Baton Rouge Symphony Chorus Auditions


Our chorus is comprised of volunteer singers who work toward a high standard of performance, often with a professional orchestra, to present choral masterpieces in various styles and languages. For this reason, we audition singers who have the necessary vocal skills, music reading, and pitch matching abilities to sing at an advanced level.

Recent works with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra have included Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Brahms’ Nanie, Poulenc’s Gloria, Mozart’s Requiem, Mahler’s Symphony #2, and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky. Also, with the BRSO, we perform the annual Home for the Holidays concerts, including excerpts from Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Durante’s Magnificat, along with traditional carols, hymn arrangements, and secular pops settings. We have been invited to sing major works with the Acadiana Symphony and Chorus in Lafayette. We have also collaborated with Opera Louisiane in programs of opera choruses and musical theater choruses as well as joining annually with other area choirs in a program of Gospel music.

Concerts for the upcoming 2016-2017 season are as follows:                                                          site-pic04

October 22, Saturday, 6:30 PM: Beethoven and Haydn Choruses at Heymann Center, Lafayette (select chamber singers)

November 17, Thursday, 7:30 PM: Zadok the Priest (Coronation anthem) by Handel at River Center

December 2 and 4, Friday, 7:30 PM and Sunday, 3:00 PM: Holiday Concerts at River Center

February (exact date TBA): Gospel Music Concert at Florida Blvd. Baptist Church (semi-chorus)

March 24, Friday, 7:30 PM: Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’ at River Center

Rehearsals are on Monday nights, August 15 – November 28, and January 9 – March 27, from 7:30 – 9:30, at the LSU School of Music. Additional evening rehearsals often precede a concert.

Members of the chorus are expected to sing for the entire season, if possible; a limited number of excused absences are allowed.

Auditions are available by appointment throughout the year, but priority is given to those who audition before the start of each new season. The pre-season audition dates for this season are August 1 – 11, 2016. For more information or to schedule an audition, please contact the Chorusmaster, David Shaler, at 225-924-6269, ext. 233 or at

The audition process is about 10-15 minutes and is done by the chorusmaster who will make it as friendly and encouraging as possible. The goal is to get to know the singer as a person (background, musical training, experience) and to assess vocal skills (pitch, rhythm, range, volume, vibrato, etc.)

You will begin with some warm-up exercises, and then sing a prepared piece that you bring. This can be a hymn, folk song, art song, or aria. This piece is your chance to show your vocal strengths. It does not need to be memorized, but please bring an extra copy for the chorusmaster to read.

The next part of the audition will be to sight-read a few measures of one or two melodic lines. This can be done on a vowel sound, by using scale numbers, or solfege syllables.

Finally, various series of pitches will be played on the piano and you will be asked to sing the tones that were played.

Chorus members pay dues each season. Currently, this is $35. These fees go towards paying the chorusmaster and the professional accompanist as well as the production and publicity fees for our concerts. There are also some extra fees for concerts in which singers purchase their own music scores. Women will need to purchase a uniform black dress (roughly $70. if new); men will need to purchase a tuxedo (variable pricing, depending on the style). Financial assistance is available for those who may need it. Please ask the chorusmaster.

Our chorus is dedicated to making great music together as well as making new friends.

We welcome you to join us!


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