Choral Department

2018-2019 Choral Placement Audition Information

Welcome to the Jacobs School of Music 2018 – 2019 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. Registration is required to participate in any Jacobs choral ensemble.

MUS-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 MUS-X70 (summer enrollment does not count towards the ensemble requirement)
  • all freshman and sophomore piano majors
  • junior and senior piano majors who are not registered for MUS-X2
  • master’s degree choral conductors

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

IMPORTANT NOTICE - Canvas released an unexpected update to the Schedule feature in Calendar on Saturday, August 4, 2018. If you signed up for an audition on Wednesday or Thursday, August 15 & 16, your reservation is fine and unchanged. Some students who selected an audition time after the update occurred have been notified and asked to reschedule their audition. Below is some revised information to help you select an audition time.

IF YOU ARE ALREADY REGISTERED FOR MUS-X70, logon to Canvas  and select FA18 UNIVERSITY CHORAL ENSEMBLES: 3520 from the Courses icon drop down menu. We have been advised by ITS that Chrome browser allows the best functionality in Canvas

Once you are sure you are in course MUS-X70, section 3520

Click Calendar on the left navigation bar

Click "Find Appointments" on the right side of the screen

Select Course - FA18: UNIVERSITY CHORAL ENSEMBLES 3520 and submit

Time slots should appear for you to select from

Once you have selected your audition time, return to the UNIVERSITY CHORAL ENSEMBLES: 3520 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. You will need your Indiana University username and passphrase to sign up for an audition.

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

The Jacobs School of Music requires students to be registered for MUS X-70 by the end of the first week of classes if this is a required course for your degree program. Once rehearsals begin students may be counted absent until their registration is complete, possibly effecting the final grade.

When are auditions held?

Wednesday August 15, 10:30am-6:30pm in Ford Hall

Thursday August 16: 10am-7pm in Ford Hall

Friday August 17: 10am-6:00pm in Ford Hall

Saturday August 18: 10am-5pm in Ford Hall

  • These are not drop-in auditions, please sign up for a specific audition time.
  • New voice majors to the Jacobs School are asked to audition on Wednesday, August 15 or Thursday, August 16.

What if I don’t get back to Bloomington until after August 18?

Students who do not return to Bloomington until Aug. 19 may schedule an audition for Monday, Aug. 20.  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 21. 

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 for the academic year. 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. 20, first music rehearsal of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs opera chorus, 4:00-6:00 pm

Mon., Aug. 20, ensembles that require call back auditions will post lists & instructions outside MA051.

Tues., Aug. 21, If needed, University Singers and Dialogues of the Carmelites call backs will take place, 2:30-3:50

Wed., Aug. 22, final ensemble assignments will be posted with instructions.

Wed., Aug. 22, first rehearsal for the Conductors Chorus concert on Sat. Sept. 29.

Final rosters, first rehearsal dates, and any further information will be posted outside the Choral Office, MA051, by the evening of Wednesday August 22nd. 

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

Don't worry, we frequently update the rosters throughout the 1stweek of classes.  If your name is missing when the rosters are posted on Wed., August 22, 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 MUS-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 2018-19 concert choirs are University Singers, NOTUS (spring 2019 only), University Chorale, Women's Chorus, and the SCI Project Chorus.  All these groups will combine to form the Oratorio Chorus for one concert each semester.

 Fall Semester 2018 MUS X70 Performances

  1. SCI Project Chorus - for the Society of Composers, Inc., 2018 National Student Conference​ on Friday, September 28.  
  2. IU Women’s Chorus - will sing in Gustav Holst’s The Planets with the Indiana University Concert Orchestra, David Neely, conductor, on Sunday, September 30.
  3. The Singing Hoosiers Fall Concert on Saturday, Oct. 20
  4. Oratorio Chorus - at the request of President McRobbie, the Oratorio Chorus will perform Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem on Sunday, November 11, in the MAC, Betsy Burleigh conducting.  This concert commemorates the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice of Compiènge ending WWI.
  5. The Singing Hoosiers “Chimes of Christmas” on Saturday, Dec. 1

NOTE: all choruses (except the Singing Hoosiers) will rehearse on November 26, 27 & 29 as the Oratorio Chorus to prepare for a special performance in January:  Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, The Resurrection, Wednesday, January 23rd in the IU Auditorium with The Cleveland Orchestra, Franz Welser-Möst, conductor.

What are this year’s opera choruses?

There are choruses in the following operas: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (this opera chorus will be selected during July), Dialogues of the Carmelites, Elixir of Love and Leonard Bernstein’s Mass.

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- X01, which does not require an audition.  The first ACC rehearsal will be Monday, Aug. 20, just register and go!   All Campus Choir does not fulfill the MUS-X70 requirement for music majors.

When do the choral ensembles meet?

Keep 2:30 - 5:50 p.m. available in your schedule until you receive your assignment for the semester.

What if I have a conflict with another class?

Ensemble assignments are based on your skills as demonstrated in your MUS-X70 audition and the needs of the Jacobs School’s programming; assignments cannot be 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 MUS-X70, i.e., it is not possible to miss one or even a portion of one rehearsal per week.