Singer Auditions for 2020-2021

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!

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

The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh will hold volunteer and professional core auditions during the summer of 2020.  Professional core auditions also will be scheduled during the summer of 2020.  An accompanist will be provided.  Please bring your music in a book or a three-ring binder.  NO LOOSE SHEETS!

Please review the audition criteria below, and contact Chorus Manager MaryColleen Seip via E-mail ( or by phone (724-263-5259) to set up an appointment.

All Singers:

  • One song or aria – must be in foreign language (please limit to under 5 minutes – may do an excerpt of larger piece.
  • Sing prepared excerpts (Click for MCP 2019-2020 Audition Excerpts)
    • Singer will be graded on overall preparedness of notes and rhythms and quality of voice.
    • Special attention will be paid to the singer’s accurate performance of the edited markings that have been added to the score.

Core and Volunteer Singers:

  • perform a short sight reading excerpt.

All Singers will be asked to do the following exercises:

(Do-Mi-Sol-Mi-Do) singer chooses vowel

  • Sopranos and Tenors start in key of F and go up to key of E Flat (high note is B Flat)
  • Altos and Basses start in key of D and go up to key of C major (high note is G)
    • Singers will perform exercise twice:
      • Legato and slowly (mezzo piano)
      • staccato and quickly (mezzo forte)
Altos and Basses will be asked to demonstrate lower register

(Sol-Fa-Mi-Re-Do) singer chooses vowel.

  • Start in A major and descend as far as you can go
Singer holds one note (listed below) for as long as possible

  • Soprano/Tenor – F natural (top of Staff), Alto/Bass – C natural (middle of staff)
  • start piano and crescendo to forte and back to piano.
  • Singer will perform the note twice
    • with vibrato
    • without vibrato
Pitch recall exercise

  • Pianist will play a series of notes on the piano.
  • Auditionees sings notes back on “la,”
    • Sing in the same tempo, articulation, and dynamic of the piano

For a few words of wisdom on being a Mendelsinger, and auditioning to be a Mendelsinger, watch our late Director Emeritus Robert Page talk about choral singing.