Choral Department

Ensembles & Audition Info

Ensembles: Audition Information


2017-2018 Choral Placement Audition Information

Welcome to the Jacobs School of Music 2017 – 2018 academic year!  The Choral Department hopes you have a great year of study and music making.  This page describes the audition process for placement in both concert choirs and opera choruses.

Information regarding Singing Hoosiers can be found at

Details about the concert choirs and opera choruses, including their meeting times, follow at the bottom of the page.

Who needs a choral placement audition?

Anyone who needs or wishes to sing in one of the concert choirs or opera choruses.  These groups earn MUS-X70 credit.

X70 is required of the following students:

-        all voice majors except:

  • doctoral students
  • master’s degree students who have successfully completed four semesters of fall and spring X70 (summer enrollment does not count towards the ensemble requirement)

-        all first year and second year undergraduate piano majors

-        junior and senior piano majors who are not registered for MUS-X2

-        master’s degree choral conductors

X70 also fills the major ensemble requirement for students majoring in organ, composition, guitar, music history, music theory, orchestra conducting, 2nd year master’s degree in piano, and instrumentalists who are unable to register for MUS-X40 due to injury.  If X40 is the typical requirement for your degree, please get approval from Tom Wieligman, your teacher, and the Music Graduate Office to use X70 as a substitute.

Please see the Jacobs School of Music Bulletin for the specific requirements of your degree, it supersedes any information provided here.

How do I sign up to audition for the concert choirs, opera choruses or the Conductors Chorus?

IF YOU ARE ALREADY REGISTERED FOR MUS-X70, logon to Canvas and select FA17 UNIVERSITY CHORAL ENSEMBLES: 3692 from the Courses icon drop down menu. Next, click the “Calendar” button located on the left-hand navigation bar, then click on “Scheduler” at the upper right side of the page and follow “Choral Placement Auditions Fall 2017” to the schedule and select one of the available audition times. Once you have selected your audition time, return to the UNIVERSITY CHORAL ENSEMBLES: 3692 page to fill out the Choral Audition Placement Form. You can find the form by clicking the Quizzes button on the left navigation bar.

IF YOU ARE NOT CURRENTLY REGISTERED FOR MUS-X 70, use the following link to access the audition sign up page and follow the instructions in the previous paragraph to sign up for an audition time. NOTE: this link does not register you for MUS – X 70 but simply allows you to sign up for an audition time.

Slots fill up quickly.  If there are no openings please check back, we will add times as the schedule fills.

When are auditions held?

Wednesday August 16, 10:30am-6:30pm in Ford Hall

Thursday August 17: 10am-7pm in Ford Hall

Friday August 18: 10am-6pm in Ford Hall

Saturday August 19: 10am-5pm in Ford Hall

-        These are not drop-in auditions, please sign up for a specific audition time.

-        Schedule your audition as early in the week as possible.  If you plan to audition for an IU Opera role, singing your choral audition as early as possible will allow you more time to concentrate on your opera audition.

What if I don’t get back to Bloomington until after August 19?

Students who do not return to Bloomington until Aug. 20 may schedule an audition for Monday, Aug. 21.  These students will not be eligible for the first opera chorus.  Monday auditions are only for those students who are not in Bloomington the previous week. No auditions will be scheduled after Tuesday, August 22. 

How do I audition?

The audition process is simple. You will sing a song, echo pitches played at the piano, and sight read short melodic and rhythmic exercises.  Your song may be in any style or language—art songs, folk songs and hymns are all acceptable.  No arias please, unless they are from a Baroque opera or choral work. Your audition piece does not need to be memorized.  We will cut you off if your song is too long or if we are running behind the schedule.  This is simply a reflection of our time restraints.  Choose something you are comfortable singing, not something to impress the committee. 

Will there be a pianist provided?

Yes.  Remember to bring a copy of your music for the accompanist, 2 copies if you do not have the piece memorized. The pianist will be sight reading, please choose your repertoire accordingly (no Erlkönig).

What if I don’t have a solo?

No worries, we will provide a commonly known piece of music for you to sing.  As an even easier alternative, we can ask you to vocalize in order to determine your voice type and range. 

How long is the audition?

The entire process will last about seven minutes.

