How to Prepare for a Choral Audition!

Sometimes choral auditions can seem daunting with all of their requirements:sight-reading, tonal memory, range assessments….and oh yeah. You have to prepare a song or two as well! Fear not, there are ways to get you confident for the big day. Here are some tips on how to prepare: 

1) Find a SIMPLE song (or two) that shows you off. Many choral groups will specify acceptable genres, but you can never go wrong with a short art song or classic musical theatre piece. Suggested composers include Brahms, Faure, Quilter, and Rodgers and Hammerstein. Opera arias are not recommended as they tend to be lengthier and vocally very demanding. Remember, choral groups are ensembles so you’re expected to blend with the other voices- not overpower! 

Here are three suggestions for basic vocal literature that would work well for a choral audition. These can be for ALL voice types, and are available in both high and low keys:

“Zueignung”- Richard Strauss . This short but gorgeous piece in German shows of your vocal range AND ability to sing a long line.

“ Ici-bas!”- Gabriel Faure. This moderate tempo art song is marvelous for showing off French diction, vocal range, and overall musicality .  

“ Come Ready and See Me”- this lovely American art song by Richard Hundley is a favorite for many reasons. It has a very pleasing and memorable melody! Remember that it’s important to show how well you enunciate in your native language (a huge thing with choral directors), so if you perform this well and really use the dynamics, you’ll impress!

2) Brush up on your sight-reading skills! This can easily be done with a multitude of resources. 
There are books such as the Dannhauser series by G. Schirmer or the Jenson Sight-Singing Course, and very useful websites such as 

Keep it simple, and pace yourself : it’s unlikely the audition panel/choral director will have you read anything in a crazy key or time signature! They are looking for basic musicianship. Remember to practice slow and steady, and to take deep breaths. Treat it the same way you treat your songs when you practice. The same advice certainly applies for when you sight read on your audition day!

3) Practice your intervals. This is a essential skill for all singers, and will come in handy when you’re sight reading your part in choral rehearsals! Funky n’ Fun Series 3: “Challenging Patterns” by Kim Chandler is incredible for helping singers identify all sorts of intervals, scales, triads, etc. Once you’ve got them in your ear it will make the tonal memory AND sight reading portions of your audition much, much easier for you.

4) Listen to some great choral singing, and watch YouTube videos of dynamic choral directors like Eric Whitacre (He has even given a TED talk). Get inspired! Watch how closely his singers follow his every move. His passion for each piece he conducts really shows on his face and translates over to the rest of his choir: the best conductors are able to do this! It’s important that choral singers look completely engaged as they perform, just as if they were soloists. Also note that many choral works require straight tone, so if you have a bigger voice you’ll definitely want to ask your voice teacher on healthy ways to do this. 

Don't yet have a teacher? You know what to do! Book a lesson with me today! 

Created with