Movement 7
Soprano: m. 1-34
Alto: m. 48-74
Tenor: m. 102-127
Bass: m. 1-34

Handel’s Messiah
And He Shall Purify, quarter note = 104
Soprano: m. 43-end
Alto: p. 37-38, p. 44-end
Tenor: p. 42-end
Bass: p. 36-40