Chorale Auditions

Monday, July 31 and Monday, August 7
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Centenary United Methodist Church
646 W. Fifth St., Winston-Salem

Please use the church’s rear entrance on 4-1/2 Street.

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About the Audition

The Symphony Chorale will hold auditions for all voice types—soprano through bass—on Monday, July 31 and Monday, August 7, 2017 from 6:00 – 8:00pm in the Choir Room at Centenary United Methodist Church in downtown Winston-Salem. These casual, low-pressure auditions will be held in ten-minute intervals, during which prospective choristers will sing a prepared solo, hymn, or folk song, vocalize their range, and sing one or two brief pitch-retention and sight-reading exercises. More info below, under FAQ.

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You can apply for online today using a simple SignUpGenie form! Just select your preferred date or time (availability may vary), and the Chorale will contact you shortly.

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Questions? Please contact Chorale Director, Christopher Gilliam by email.


When are auditions?

Monday, July 31 and Monday, August 7 from 6-8 PM

Where are the auditions?

In the choir room at Centenary United Methodist Church in Winston Salem. 646 W. Fifth Street, Winston-Salem (Please use the church’s rear entrance on 4 1/2 street). Please arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your audition to complete an audition form.

What does an audition entail?

Auditions entail your singing a minute or so of a song of your choice. It could be an art song, aria, hymn, or gospel song, or a folk song/spiritual. Following your solo, you will be asked to sing exercises to help us determine your range, and then you will be taken through a few exercises that test your ear and musical skills. Finally, you will be asked to sight-read a selection which we provide.

Will an accompanist be provided?

Yes. And a copy of the Methodist hymnal will be provided should you need it.

When does the Chorale usually rehearse?

The Chorale rehearses every Monday night beginning on August 14, 2017, from 7:30 to 9:30 PM. Rehearsals end on either November 12 or November 26—depending upon the singers who are chosen to sing in the Carolina Christmas performance.

What is the Chorale schedule for this year?

The full rehearsal schedule for the Symphony Chorale can be found here: We ask that those who audition into Chorale make their commitment to the Chorale for the entire season. We do not allow “cherry picking” of concert opportunities. We work together as an ensemble, and we develop as an ensemble. The rehearsal time we spend together is vital in creating the high-calibre, artistic ensemble that we have become.

What kind of singer are you looking for?

The Chorale is filled with experienced soloists and vocal music education professionals, but there is a great number of amateur choral singers (musicians who sing regularly with their church or school/college/university choirs) in our ensemble who contribute equally. Generally, if you have a good musical ear, a confident voice, and know how to read (or follow really well) music, you should audition for us. We are always on the lookout for tenors and basses, in particular, but auditions are open to all voice parts (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass) and there are positions to be filled in each of the sections.

Above all, we seek choristers who are committed to musical discipline and artistry that leads to choral excellence. Our rehearsals are fun and engaging, but they are also rigorous—Chorale singers are required to be at the top of their game every rehearsal. We learn and perform a lot of music every year, and the professionalism that we bring to each of our Symphony performances is a result of a great deal of hard work that requires attendance at all rehearsals (although two absences are permitted each concert cycle).

Singers in the Chorale are expected to work on their music on their own; we provide resources as often as we can to enable each singer to do so. Our rehearsals reinforce the necessary note learning, vocal technique, and language repetition that will make you confident in dress rehearsals and performances, but each singer is expected to take personal responsibility to learn his or her own part flawlessly.

Finally, there is no upper age limit to Chorale participation—the vocal (and physical) standards and requirements to be in (remain in) Chorale are the same for everyone. We accept exceptionally talented high school students who demonstrate the vocal and musical maturity to participate. Singers must, however, be able to stand for long periods of time, and Chorale members are required to re-audition bi-annually or whenever deemed appropriate by the director.

What age do I have to be to join the Symphony Chorale?

The Symphony Chorale is made up of mostly adults who are college-age and above. We occasionally allow a very mature and talented high school age (16+) singer into the ensemble, but it is rare.

What are you singing/performing this year?

Jubilate Deo by Dan Forrest (Symphony Chorale with chamber orchestra)
Carolina Christmas (70-member select ensemble will be chosen)
The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins (Symphony Chorale with the W-S Symphony)
Symphony #2 by Gustav Mahler (Symphony Chorale with the W-S Symphony)

When will I be notified regarding the status of my audition?

You will be notified via email within one week of your audition.

If I have any other questions, whom should I contact?

Contact the Symphony Chorale Director, Dr. Christopher Gilliam, at

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This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

The Winston-Salem Symphony receives operational funding from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County

Educational initiatives made possible with funding by Wells Fargo, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and The Winston-Salem and Forsyth County Schools.