Do I need to audition separately for the opera choruses and the concert choirs?

No, one audition will suffice to be considered for all concert choirs and opera choruses. It also covers the paid Conductors Chorus (non-credit), see below. 

What happens next?

All rosters and call back information will be posted outside MA051 and on Canvas on the first day of classes. 

Here are posting and first rehearsal dates.


Mon., Aug. 21, ensembles that require call back auditions will post lists & instructions outside MA051.

Tues., Aug. 22, University Singers and NOTUS call backs will take place, 2:30-3:50

Wed., Aug. 23, final ensemble assignments will be posted with instructions.

Wed., Aug. 23, first rehearsal for Conductors Chorus concert on Sat. Sept. 30.

Final rosters and first rehearsal dates and all instructions will be posted outside the Choral Office, MA051, by the evening of Wednesday August 23rd

Can't find your name on a choral roster once they are posted?

Don't worry, we frequently update the rosters throughout the 1st week of classes.  If your name is missing when the rosters are posted on Wed., August 23, please notify David Villanueva in MA051, and keep checking the lists outside the choral office until your assignment is posted.

What is the Conductors Chorus?

The Conductors Chorus is a paid chorus that sings for choral conducting graduate student recitals.

The group rehearses Wednesdays and Fridays from 2:30 – 3:50. This ensemble does NOT fulfill X70 requirements. The compensation, established by the Jacobs School for all paid student ensembles, is $12 an hour.  Each Conductors Chorus concert (two per semester) will have a separate roster.  It therefore is possible to be selected for as few as one or as many as all four of these recitals.  Rosters will be posted sometime after the first week of class.

What are the concert choirs?

The 2017-18 concert choirs are University Singers, NOTUS, University Chorale & Oratorio Chorus. 

In the fall of 2017 all the concert choirs will join to perform Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion.

What are this year’s opera choruses?

There are choruses in the following operas: Don Giovanni, L’Étoile, It’s A Wonderful Life, Lucia di Lammermoor, and West Side Story.

What if I’m not a music major?

Any student currently enrolled at IU Bloomington is welcome to audition for the Jacobs School of Music choruses.  You are also eligible to participate in the All Campus Choir (ACC), MUS-X 1, which does not require an audition.  The first ACC rehearsal will be Monday, Aug. 21, just register and go!   All Campus Choir does not fulfill the X70 requirement for music majors.

When do the choral ensembles meet?

Keep all the blocks of time listed below available in your schedule until you receive your assignment for the semester.

Concert Choirs meet Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2:30 – 3:50 p.m.

Opera Choruses meet daily, 4:00 – 5:50 p.m., until staging rehearsals begin, when rehearsals end at 6:00 p.m.


1) The Opera Department schedules rehearsals during fall break and religious holidays.  

2) The Don Giovanni chorus begins rehearsals on the first day of class, August 21st. See detailed schedule below.

What if I have a conflict with another class?

Ensemble assignments are based on your skills as demonstrated in your X70 audition and the needs of the Jacobs School’s programming; assignments are not built around student schedules. If you have a conflict with your ensemble placement you will be asked to find an alternate section of the conflicting course or to change the off-campus commitment.  Avoid this complication and keep the chorus ensemble times open!   You must be able to attend all rehearsals and performances in order to receive credit for X70, i.e., it is not possible to miss one or even a portion of one rehearsal per week. 

Don Giovanni Opera Chorus

  • The Don Giovanni chorus will begin daily music rehearsals on the first day of class, 4:00 – 5:50 p.m., then move to daily staging rehearsals on Tuesday, August 29th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Piano Tech: Sunday, September 10, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. (Call TBD, approximately 4:45 p.m.) & call for all tech rehearsals beginning on Monday, September 11 will be at approximately 5:45 p.m. Students selected to be in this opera chorus will be chosen during the first four days of ensemble placement auditions. Performance dates are September 15, 16, 22 & 23 at 7:30 p.m.

from The Jacobs School of Music Bulletin:

The faculty of the Jacobs School of Music is … committed to the idea that each student can and should contribute to. . . the cultural life of the university through participation in the major ensemble experience.  The ensemble requirement … helps to compensate for the fact that the university subsidizes the extra cost involved in professional music training.