Joining the Chorus of Westerly Symphonic Program
The Chorus of Westerly welcomes new singers of all voice parts for its program typically three times a year: in late August and early September, in early January, and in late May and June. However, we are always interested in potential new members - children and adults - at ANY time and can possibly schedule an audition at other times. If you are at all interested in singing, want to schedule an audition, or have questions the best first step is to call the Chorus at 401.596.8663 during weekday business hours and speak with Genvieve Spitale or email her at .
TRACKS TO JOIN THE CHORUS OF WESTERLY PROGRAM
Prospective Children and Teenage Singers
The Chorus of Westerly has always had children actively singing with its main performance ensemble on all concerts of its symphonic and Pops season. Giving children and teenagers the opportunity to sing demanding music in professional settings was one of our organization's founding principles.
Children and teenagers, ages 8 to 17 (and/or 18 year olds still in high school) may audition and join the Chorus. For an audition, a parent must call or email the office to set-up an appointment (see information above). The child or teen coming to audition will then come to Kent Hall, 119 High Street, at their appointment time. At least one parent or guardian must come with the child/teen to the audition. The parent or guardian will be in the room for the audition. The audition is very simple, informal, and relaxed and will be held with Andrew Howell. Your child or teen is not expected to have musical training or be able to read music or even yet "know how to sing" - it is our job to train them. So, please know you do not need to prepare anything in advance, bring music, or "rehearse" at home prior to coming in. The audition is set-up to allow us to learn about your child's voice, ear ability (pitch identification and matching), and assess your child's musical background. Andrew Howell will do assess all of this by having your child engage in some simple vocal exercises. By engaging in these exercises and hearing your child (and meeting them), it will allow him to place your child at the appropriate chorister training level when they begin with the group (at a pace and level appropriate for them so they can succeed!).
Following the audition, Andrew Howell will talk with you and your child about life in the Chorus and how your family will begin with us. Andrew Howell will also explain the commitments for all singers to you and answer any questions you might have.
Prospective Adult Singers (ages 18 - out of high school and older) for entrance into the main Chorus of Westerly Symphonic Chorus - Auditioned Ensemble
The Chorus of Westerly is always actively searching for new adult singers to be a part of our main symphonic performance which prepares, presents, and offers all of our symphonic concerts, a cappella concerts, and Pops concerts as part of our concert season. Adults must audition for this ensemble.
For those interested, please contact Genvieve (see above) to schedule an audition appointment with Andrew Howell. You will then be assigned a date and time and come to Kent Hall to audition with him. The audition process for new adult singers involve singing prepared pieces and also some vocal exercises with Mr. Howell. For the audition, you should bring and be prepared to sing an aria or song or choral excerpt of your choice (bring a copy for you and one for Mr. Howell), as well as one of the 4 musical excerpts found below in which to sing your voice part while the accompaniment is played. You can download the music below by clicking on the appropriate link. If you have difficulties, please call or email the office at the above contacts. Sight reading skills will also be assessed as part of the audition process.
Mr. Howell will inform you if you have passed your audition or not after it concludes. If you have passed the audition, he will review with you membership dues, membership requirements for rehearsal and schedule, and provide you registration information. If you have questions about any of this, you can email him at or call Genvieve Spitale at the number above.
Regular rehearsals for this Chorus are usually Mondays, 7:30 pm to 9:45 pm with extra rehearsals on Wednesday and Friday evenings of a performance week, as well as on the Saturday afternoon of a performance weekend.
For your audition, the musical excerpts to pick from include:
Schubert selection, Handel selection, Vaughan Williams selection, or Brahms selection
Prospective Adult Singers (ages 18 - out of high school and older) for entrance into the Foundations Chorus - non-auditioned Ensemble
In February of 2020, the Chorus of Westerly launched a second ensemble called the Foundations Chorus. This will be a non-auditioned Chorus that will meet on Wednesday evenings.
EXPECTATIONS FOR ALL
IN THE CHORUS
THE BELOW INFORMATION IS FOR CHILD AND TEEN SINGERS OF THE CHORUS (ages 8 to 18) AND ADULT SINGERS IN THE MAIN SYMPHONIC CHORUS.
The Chorus of Westerly strives to perform at the highest levels of artistic excellence and therefore does require a strong level of commitment from its singers - both children and adults.
Singers are required to commit to the entire performance season. That includes attendance at regular weekly rehearsals (meaning great attendance at regular rehearsals with few if any absences), mandatory attendance at performance week and weekend rehearsals, singing ALL the performances on the Chorus of Westerly's regular season (Fall concert, Christmas Pops, Spring concerts, Summer Pops), participating in various volunteer capacities, and paying membership dues.
Thanks to the generosity of the Prigmore Family and several other Chorus patrons, scholarship, financial aid, and singer payment plans are available to help any family with their dues and, for children, camp costs. Please speak with the office for details on how to apply for aid.
REHEARSALS (AT KENT HALL)
Adults and Teen Young Men
Adult rehearsals are Monday evenings from 7:30 pm to 9:45 pm. Teenage male singers (who are singing tenor and bass) rehearse at this time as well.
Every child in the Chorus gets at least two hours of rehearsal each week, typically broken down into two one-hour sessions, spread over weekday afternoons (see below for detailed rehearsal schedule). Depending on age and musical experience, children are placed into one of the four ensembles that make up the Chorus of Westerly children’s program: Training Choristers, Junior Choristers, Trebles, and Full Choristers.
Here is the full schedule for adults and all levels for the children:
REGULAR REHEARSAL SCHEDULE
Mon/Thu, 4 to 5 pm
Jr Choristers (Girls):
Mon, 5 to 6 pm; Fri, 4:15 to 5:15 pm
Mon, 5 to 6 pm/Thu 4:15 to 5:15 pm
Full Choristers (Girls):
Mon, 5 to 7 pm; Friday 4:15 to 5:15 pm
Adults and Teen Tenors/Basses (Main Symphonic Chorus):
Mon, 7:30 pm to 9:45 pm